Speaking Confidentially: 6 December 1997

Shopping with Misfit Toys

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treeShopping and Rudolph

On Saturday HAO and I shopped again. I thought it was crucial to arrive early (but definitely not often). So we pulled in to mall (oops, it's a shopping resort) and commenced. RDC's stocking and BJWL's towels were the order o' the day. But mostly we wandered, after obtaining proper sustenance. Here's a big clue to why I weigh almost 150% of what HAO does: she eats slowly. Also she had some sort of healthy bran and carrot muffin and I had a chocolate and cream cheese croissant. Which was wonderful.

The best wandering happened in the Museum store--not the Metropolitan Museum of Art store, not so limited. We played with the toys, amusing a few small children around us or, more probably, making them hugely envious if they were forbidden to touch. One toy was a hand puppet: a nest with three fledgings in it for three fingers. Fairly weird. And all those puzzles I used to be so good at. And a Curious George-in-the-Box. He was broken, though; he didn't stay in the box.

This led to a discussion of the Charlie-in-the-Box in "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer." What's wrong with a Charley in the box or a spotted elephant or a bird that swims? That Christmas special is so very very 50s. It emphasizes the importance of conformity at every turn: not only is Rudolph ridiculed for having a shiny nose, but Herbie is too for wanting to be a dentist. And the Burl Ives snowman rambles continually about the dangers of going off on one's own. Another very 50s thing: no matter how sad everyone was when Yukon Cornelius with his dogs goes over the edge, clinging to the Bumble, they "all" [sic] knew they had to get the women back to Christmas town. "All" means only the three males of the party, since "the women" are syntactically excluded from the knowing.

I hadn't watched "Rudolph" yet this year (we own it and "It's a Wonderful Life" and need the Grinch and "Miracle on Thirty-Fourth Street") and so asked HAO if she could remember what was misfit about the doll. To a '50s mindset, perhaps a spotted elephant would be a misfit, or a train with square wheels (although some '90s mindset is welcome to my idea to manufacture and market those misfit toys, because I bet a whole bunch of misfit people would love to welcome them into their homes). Anyway, as we abandoned the Curious George-in-the-Box and left the store, neither of us could remember anything obviously wrong about the doll.

In the walkway of the mall, I recognized a marvelous pair of green eyes and an abundance of dark glossy hair. It was CGK's sister Wendy, whom I have only met twice but like quite a bit. I introduced her to HAO and asked her if she could remember anything about the doll. This is why I like her: she a) knew what I was talking about and b) gave the matter some thought. But she couldn't think of anything either. She was a Solo Mission of Consuming and so did not join us--I think only people who shop as a hobby can shop with a partner when they really need to find and spend--and we parted.

treePink and Gray

My mother's bathroom* is pink and gray, which allegedly was a popular color combination when the house was built in 1966. There's a lesson for you in why never to decorate anything you can't afford to redecorate in trendy fashions. It'll be tedious in less than five. And so it is. My father didn't do anything to the inside of the house while he lived there because it would have required him to be inside of the house; now that my mother has that new shiny L in her BJWL, I figure that remodeling downstairs bathroom is on her list of weekend chores. For now, though, I chose towels in an odd shade of pinky-gray that I thought would match both the gray tile and the pink fixtures.

*There are two bathrooms in the house now, but BJWL only put in the second one almost thirty years after the rest of the house was built (she was dating a contractor) and years after I moved out, so it doesn't figure in my memories.

treeMartini Party

And Saturday night we went to a party someone at work hosted: her own apartment is an elevator shaft (her description), and a friend of hers just arrived from D.C., knowing few people but living in a party-ful house, so my coworker and she combined the former's guestlist with the latter's space. I was really impressed by the sheer numbers of people, but then she went to college here. It was a martini party, so everyone's glass added to the general ambiance. If we dolts in sweaters and boots (it was about 15 degrees Fahrenheit) hadn't shown up and the fête had been left to the dressed-up folks, it would have been very Noel Coward.

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Last modified 9 January 1998

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