December 2, 2011

Forever Wanting

Today's NaBloPoMo prompt: What was the most disappointing gift you received as a child?

The holidays are not the best time to manage expectations. I love birthdays, vacations, holidays, any special occasion. I plan every detail to try and make it memorable for my daughters, husband, and family.

When the occasion doesn't live up to my often overblown expectations, disappointment follows. I've learned this about myself and try to keep celebrations more low-key. At the end of the day, I want my family to feel loved. I want to create memories.

The few times I was disappointed as a child had nothing to do with gifts I received, but rather something I wanted and didn't get. My lists were full of high expectations, as are my kids' lists every year. This year, my middle daughter has a star and ranking system for her wants. The higher the item on the list and the more it's surrounded by stars, the more she wants it.

The most glaring omission through the years was a book I wanted. Yes, a book. I begged my parents for Judy Blume's Forever. Even then, I was an avid reader. Mom always encouraged reading, and books were something she'd splurge on in between special occasions. A friend and I were talking about Judy Blume and she asked if I'd read Forever. I had never heard of it. She couldn't believe it. According to her older sister, it was the only Blume book worth reading. I had to have it.

It was close to Christmas, so I put it at the top of my list. Christmas morning came and went. No Forever. I knew the book was a little more mature than the other Blume books I'd read, but I figured Mom wouldn't research a book request. Boy, was I wrong.

Long story short, Mom was not easily fooled. She pulled me aside later Christmas day and told me the book was inappropriate and written for an older audience. Thanks to my friend's older sister, I ended up reading it on the sly later the next year. Mom was right, but I will forever (pun intended) remember my drive to read that book. To this day, I credit my love of reading to both Mom and Judy Blume.

Fun fact: The very first author I followed on Twitter... you guessed it, Judy Blume.

What was your most memorable gift request that was denied?


Unknown said...

I honestly can't think of a time when I *didn't* get what I asked for. I know that sounds terribly spoiled of me, but you have to understand I usually asked for only one thing, and it was never so far out there that my parents (or Santa) couldn't manage. One year I wanted a talking Cabbage Patch Doll in the worst way. I had opened all my gifts, and yet no doll. Only when I looked properly crestfallen did my parents point to a gift hiding in the corner, ala The Christmas Story. And there was my doll!

PS - To this day I don't think I've ever read Forever. I think I'll have to give it a go. :-D

Nicole Bandes said...

I have always had my kids rank their Christmas lists. I never know what they want most so that's always been our solution.

For me, the gift I didn't get has been as an adult. I've known my husband for 12 years and for 12 years I've asked him for a gift certificate to get massages or have someone come in to clean my house. I've made it a BIG deal every year. Every year, nothing. And my birthday is Dec 19th so, you'd think with TWO dates to have to shop for, one of them would work.

He says it's not very exciting to give a gift certificate. He's never seen how happy I can be watching someone else clean my house!

This year I finally decided to get myself the massages. I'm tired of waiting! ;)

Katrina said...

My girls never seem to want anything when i ask them so it's always a bit of a guessing game. I learnt to never bother asking for things cause we always got what my sister wanted so it wasn't worth thinking about what I wanted and asking for it or hoping for it because it would always end up in disappointment. Now if i come across something during the year that I really want (this year a friends shop was having a huge clearance sale on all these great garden pots at very low prices, I went and put a whole lot of them and some pavers and told them I had bought my Christmas present for myself)

Jessica Therrien said...

What a cute post! How sweet that you wanted to read it sooo badly, and I love that you read it on the sly lol. Very funny.

Tia Bach said...

Thanks to everyone for stopping by and showing some blog love.

Melissa, What a sweet story! Obviously I didn't have too many disappointments if Forever is my big example. ;-)

Nicole, Too funny. I agree. People always say gift cards are impersonal, but I love spending money after Christmas on what I really want.

Katrina, Funny that you say that because I've had to pull my six-year-old aside and ask about her Christmas list because my older two keep trying to "influence" her.

Jessica, Mom just made me want to read it more by not giving it to me! ;-)

Hope you are all enjoying the holiday season.

Anonymous said...

The pogo stick I asked for and received when I was six was sooooo heavy and sooooo sturdy (I suspect my father selected it) that I couldn't use it--I wasn't heavy enough to depress the spring. I still wasn't heavy enough when I was in high school. I think my father tried it and he wasn't heavy enough. But it was a nice pogo stick, and of course, it was the thought that counted.

Tia Bach said...

Kathy, And that pogo stick ended up being quite the memory!

Thanks for stopping by!