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That Line In The Sand's Getting Pretty Blurry

I always swore I would never be the parent
who spends a ridiculous amount of money on a toy worth a fraction
of the price, just to satisfy a child’s Christmas wish.
There’s no such thing as “irreplaceable” or
“one-of-a-kind”, and I could easily find a substitute
rather than pay exorbitant prices because of high demand and low
supply. I drew a line in the sand and declared myself firmly on the
side of common sense, of right versus consumerism.

Then Maddie made up her wish list.

I know I’ve blogged about this
before: Maddie was vastly disappointed that Santa didn’t
bring ONE ITEM off her list last year, and has mentioned it
throughout the year. All she wants this year is a ballet bar, a
child-sized one, one that is at least partly pink. I began
searching for it a month ago, and found it at several websites for
around thirty-five bucks. I even had a couple readers write in and
tell me about the same ballet barre, so I knew it was plentiful.
Done, I thought smugly, and set it mentally aside while I dealt
with assembling out-of-town gifts. Plenty of time to order
Maddie’s gift later, I reasoned.

Stupid, stupid, stupid.

Apparently this stupid ballet barre is a hot ticket this year, and
is nowhere to be found now. Every single website is sold out, with
no guarantee it’ll come back in before the holidays. Stores
anticipating a new shipment this weekend won’t guarantee
delivery unless you choose overnight shipping, thereby doubling the
price. Sure, I’ve found the item on Amazon or eBay –
for around a hundred bucks apiece now.

And I have to confess – I thought about it. Sure, I could
make a barre for her room. I could even buy a real ballet practice
barre for the cost. But I just can’t risk it being the wrong
one – not after Santa let her down last year, and not after
she’s stared at a photo and said, “Yep, that
one!” She’d think Santa was truly either 1)stupid,
2)old and forgetful, or 3)disinclined to like Madeleine.

Fortunately, I have triumphed over consumerism. I’ve found
the barre – minus the DVD that’s supposed to come with
it – on Craig’s list for twenty bucks, and I’m
picking it up tomorrow. And I’ve found the DVD on eBay for a
dollar (since no one wants just the DVD) and I’ll hopefully
win it in a couple days. My diligence and refusal to throw a
hundred dollars at a stupid plastic ballet barre has hopefully paid
off – though I can’t count my practice barres until
they’re actually in my hands.

Now on to Cora’s request: all she wants for Christmas is a
real live Christmas tree of her own. Oh, yes, and it’s
supposed to be red.


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