Merry Christmas everyone. Reiner and I are enjoying our time off for the next few weeks. We have no big plans other than several very casual friends-and-family gatherings and nothing that requires a lot of prep or travel. We do not celebrate the holiday as lavishly as we once did. We don’t exchange gifts or decorate. “Low key” is the theme.
So, since I haven’t got anything seasonal to share, I’ll recount a couple of Christmas episodes from my childhood.
Kitchener, the town where I grew up, was a sizable burg with the typical assortment of neighbourhoods. I grew up in a blue collar area. When I attended high school, I rubbed shoulders with kids from “Westmount”, the name that designates wealth in many towns across the country.
Up until I was introduced to the lifestyles of the rich and famous, I was happy with dolls and comics.
Let me qualify the term “happy.” One Christmas I asked Santa for Barbie, the model with bendable limbs. What landed in my stocking was a knock-off. She had clunky, articulated joints made of hard plastic, the mechanics on clear view. Next year, in an effort to rectify his grievous error, Santa brought a Mattel doll. My heart leapt when I saw the logo. Then disappointment bulldozed glee aside when I saw that the doll’s name was Midge. Madge? Not Skipper, I know that. Most definitely NOT BARBIE!
This Midge/Madge/NOT BARBIE doll did have the proper articulated limbs. Glossy and pliable vinyl the shade of a California tan concealed the joints. At least she had that going for her. I played with her for a few hours posing her thus and so. The elbows and knees snapped softly into place with a pleasing click-y/clunky sound. I tried to position her feet en pointe.
The next sound I heard was my stomach lurching. I over-extended the joint, and broke Midge/Madge/NOT BARBIE’s ankle. Oh the humanity. Didn’t even make it to dinner time.
My poor mother. She had no trouble saying, “No.” and I had all kinds of trouble accepting “no” as an answer. I pleaded. I cajoled. I offered to pay for half. Nothing doing. This would have been in the early 70’s when a sweater cost $40.00.
Which is just as well, for if I had purchased one of those boring plain ol’ pullovers, what the heck would I wear for Ugly Christmas Sweater Days?
Categories: Blog Blog Blog