Thursday, December 6, 2012

Thank You Cabbage Patch

During almost everyone's childhood there is a toy phenomenon. The toy that comes out that everyone must have. Perhaps it is my complete and total lack of competitiveness but there are two things I remember ever wanting, one was a pair of Guess jeans in the eighth grade which was circa 1989. They were really expensive, clocking in at about $50. At the time that was insane. My grandmother who worked as a seamstress at Maas Brothers downtown St. Pete (which has been turned partly into a theater, hamburger joint and a tattoo shop after being a museum for while.) Mass Brothers was an iconic part of the downtown, which doesn't add anything to the story other than a trivial detail. My grandmother had a mighty nice discount, so for Christmas she got me the jeans. I put those jeans on and wore them only a handful of times but not nearly as much as I should have. It turns out they weren't too comfortable and they were likely designed for people that didn't have any junk in their trunks. Plus the following year grunge hit the street and tight jeans were out.

The other thing I really remember wanting was a Cabbage Patch doll. This was only a few years earlier than the jeans which goes to show how quickly a child becomes an adolescent, but it was about 1984. The dolls were also expensive considering the era, I believe they sold for close to $30. My parents thought this was outrageous. They both worked hard, sometimes working each two jobs. They weren't slouches and they weren't nuts.

During that holiday the grocer, Kash n' Karry that was across town at the time, had a raffle for a Cabbage Patch doll. I won. I couldn't believe it. I was going to have a Cabbage Patch dolls. My mom was amazed at my luck and to be honest so was I. My dad and I arrived at the store to pick up my prize. It was a red-headed Cabbage Patch doll with pigtails. I jumped up and down. I cheered with glee. I hugged it and loved it.

A few weeks later it was Christmas and I got to have another Cabbage Patch thanks to my aunt who gave me one for Christmas. When I unwrapped the box unknowingly and saw that the doll was exactly the same. It was another red-headed pig-tailed doll. I cried. I was so disappointed. I wanted to have two different dolls. I wanted it to appear that I had variety. It was truly one of the only moments I remember of my childhood where I wanted to appear as if we had more (the other being those jeans.) If I had two Cabbage Patch dolls that would be something. Even now, if I try I am not sure why I thought it would be so difficult to explain why these dolls were the same. The dolls, of course, had different names and all. My poor Aunt who always managed to get me things that were cool and my poor embarrassed parents were stunned at my reaction since I had never behaved liked this before. They told me to thank my aunt. I couldn't stop crying. My mom eventually told me that it wasn't the baby's (the doll) fault that her father had red hair.

I got over it. I played with those dolls and loved them. Sat them down in my pretend classroom and graded their pretend papers. I fed them and put them to bed. I made up stories about them being twins that were separated at birth and joyfully reunited. I grew up and had children with a red bearded man and my parents had saved these dolls. We washed and dressed them. Now each one of my daughters gets to have one of my childhood dolls and since they are exactly the same, they can't even fight about them. It 's actually perfect.

My mom got Lydia a Cabbage Patch doll the last two Christmases. The newborn kind which are age appropriate. I thought it would be fun to get Vivian one, since the one Lydia has is so cute. They don't make the one she has with the giggle anymore. So I went to Ebay. In my search, I found Cabbage Patch Sisters. There is an older sister and a little baby sister. My 12 year old heart almost busted. I want to give these dolls to my girls, especially this year. It would be perfect for them to have the sister dolls big. So the bidding has begun. I hope I have the same dumb luck that I had 28 years ago with a much deeper understanding of thankfulness. Even though this is different, the emotions are interwined together and I want to be sure to deeply thankful this time, even if I don't win these dolls.

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