Tuesday, 24 August 2010

What You REALLY Want

I remember it was my fifth birthday and every kid in my grade had one of those Glo Worm dolls. Remember those? They were pretty much giant larvae dressed in hats whose faces glowed when you squeezed them. Ahh, the 80s! Anyway, my friend had one that had butterfly wings, and of course, I wanted one just like it.
I guess that I talked this one up quite a bit to my parents because, on my birthday, they announced that we were going to the toy store to get me my precious glowing monstrosity. As we entered the warehouse-turned children's wonderland, my tiny eyes drew in the colors, sights and sounds in which only a child's senses could take immeasurable delight. Up and down the aisles of dolls, stuffed animals, figurines and playsets we marched until we came upon the display of Glo Worm toys. The thing was a GIGANTIC pyramid, stacked to the ceiling with podlike boxes of plastic doll-like larvae, none of which seemed to resemble my precious butterfly model.
"Oh no, I don't think they have the one you want," my mother said, disappointment pulling down her face and frame as she approached.
My little lip must have quivered a bit, because she and my father both decided to embark on a treasure hunt. They began to burrow through the huge display of boxes as I, drawn forward and onward by the ever-appealing visual displays, explored the other toys.
And so they dug and they dug...pulling out green glow worms, blue ones, purple ones. None of these were "The One." My mother was a trooper. She had not lost the inner knowledge of the kind of delight that comes with being a child, with having your heart set on that one special toy. She searched with a fervor, as if she were searching for those same special childhood feelings that she once experienced. Suddenly, she struck them. Amid a pile of boxes scattered all over the floor, she found what she'd been looking for. Waving the box over her head containing the butterfly doll, she yelped. I don't even remember what it was that she said, but I remember the shrillness of it, the way it echoed throughout the store and caused other shoppers to turn around and look at this crazy lady wading through boxes of the most ridiculous looking toys on the face of the planet.
My mother approached me with sheer, maddened glee on her face, searching for her match in my eyes. I, on the other hand, was holding another toy that I'd found the next aisle over.
"I found it, Honey!" my mother said, thrusting the ridiculous butterfly toward me.
My little lip must've quivered.
"You've found something else?" she said, disappointment pulling down her face and shoulders as she spoke.

I don't remember the toys that I got instead of the Glo Worm, but I do remember crying on the way home because of that look of disappointment on my mother's face. I remember the way she yelped and how that would haunt me to this day.

All in all it was an insignificant decision. My mother forgave me and has probably forgotten this incident. Still, I remember. And I think, after all, I did get what I really wanted. And I still have it. :)

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