Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Just when I think I'm ready to rule the universe I find out I DON'T know everything.

Our daughter wants an American Girl doll for Christmas. Normally I don’t go in for nonsense like dolls that cost millions of dollars just because they can, but this is the third year in a row she’s asked for one and soon she won’t want dolls at all anymore. Before we know it she’ll be asking for cell phones and cars and wedding dresses, and then, HOLY CRAP!!, it’ll be time to lock her away in that special room under the house where no boy can ever break her heart and Valerie Bertinelli will play me in a Lifetime movie about a woman who only wanted to keep her little girl safe from the big bad world……

In an effort to hang on to her innocence and my sanity (ha! As if!!), I thought now would be just as good a time as any to beat up my inner cheapskate and buy the stupid doll.

The other night after she was in bed I got my hands on the ratty catalog she’s been drooling over for six months and found that the doll she's circled looks nothing like her. What? Isn’t half the fun of the American Girl doll that it’s made in your image (the other half being the knowledge that your parents once loved you enough to spend an extra $50.00 so you and your doll could have matching Christmas dresses)? My husband and I talked about it, and I told him that I’m going to get her a different doll, one that looks more like her, because she doesn’t realize it now, but she will be so much happier when she gets a baby who looks just like her. Then he asked me why I couldn’t just get people what they want for Christmas and he brought up some imaginary time when his mother asked for something specific but I wouldn’t get it because I had a better idea. I think he’s making the whole thing up, because I don’t remember that at ALL and I why would I do something like that? It’s just mean. But if it did happen, and I'm not saying it did, I’m sure it was because I had a BETTER IDEA. Duh.

Which brings me to this~

No, your eyes are not deceiving you; it is exactly what it looks like.

A pewter bubble wand.  It's a birthday gift from my husband. A perfectly fine birthday gift, but one that he admits he knew would be more exciting for him than for me. My birthday isn’t until Friday but he couldn’t wait, he gave it to me early. You can surely see how the anticipation of giving such a gift would be overwhelming. I suspected I might be getting a bubble wand. Not because I spend a lot of time blowing bubbles or because all of my friends have one and I had mentioned it might be fun to have one of my own, not even because I'm a sneaky sneak, but because my husband forgot to log out of his Amazon account and I saw that he had been looking at them.

You guys, it was just like the year when I was 14 and I peeked at all of my Christmas gifts and my mom had gotten me a whole bunch of pink clothes. There were pink corduroys and a pink button down oxford and a pink crew neck sweater, all things that I wanted, just in colors like Kelly green and navy blue. I mean, for the love of Jr. High, a girl cannot go around the 8th grade all wrapped in pink and come out on the other side in one piece, also, I’ve never really been a pink girl. Sadly, that has never stopped my mom from buying me pink stuff. That year as I opened each gift, already knowing what was inside, it took every drop of acting skill I possess (which is about 1 ½ drops) to pretend to be excited. It was déjà vu all over again when my husband gave me the bubble wand. Maybe worse.

Later he told me that he knew that I wouldn’t love it, but he thinks it’s a nifty thing and wanted me to have one.

Then he asked me if I wanted my other present.

Other present? Hmm.

Normally I would have been all over a second gift, but I was I little worried. What if it was a jug of designer bubbles? I wasn’t sure I could muster up any more fake joy this soon so I told him we should wait until my actual birthday, but he was on a roll and wouldn’t hear of it.

I’m a tiny bit embarrassed to admit this, but I cried. Just a little. The combination of relief that I didn’t have to pretend and the excitement of getting something I really wanted were too much.

Now if you’ll excuse me I have to go order my daughter a doll that looks nothing like her.


Karen at French Skinny said...

Awwww you're Hubby is a smart cookie. And now I'm not going to get my 4 year old an electric keyboard because I know, in time, he will love it more than the present I know he really wants:)

Karen said...

I'm so glad that Valerie lost all of that weight so that she could get away with playing your character! I'll have to remember that you now own that wand in case I ever need to borrow it! Lucky!

Alexis said...

I love this post.

Jaci said...

I love this post, too. You really are a gifted writer.

*removing my lips from your butt cheek now*

My compliments always come across as 10 kinds of ghey. But seriously, I love this post.

Aren't American Girl dolls characters from the books? Like you pick 1850's girl or Williamsburg girl or 1940's girl? My girls are still too young for American Girls so I have no clue how it works.

A bubble wand?!? Uhhh...I don't even know what to say about that one.

wesley's mom (sue) said...

Karen~He is pretty smart....and tricky.

Karen #2~You'll have to be really careful with it. It's FANCY.

Alexis~Thanks. I try.

Jaci~You are too kind. Some of the American Girl dolls come with books and are historic characters, but they also have a bunch with different physical features so you can pick one that looks like you.

Hilary said...

My mom is the queen of getting what SHE wants for us.

I'm glad you're going with what she wants. :D

Mormon Mommy Blogs said...

Sadly I VERY familiar with the American Girl stuff. My oldest was obsessed and it didn't help that we lived within 60 miles of a store and 80 miles of the actual factory. She had 4 of them by the time she was 11.

I started perusing Ebay and have been able to get some KILLER deals on dolls. For Example: The Just Like Me doll-- brand new with clothes for $60 and a bitty baby doll with clothes for $40. You might want to check that route.

Julie said...

We had an excellent talk on this very subject last Sunday. It's not just the "Golden Rule" we need to follow but we need to actually treat others like THEY would like to be treated. Or, in the case of gift giving, give them what they really want not what WE think they want.

Thank you for the second reminder this week. I must need it.

Karen Peterson said...

I'm a very talented gift-giver because I find people gifts they didn't even KNOW they wanted. :-)

Lara said...

I have one of those under the Christmas tree. I only know because I told my husband I didn't want anything else. :) And he complied.

And I'm so glad you're getting the doll your daughter wants. My girls are all three getting the AG doll this Christmas, and I think they all chose something that looks nothing like them. Well, maybe one of them foudn one that's similar enough. They don't know they're getting them and I can't wait for Christmas to see their faces!

I'm kind of confused about the bubble wands...really? Your friends all have them? I guess I run in a non bubble wand crowd!!

Lara said...

Oops. Never mind. I just reread, your friends DON'T all have bubble wands. Silly me.

*happy birthday*

Shari @For the Little Doll In Your Life said...

I know many girls select dolls that look like them, but I can certainly understand a little girl just being drawn to a particular doll. And I think you're right to remind yourself how soon she'll outgrow dolls all together.