Wednesday, December 15, 2004

The Gift That Got Away

Almost every year, especially when we are kids, there is one item on our wishlists that stands out above all the rest, the one that puts the twinkle in our eye, the one that would make all the other kids on the block jealous, the one you are sure you cannot live without.

For me, when I was 8, it was Barbie's Magical Motor Home. It had everything a little girl and her Barbie could want: it folded out to reveal a BBQ set, lawn chairs, a vanity area, even a candellabra. I just knew that this toy would make play-time just explode with funness. I could picture the hours I would spend driving it around the basement floor, picking up Ken and toasting marshmallows on the provided plastic campfire. Gosh, I'm practically salivating just thinking about it. I wanted it, I NEEDED it. I couldn't imagine waking up on Christmas morning and not finding it under the tree, but that's what happened. I asked for the motor home 3 years in a row, and I never did get it.

Barbie had a lot of choice vehicles available:
-Barbie cruise ship
-Barbie volkswagon Beetle
-Barbie jam & glam tour bus
-Barbie speed boat
-Barbie electronic travel train
-Barbie disco van
-Barbie leer jet
-Barbie dune buggy
And I never asked for any of these, all I wanted was the camper. Just the camper. I still want it today.

And there it is, available on Ebay, in the 'vintage' section (gulp) for a mere $289. Hah! If Mom had only bought it when I asked for it, she could have saved us $259. My sister Jan, when she was around that same tender age, asked for the Barbie horse trailer. And she got it. Lucky, lucky Jan. Boy was I jealous! Now, this is not to say that I was deprived. Over the years we had hundreds of Barbies. Just think about it: 4 girls x 4 birthdays x Christmas x 8 years of age-appropriateness = somewhere in the neighbourhood of 300 Barbies! Sometimes we would end up with 3 or 4 of the same Barbie and we would say "Oooohhh, triplets!" and there you go. We had a Barbie corvette, a Barbie swimming pool, the Barbie locker room, and Jan even had a 4-foot tall, 3 storey Barbie house, completely fitted out with pink furniture and pink appliances. But that motor home would have been the icing on the cake, and I mourned it for 3 years straight (I know, I know, how ungrateful and spoiled I was!).

Last year, my mother made it up to me. No, I didn't get the camper. What I got was a gift that I had never even asked for.

When I was maybe 11 or 12, my mother decided it was time to introduce me to the movies she loved when she was younger. We watched Love Story, and I cried. We watched The Outsiders, and I cried so much that I literally turned purple. We watched Billy Jack, and boy did I cry. So naturally, I decided to torture Jason with this group of goopy movies. We rented Love Story, and I cried again (Jason looked a little skeptical). We watched The Outsiders, and I sobbed (Jason couldn't believe how little Tom Cruise was!). But we did not watch Billy Jack. I looked and fact, I looked in probably over 20 video stores in 3 different cities, but no one was carrying it anymore. Too old, and obviously not often requested.
Imagine my surprise when I opened it up on Christmas morning, on DVD no less!

My little mom had actually found her way onto Ebay! I was dumbfounded that she would go to so much trouble. Who even knew that she could do that? I was so proud of her, and happy for myself. Now I can make Jason watch it as often as I like!

So tell me, please, what was it for you, your gift that got away?


amy said...

Man, I can think of a lot of Christmas gifts that got away - and I wasn't deprived either (I had two much older sisters - by 20 years older - so I was seriously the "baby" of the family). Hmmm ... I remember wanting this doll - can't remember the name of the brand now, but it wasn't a Barbie - she had bendable arms and legs and was made of fabric. Anyway, this series of dolls was supposed to represent "models" from around the world - and I wanted, more than anything "Chelsea." She had long, strawberry blonde hair and blue eyes. I dreamed of her for months - from the moment I saw her on TV, straight through the holiday season, complete with drooling over the JCPenney Christmas catalog until the morning of December 25th. Man, was I disappointed. I think that was probably the first - if only - time I ever appeared disappointed on Christmas Day. My parents just shrugged it off, but I was crushed. She was da bomb.

Oh, and I had the 4 foot, 3 story Barbie townhouse, too. That yellow elevator rocked! :)

Monica said...

I wanted the treetots amusement park and I didnt get it......I did get alot of toys tho
here it is on ebay
Tree tots Amusement Parkbut it never comes with the people and they had a cat in this set that was named Pussy Willow and growing up that was the name of MY cat :) yes I was made fun for for the name, my mother named her.

I still have the treehouse and all the treetot parts but I really wanted Pussy Willow the cat!!!

Harry said...

Not to make anyone jealous, but I had all the rocks and sticks a boy could ever want. One thing was missing; a slingshot. Then dad brought one home, all wrapped in hard clear plastic. Hot doggidy, it was Christmas in July, until I opened the package and laid it aside. Sitting on a cinder block wall while I ripped and tore, the new toy slipped and fell, and it clattered all the way to the bottom of a hole, never to be touched again. That ruint my life, and led my to write, I suppose. Anyone have a Kleenex? I have a speck in my eye, I think.

The Andrew said...

Oh, the Millenium Falcon from Star Wars was so big when I was 8. I got it, too. And like ten years later my parents trashed it not knowing that it was probably worth a few hundred dollars (with ALL of the characters intact, YODA?!) There are nerds everywhere!

Now I just want some booze and maybe a carton of cigarrettes. Why can't people get you that instead of a stupid sweater?

From your friend at

citygurl said...

I just had to comment on THE OUTSIDERS. I watched that movie at my friend's house in 8th grade and I SOBBED AND SOBBED...and then calmed down, my dad picked me up in time for dinner, and in the middle of dinner I SOBBED SOME MORE. Why did that film have such an affect on us?

Top 5 movies I've actually sobbed during, at least that I can remember:
1. My Girl
2. Stepmom
3. The Pianist
4. The Outsiders
5. The Notebook--and this was on a flight from seattle to new york, the poor guy sitting next to me was probably so uncomfortable! The whole freakin' plane was in tears, WHY WOULD THEY SHOW THIS MOVIE ON AN AIRPLANE??

Kris Singleton said...

AT-AT Imperial walker from Empire Strikes Back when I was 6 or 7
Barbie triplets when I was 18

Corona Red said...

Jay - What great memories of time with your mom. It's so great to be able to share things with her and pass them on to Jason. Maybe you'll do the same thing with the next generation. And I read about your love story. Wow - I can't imagine. Must be awesome. And for Citygirl - I too would be married to a gay man if you married at that age. Cheers!

Tara said...

LEGOS...I always wanted legos. I begged and begged and begged. One year, I got generic legos. You know the kind you can probably pick up at the Dollar Store that bust everytime you pull them apart. I never got real Legos, unless they came in a McDonald's Happy Meal that is.

sunny said...

Every year for as long as I can remember, I've asked for a Chia Pet. I saw the commercials (you know, the ones that they still play every year at Christmastime), saw the magical goo grow into beautiful green hair on that schmucky clay face, and I was in love. I wanted the sheep, the one where the alfalfa grows into "wool". I asked for a Chia Pet from the time I was 5 until I was 18, and I never got one.

A few years ago, my "uncle" Bun gave me and my little brother Christmas presents for the first time. He's a retired biker/drunk driver, and it was probably the first time he'd ever had enough money to spare on the holidays. I took the present dubiously, unsure of what he'd have bought a 20-year-old who wasn't really his niece, just the daughter of his high school buddy. Lo and behold, it's a Chia Pet. It wasn't the sheep, it was the clown--but still, it's got to be the best Christmas present I've ever gotten. Completely unexpected, and completely what I'd always wanted.

I never grew it, I think it's still in a box somewhere; it's a little bit too sweet to actually cover in the goop and grow, you know?

I'm sure there are more presents that never came, but that's the one that always sticks out in my mind as "the one that got away". But then again, you know what they say, "If you love something, set it free.. blah blah blah."

Wow, that's long and cheesy enough to put on my own blog. I think I will. Thanks for reminding me. :)

transience said...

i had six barbie dolls. SIX! i needed a ken. my mom didn't want to get me one. she thought it would upset the "feminine balance," whatever that was, hahahaha!

BrianMax said...
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