Monday, December 17, 2012

I lost my S#!T at Toys R Us


There are two types of people; Those who don’t know who Doc Mcstuffins is, and those who just started singing “The Doc is in, here to fix you up…” in their head. I am the latter of those subgroups.
My three year old daughter, Bre, is infatuated with this Disney character, who happens to be a lovable little doctor of stuffed animals with various maladies.
It is a new cartoon, therefore you would think that when my daughter told me she wanted a Doc Mcstuffins doll back in October, I would have had that checked off my list before you could say, “Black Friday”.  Oh, but alas I did not and as the season went on. I looked down upon those consumerism crazed participants, marching so elegantly to the drum of the corporate machine, standing in line for hours to get their children the latest and greatest at slashed prices. I laughed manically when they showed the shoving and pushing against the Wal-Mart doors. I even held quiet distain for the new version of the American child, enslaving their parents to their desires.
Saturday, December 15, 2012. 6:12 PM. The Toys R Us parking lot was packed. Walking in, I saw many half empty shelves. The first wave of panic crashed over me. I directed myself to the isle most likely to shelve the doll that would make or break my daughter’s Christmas.
Standing ten feet away, I saw it, the only one. A glow formed around it, it was as if all was right in the world. As I moved at a quickened pace toward it, a sales lady bumped her way in front of me, a blonde woman in tow.
“Now,” said the lady in an upbeat, feverishly pitched voice, “this is what you want to get your niece. This is the hottest toy this year. I don’t even know how we have one at this time. They are selling for twice as much on Amazon. You must get this.”
The woman started biting her lip, picked up the toy and looked confused. “I really didn’t want to spend so much!” She said in an almost comically horrendous New York accent. “Who is this Doc Stuffs anyway? Fourty-five dollahs? Fouuuurtie fwive dollahs? Ahre you serious?!” The combination of her accent plus the volume of her voice cleared the isle of the majority of shoppers. “I have to call my sistah!”
As she took out her phone to dial, the sales associate made sure to reiterate how impossible it was to get this toy. My stomach in knots, visions of the worst Christmas ever flashed through my head. Visions in which Bre shouts, “Santa isn’t real, you lied. You are such a horrible mother!” and grows up to be a lawyer.
I knew what I had to do. New York lady put down the doll on the shelf so that she could use both her thumbs in an attempt to browse her contacts. It was my moment, I had to act quickly. Pushing the sales lady to the side, I jumped in, stole the Doc and ran out of there.
“My doll! It’s GONE!” I heard as I zigged and zagged through the people, trying to get lost in the crowd. I had to change my look, I had been seen. Thankfully, I pulled out a hair tie and a spare hoodie from my ginormous “mom” bag. I hid out in a deserted isle of educational toys made of wood until I had felt the coast was clear.  I paid for it, and got the hell out of there.
On the ride home, I was reflective. Not only of the obvious morality issues I must have, but also of my ability to throw every ideal out the window when it comes to receiving approval from my preschool aged little girl.
What precedence had I just set? Is this a path that can be changed? In what other ways am I compromising who I am to get approval from those I love? It was slightly disturbing to think about.
As I walked in the door to the house, my husband gave me a nervous glance over the head of our daughter.
“The Doc is In!” I shouted as I gave him a high-five.
 
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