For me, it was an action figure from the Six Million Dollar Man television series – look it up, kids – and tracking it down sent my parents on a quest from one toy store to another.
Confused? Join the club, pal. You have to pay close attention when you’re a parent and that’s not always easy. Thankfully, Google is there to bail you out. Monster High is the latest – although the way things change in the kid world, it’s probably been replaced already – “Must-Have” toy to hit stores.
In a nutshell, they’re the teenage daughters of famous monsters. Just think Barbie meets Bratz meets Universal Monsters and you’ve got it. A couple of kids fell for them and now they all have to have them or they’ll suffer an aneurysm or something. It’s all beyond me but I know one thing: the look on my daughter’s face when she acquires one of these dolls compels me to move Heaven and Earth to get one.
All parents know what I’m talking about. We’ve all been there at some point or another; sometimes we succeed and snatch that elusive item just in time – sometimes we literally grab it from another poor slob – and sometimes we don’t. I shudder to recall my epic failures and so we won’t discuss them here. Either way, it’s a tough racket.
- You scroll through one eBay window after another, searching for a dealer whose price won’t force you to sell a kidney, and then you spend days running back and forth to the computer, checking your auction ranking.
- The phone book sits open for hours as you call every store in your area and listen to more Muzak versions of Celine Dion tunes than you can stand! When you do reach someone, you have to repeat yourself numerous times, as the pimply faced kid on the phone is more clueless than you are!
- When you do hit the jackpot, you have to hope the clerk on the phone will actually have enough compassion in their Big Box heart to hold the item in question until you can race out there without running into a speed trap!
If luck – and the Fates - are truly on your side, you’ll snag that special treasure and fill your child’s heart with love and gratitude. All will be right in your universe.
Until the next rare item catches their eye.