Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Bleepin' Christmas Gifts

There is nothing more gratifying than a well-timed expletive. Cussing is such a delicious vice, an art form if done properly. I’d rather someone call me a [BLEEP] with a smile on their face than to say SHUT UP and mean it. I have taken a strong position with my daughter against saying angry words like HATE, STUPID and SHUT UP. Apparently she listens to me because my Little Chick has become the Bad Word Cop. She charges one quarter if you say a bad word. (And she doesn’t even know about the good ones yet!)

We were a little stir crazy after Thanksgiving. I was bleeding [BLEEPIN’] quarters covering for my dad as he shouted at the football games. We needed an activity and Little Chick was desperate to work on her Christmas list. [BLEEP]. A tricky chore for any parent, but especially difficult on divorced families. My mind wanders down a rabbit trail and I get myself completely worked up…I really want her to get precisely what she wants and Divorce Guilt makes me want to spoil her rotten. But of course I don’t want to spoil her, because then she’d be a Divorced Kid and a Spoiled Brat. Yikes. And how do I make sure my Ex is working from the same list? What if we get her the same thing? Oh [BLEEP] what if his gift is more special? What if he knows I am going to get her something special so he coasts by only getting her the cheap stuff? And what about grandparents and former in-laws? What about the godparents who no longer speak to me? And of course everyone sends multiple and separate [BLEEPIN’] emails to ask what size she is in dresses. In shoes. In pants. In socks.

It’s enough to make me loathe the entire month of December. I need a lot of quarters for all the words that come to mind.

But this year I had a stroke of genius. We marched into Target, found Guest Services, and I set up a gift registry for my Little Chick that can be accessed at any Target store, including online. My ex, the grandparents, aunts, uncles, extended family…everyone has the same list. And it’s updated by Target so you can see if something has already been purchased. All the details are right there including colors and sizes. All I had to do was make sure she selected items in a variety of appropriate prices ranges.

But the best part? The scanner. They give you a handheld scanner to create the list. Find an item you want, scan the little red light over the barcode and BLEEP, it’s on the list. It’s strange how much fun it was. Little Chick was madly pulling down toys; I was BLEEPIN’ them as fast as possible. She tried her hand at the scanner, but frankly she didn’t really have the BLEEPIN’ touch. She didn’t mind because she was literally buzzed checking out every item on every shelf. I haven’t had that much BLEEPIN’ fun in a toy aisle in 30 years. She wasn’t begging me to buy her something. I wasn’t rushing her out of there. She got to inspect every single toy to her hearts content and I was giddy with power with that BLEEPIN’ scanner in my hand.

So the Christmas list is all wrapped up, and we have a funny new tradition. I saved myself enormous headache, which keeps the BLEEPS from escaping my mouth and the quarters in my pocket.

And let’s face it. I need every last quarter to pay for all the BLEEPIN’ toys on that list.


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Sef said...

dear fellow writer.. you remind me of momma's fried chicken.. and that is my highest compliment. love your style, your anecdotes, that special touch, that comforting voice in which you write. happy bleepin holidays. i'll be dropping in for more therapy.

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Rachel said...

What a cute idea! Clever mommy, aren't you!
glad y'all had some bleepin' fun! LOL!
We've taken the same stance on *bad* words.

BD @ said...

Hi! Just catchin up with posts I missed. Funny about "stupid" -- Marcus doesn't let anyone slip that one past his radar. But S and F words? he won't even notice. Like you said, we haven't really taught him (by teach, I mean react, which to a kid means "oooohh that's a good one!") the real gems yet.