Repost by Request: The Polaroid That Wasn’t

Since we are in the midst of the holiday season, I’ve got a few holiday stories to share with you.  Just in case I’ve got any new readers, MrsTDJ is an only child with a pair of the best parents ever.  But, as if often the case, looks can be deceiving and there were a few times growing up when I let the smooth taste fool me.  I didn’t often up act.  Why? Mainly because I didn’t have a reason to and I was terrified of my parents.  Hell, I was a good kid and my family spoiled me.  **shrugs**  No reason to sugar coat that or pretend that I wasn’t.  Every now and then though, I’d act a fool.  Yeah, it happens to the best of us.  Kids are inherently dumb.  Even the brightest most intelligent ones are apt to make the kind of choices that make you question your earlier assessment of their mental acuity.  “She did what?”  “MrsTDJ?  Seriously?”  Yes, seriously.

So, picture it – the holiday season of 1984, I was 8 and I was soooooo excited Christmas.  My parents would let me look at the annual J.C. Penney Sears toybook and fold back the pages on the things I liked.  I can’t remember everything that I wanted that year, but I do know that a Care Bear, a Rubik’s Cube, a Cabbage Patch horse and a Polaroid camera were high on the list.  Maybe I was so excited that Christmas was coming that I lost my mind a little in the classroom.  For a stretch of about 2 weeks, I just stopped doing my homework.  WTH?  Yeah, like THAT wouldn’t get back to my parents.  And, um, yeah my mom was president of the PTA and in the school at least twice a week.  **shaking my head** Just how smart was I at that moment in time?

Anyway, my teacher never sent a note home and didn’t call the house, as far as I could tell.  I walked home from school and always brought the mail in, so I knew I hadn’t missed any letters.  This was in the days before caller ID, so maybe she had called and I missed it, but I was naive and over-confident that she hadn’t.  Leading up to Christmas, my parents and I continued all of our normal holiday traditions like tree shopping together, singing carols in the neighborhood, baking cookies for family and friends, etc.   After spending a few hours with other family members, I returned home the weekend before Christmas to find the area under and around the tree overflowing with presents. YES!!!! Christmas couldn’t come soon enough!!

One of our family traditions was to open our stockings and one small gift on Christmas Eve.  I don’t remember what my parents opened, but my stocking was filled with new books like Ramona Quimby and Curious George.   I opened a box that contained this:

Yeah baby!!! Film for a Polaroid camera that I didn’t own yet, so it must be under the tree for Christmas!!  Woo hoo!!!  I could hardly sleep that night thinking about all the pictures I’d be taking of our family on Christmas day.  Bright and early Christmas morning, I sprung from bed, woke my parents and sprinted down to the living time to tackle the mound of presents that had been there me.  As I turned the corner, I stopped short and my breath caught in my chest.  Da hell????  Where did all the presents go????  We had gone to bed to a room full of presents and now they had almost all disappeared.

I spun on my heels and yelled for my parents, “We’ve been robbed.  Santa or somebody took our presents!”  Yeah, funny now, right?  Santa?  Santa stole your presents??

My parents shook their heads and said, “No, we haven’t been robbed.  That big one there in the front is for you.”

One?  Hmmmm.  Maybe they had decided to wrap everything in one huge box.  Seemed kinda crazy to me at 8, but hey, parents did strange things. I rushed over to my box and began tearing at the paper.  I ripped that box open and there was another box.  Ok, let’s repeat.  I did that 5 times.  You know, something like this on the inside:

Inside the final, small box was a white envelope.  Now remember, I’m 8 years old.  At this point, I’m all kinds of confused and a little frustrated.  I want my freaking camera and my dang toys!  I tore the envelope and about 2 dozen Polaroid pictures fall out.  Of my parents. Wrapping my gifts. My Care Bear. My Rubik’s Cube. My Cabbage Patch pony. And my Polaroid. Then, photos of them all pretty under the tree. Then photo’s of them being loaded into our Volvo. Photos of them being taken into the Salvation Army shelter that was near my elementary school.

Damn. I might have preferred a lump of coal.

And no, they didn’t give me back any of those gifts.  Books and pencils were sufficient for the child who didn’t know how blessed she was.  They told me that my only job was school and since I didn’t want to focus and do well in school, they wouldn’t be focusing on providing me with any extras.  After performing well the rest of the school  year, I did eventually get a Polaroid camera the following Christmas.

MamaTDJ and DaddyTDJ go hard, in the paint, to the hole, EACH AND EVERY TIME.

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12 thoughts on “Repost by Request: The Polaroid That Wasn’t

  1. Lovegirl has been acting a nut the last few weeks. I was talking to my Mom about it. Her advice? “Pull a Mrs. TDJs parents on her!”

    We have been laughing about this post for the last few days – so glad you reposted!!!

  2. Bravo! I feel the pain of your 8-year-old-self…but that was brilliant on your parents’ part! LOL I will have to save that one in my mental archives for when my C.C. gets older!

  3. Y’know. This may be something that the cellist may need if he doesn’t get his act together. The problem is, he’s a sixth grader so I’m wondering if this will backfire on me. A friend of mine gave her son a dictionary after he acted up in school. Amazing post.

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