Tuesday, January 29, 2008

What I Really Really Want

We were visiting Wonderful Mother-in-Law (really) this past weekend. She started her 4th different regiment of chemotherapy Monday--this time it's a daily chemo pill. We're all hopeful this one will do the trick.

As we sat and chatted about everything but her stage four lung cancer, we somehow stumbled on the topic of "things we always wanted that we never got". Daughter #2 always coveted sparkly ruby-red shoes from Stride-Rite when she was little. But alas, we couldn't afford the pricey shoes then ($40) especially since (a) she was outgrowing shoes every 6 months, and (b) they weren't exactly practical. Still, it didn't stop her from talking about them for the next 15 years. When Daughter #2 was turning 21, I heard about grown-up sized "Dorothy-Wizard of Oz" ruby-red shoes and asked her if she still wanted them because I could now afford them. . .she smiled and gave me a hug but said "no thanks, I'm ok about it now".

When I was growing up, my father was in consumer electronics, so instead of playing with dolls, I played with the latest in electronics. We always had the first microwave, the first 8-track player, the first tabletop sized TV, etc. So, dolls were, well, dull. (That explains the reference in my profile.) But that didn't stop me from always wanting a true doll house with all the miniature accompaniments that were so fascinating. Look, a teeny little book. Oh, and in the tiny kitchen, exact replicas of pots and pans and even cooking utensils! Maybe it had something to do with the fact that I was then, and now, small in stature. Maybe I related to the smallness of everything? Whatever the reason, I always wanted one, but never got one. Still fascinated, though. When the girls were young, I used to drag both daughters to the local Art Museum to see the Thorne Miniature Room display
just to gaze in wonder at the tiny displays.


I asked Wonderful Mother-in-Law (really) if there was something she always wanted and never got; expecting that she would recall something from her childhood. Instead, she immediately answered, yes, there was something when she and Wonderful Father-in-Law (really) were young and struggling with 5 young children to feed and clothe. What was it?, I asked. She said that Wonderful Father-in-Law (really) insisted that they never incur debt, and so, they never charged anything and only paid with cash or check. Of the 5 children, only one was a girl, and Wonderful Mother-in-Law (really) desperately wanted to buy her a Raggedy Ann doll, but never could.

I think I'm going to buy one for Wonderful Sister-in-Law (really) for her birthday this June.

What did you always want, but never got?


kcsandy said...

What I Really, Really Wanted...

I apparently do not aspire to high enough heights, because the two things that I really really wanted became mine fairly easily. When I was a small kid, I really, really wanted the oversized shocking pink stuffed dog that hung in the window of Berbiglia's, a local Kansas City liquor store. I wanted this pink pup so desperately because I had no stuffed animals of any sort. Big, good quality stuffed friends are SO expensive, and my family lived tight on my father's minimal salary. Conversely, it never bothered me that I had only two pair of shoes - tennis shoes for school and every day, and black patents for synagogue and parties. Yet I needed and coveted a stuffed animal. And the display of colorful doggies hanging in the store window taunted me every time we drove past. Eventually, a birthday landed me a Berbiglia's pet. It turned out to be the worst quality - not at all soft or cuddly as I had imagined. More nearly like a pinata. Ah well... I've made up for it several fold. My two daughters had an abundance of stuffed pals, and...well...as long as I was buying for them, why not for myself?

The second thing? A dishwasher. Honestly. As a kid growing up in a household sans dishwasher, I spent part of every evening on a step stool either washing or drying, a ritual that earned the right to pre-bedtime play. I understood that I'd know my ship had come in when I lived in a home with an automatic dishwasher.

That, of course, happened very early in my adult life. I have to say, I haven't really raised my material standards since I threw in my dish towel. I'm pretty happy with my automatic dishwasher and my happy stash of stuffed friends.

Confessions from the sandwich generation said...

I remember bagging up large trash bags of stuffed animals to give away that belonged to my daughters.

Kelly said...

What a beautiful thing to buy for your mother-in-law. I am so sorry she is going through cancer. Thank you so much for stopping by my sight. I will definitely be back to yours.

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Maddy said...

Clearly we have a great deal in common. How come you have stopped posting?
Best wishes

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