Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Sears Wish Book

Do you remember it? I do.

It was a symbol of the holidays, its arrival kicking out the red and green carpet for the Christmas season. A symbol of our wants and needs, mine stumbling all over the place like an over-inebriated caroler on adult eggnog—I wanted a Barbie townhouse and matching pink Corvette, oh, and a Casio keyboard (I just might have been good at smashing keys and making viable music), oh, and an Ewok Tree house. The Wish Book was a symbol of our behavior. Yes, I had been a good girl. I did deserve to slap a seat-belt on an Ewok and cram him in next to Malibu Barbie. I had earned the right to drive that 'Vette along those ebony and ivories in celebration of their inter-species marriage.

I’m not the only one whose eyes lit up like a Light Brite with neon pink naughty words written all over it (now available with extra black paper!). Everyone around my age remembers the joy of that book. Yet, sadly, no one remembers getting any of those beautifully photographed, wildly expensive goodies. All hope for those toys they had so painstakingly circled with a pen while simultaneously fighting off siblings who claimed it was their turn to look at it! Gimme! seemed to vanish come Christmas morning. No one seems to remember getting anything they “wished” for.

Sadly, in our home the Wish Book has been replaced by the ├╝ber evil Pottery Barn Kids catalog. Oh, you know it's evil incarnate. As I look over my young one’s shoulder while she peruses the pages in search of just the right baby doll carriage (you know the one, it matches the $800 one you never bought for your own child), I realize these people are not catering to the 99%. I do not have a ski home, nor will I ever. I do not have the ability, or the finances, to replace every home accessory I have with brand new, stylish PBK holiday accessories. I do not have my child, her doll, and all her friends in matching backpacks in a ski school. Our holiday kids' table will be lucky to have a tablecloth on it, never mind coordinated place-mats, napkins, centerpieces, and activities (What the hell ever happened to smashing the youngest kid’s face into a piece of pie as an "activity"?).

So maybe the Wish Book really is the same as the Pottery Barn Kids catalog (and the Pottery Barn regular catalog for that matter). Maybe these new rags are the latest catalyst for all the holiday mayhem that ensues around this time of year. Maybe they both are symbols of wishes--unfulfilled wishes, but wishes nonetheless, damn it! Where’s my pen? Mama wants a ski house to match her couch.

Keep wishing people and let the Happy Holidays begin!
your favorite mermaid