When I go shopping with my daughter, she will invariably find something that she MUST have. When I tell her no, she usually asks that I buy it for her birthday. I can only hope that she forgets about it before then. Lately, when she asks, it reminds me of all the things I asked my mother for and was never given.
Not that I’m bitter. And it’s not like I have a list of those items right at my command. Oh. Wait. Yes I do.
1. Teddy Ruxpin. For those of you who don’t know, Teddy was a toy that when you put a cassette tape in his back, he would read you the story. The eyes and mouth moved, and he interacted with you. It was a miracle moment that made artificial intelligence seem real. Okay, let’s be honest, I really wanted to put my Bangles tape in and have Teddy sing along.
2. Shrinky Dinks. You color them, put them in the oven, and THEY SHRINK! Even better, you could watch them shrivel up right there in the oven, and turn into tiny, little raisins. Did it ever happen in my oven? No. There were no raisins for me. Only a heart shriveled by sadness.
3. Baton/pogo stick. These outdoor toys were hours of fun at my friend’s house. She and I would take turns twirling and trying to stay upright on the pogo stick. We usually ended up hitting ourselves in the head or skinning a knee or other appendage. I knew deep in my soul that if I had one, or both, I would be able to perfect my technique and go on to fame and fortune. Wouldn’t you pay to see a girl on a pogo stick, twirling a baton?
4. Clear telephone. How cool was this? You could see the inside of the phone! Again, technology was totally rad during the 80s, and being able to see how things worked, was the raddest! And then there were the phones that also had neon lights in them. Clear and neon? Gossip would be so much juicier! “Like, oh my God! So, Bobby talked to Amy, who talked to Candace, and she says he thinks you’re cute! Squee!” See? Better!
5. Kissing Potion. My friends had it, and I wanted it to wear all the delicious flavors too! Then I could make out with all of the boys I talked to on my clear telephone. Between this and Lip Smackers, there was no end to the cherry-flavored love I could share.
6. Strawberry Shortcake doll. Okay, I did have one. But that was because I stole it. Yes. It’s true. I am a thief. I loved Strawberry Shortcake. I wanted a cat like Custard, and friends like Orange Blossom. And, Strawberry smelled so good. So, one time when my cousin was over, she brought a Strawberry Shortcake doll with her. I played with her the whole time, and when it came time for my cousin to go home, I hid Strawberry. My mom eventually found her and returned her to my cousin. And I never forgave her for parting me from my sweet-smelling Strawberry Shortcake.
7. T-shirt clip. All of my friends wore long t-shirts and leggings. But there was one friend who wore it with more panache than all of us; Jennifer. She was all of three apples high, had a perfect side ponytail and awesome leather LA Gear shoes. We all wanted to look like her. I tried, so hard, but my hair was too short, I was gangly and I had absolutely no way to tie my shirt off to the side. My mom would not buy me a t-shirt clip, so I had to settle for a scrunchie to tie my shirt. Or even worse, I had to tie my shirt in a knot. A knot! It was such a great indignity. It’s a miracle I ever recovered.
Many, many years later, I know why my mom refused to get me all of those things. I would have played with Teddy a few months and thrown out the Shrinky Dinks after they shrunk. And, seriously, should I be kissing any boys? No! It’s a good thing I never had any Kissing Potion. My knotted t-shirts and I were better off without all of it. I only hope that my daughter realizes that when I say no, it’s said with love. That and I don’t want her kissing anyone. At least not until she’s married.