When I was growing up we had a Sears in town. And, when I say we had a Sears, I mean that Sears had a storefront that was nothing more than a counter and a bored employee that would submit your catalog order. But, since their winter catalog was pretty much our only access to pictures of toys, it always seemed like a big deal.
My brother and I would mutilate the pages and paste the pictures into our Christmas list with that craptastic glue with the rubber top that you had to shove scissors through every single time you wanted to use it.
|LePage is French for craptastic.|
In order to get anything to stick you had to make sure the paper was soggy to the point of tearing. And, since there was only one catalog and one image, you had to be careful or the item would rip and it would never get on your list. I’m still convinced this is why I never got a Green Machine and was forced to cruise the neighborhood on a busted-ass Big Wheel.
|Damn you, LePage. Damn you.|
Despite the frayed nerves and fights over the lone image of Luke Skywalker, I always looked forward to putting these lists together. That’s why I smiled when I saw my kids doing it. They spent an afternoon cutting pictures and pasting them into a patchwork of hopes, dreams and greed.
Thanks to the abundance of circulars and improvements in adhesive dispensers, it made for a quiet afternoon. There were no fights. No accidental self stabbings (really hated those dispensers). Just three kids daydreaming about their Christmas morning.
Beaming, they presented us the lists and scurried off to dream some more.
So here’s what they’re not getting from those lists:
No way. This is the first time the kid ever mentioned a telescope. He’d never talked about space or even outside before this list. I’ve fallen for these temporary fascinations before and I won’t be suckered again. Plus, I don’t know shit about stargazing, so if he did get this I’d just be making crap up about what we’re looking at.
“See that? It’s a meteor.”
“But, it’s got wings.”
“Yep, meteors have wings.”
“I don’t think they do.”
“Yeah, but you’re eight. You also thought Santa got you this stupid telescope so be quiet and watch the meteor.”
|“I think it’s a plane.” “Meteor!”|
Dark Knight Rises Remote Control Batmopdthing
Of course I’m a Batman fan and if I’m going to let him like one DC character it’s going to be Batman. But, I won’t get him this for one reason. I can’t let him watch the movie and he’s going to ask to—over and over again. The Nolan Batmans aren’t kids movies and I always wondered how they could make kids toys for grown up movies. I know I wanted the Robocop action figure and I’m sure I bugged my parents to no end to see the movie:
“Dad, can I see Robocop?”
“Dad, can I see Robocop?”
“Dad, can I see Robocop?”
“Because a guy’s face melts off and he shoots someone in the dick! That’s why!”
I don’t remember any specific dick shooting in Batman, but it’s not a conversation I want to have.
|Featuring Crotch Blasting Action!|
World of Warcraft Mega Bloks
Personally I don’t think it’s right for an eight-year-old to play in a MMORG like World of Warcraft. It subjects him to a lot of language that he should only hear from me.
But, that’s not why he’s not getting this. Mega Bloks suck. It’s fake Lego. Its mere presence taints a Lego collection. Lego is molded out of a high quality plastic that locks together firmly. Mega Bloks are molded out of frustration and the consolation ribbons they hand out to the fat kid on field day.
|“But, we tried really hard.” -Mega Bloks|
My parents fell for this last year and got my son a guitar. He learned one song—”Twang” by Fleeting Interest. Thankfully, he forgot he had a guitar. Unfortunately, so did my daughter, because now she wants one.
I’ll admit, she’s played me right. She says she wants one so we can play music together. She said it really cute, too. She used the big eyes and everything. I may have to give in on this one. I can picture us practicing chords together, her tiny fingers stretching to reach the frets, me introducing her to music beyond “This Old Man” and the two of us bonding over something only we understand.
But, you know what will really happen? A crappy pink guitar will sit next to the crappy blue guitar and she’ll keep singing “This Old Man” until I finally break and scream that nothing rhymes with twelve except shelve and that doesn’t make any sense.
First of all, awesome. Second of all, no. And, it’s not because he’s 5. And, it’s not because I’m afraid he’ll turn his kindergarten class into an amateur version of Sons of Anarchy. It’s because when they were born I had to get rid of my motorcycle and I’ll be damned if they get to have one and I don’t.
Don’t worry. There’s still plenty of stuff on their list and I’m sure that they’ll have forgotten about all the stupid crap they asked for by the time the last shred of wrapping paper flutters to the ground. They’ll have a Merry Christmas and I hope you do, too.
What are your kids asking for that they won’t get?
The Dumb White Husband stories have now been collected in one place. Dumb White Husband for President & Other Stories is now available in print and for your Kindle.