Unable To Bear Christmas Without One

, , , , | | Hopeless | August 19, 2019

(I take my young son to visit Santa. He tells Santa what he wants and then says:)

Son: “And please get my little sister a Bedtime Bubba Bear.”

Santa: “Of course! It is very nice of you to ask for something for your sister.”

(Santa is clearly touched. He winks at me and smiles at the tiny girl I am holding. But I am horrified! This is the “Tickle Me Elmo” of that year. EVERYONE wants that toy and all stores are sold out! The next few days are spent calling stores. No luck. I look in the paper and see several listed in the classified section. Some are outrageously priced. The silly things are expensive to begin with and everyone who has one wants to make a profit, of course. One person is selling two at not too much more than the store price. I call the number and arrange to pick up one of the bears. When I get there, they indeed have the prized bear. I’m a pretty strong woman. I’m tall. I work in a field that, at the time, is dominated by men. But I see that bear and just fall apart!)

Me: “Oh, my! Yes! Finally! I HAD to find one! My son asked Santa to bring this bear to his little sister. His sister is disabled and can’t ask for anything for herself. This may be the last year he believes in Santa. I couldn’t bear to disappoint him. He saw the commercial and said maybe this bear could help his sister learn to talk. Everything at home is about his sister. Therapies. Modifications. He wanted to be able to help, too. I couldn’t let such a kind thought not come to fruition. I just had to find this bear! Thank you!

(The poor lady just looks stunned, having been run over by my word-train.)

Lady: “Um. Oh. That’s really something.”

Me: “Oh, no! I forgot to get change. I only have 20s. I can go to the store and get change if you don’t have any.”

Lady: “No. No, I have change.”

Me: “Oh. Thank you. And, again, sorry for that.”

(I give her five 20s, take the bear, wrap it in my jacket — the kids are actually in the car — and take the change the woman puts in my hand. I thank her again and head out to the car. When I get home, I realize that instead of $15, this woman has given me $40 in change. I call her to let her know I’ll drop the money off on my way to work.)

Me: “Hi. I’m the crazy woman who bought the bear. I’m afraid you got the bills in your wallet shuffled. I got too much change. I’ll swing it by in the morning if that’s okay. I can slide it through your mail slot if that’s too early.”

Lady: “No. You got the right change. Your daughter needs that bear. Your son needs your daughter to have that bear.”

(She hung up. And I cried. My daughter is in her 20s now and has three toys from her youth: the bunny who accompanied her to the hospital for her surgeries, a bunny a sweet lady gave her in the hospital, and Bedtime Bubba.)

Blame Canada! Part 8

, , , , , , | | Right | June 4, 2019

(I’m a dispatcher on the phone with an irate Boston customer for nearly twenty minutes about the fact that his hot tub will not be delivered until after the Canadian Holiday.)

Caller: “What do you mean, you will be delivering it Tuesday?! Today is Monday, and on Friday, the tracking said one business day until delivery!”

Me: “Yes, I apologize on our company’s behalf. But, as I have mentioned, we have a holiday in Canada on Monday and, therefore, it will not arrive until tomorrow.”

Caller: “That’s garbage! It’s not even a real holiday! Why the h*** is it not being delivered?”

(I’m tired of repeating myself, but I try once more.)

Me: “It is being delivered, sir, but all our drivers are off Monday so they can be with their families.”

Caller: “That’s it! Get me your manager on the phone now! Someone is going to be in hot water here!”

Me: “And it certainly won’t be you, sir. Have a nice day!” *click*

(My boss had to give me a little grief for this one, but after a good chuckle. Yes, Americans, Canadian holidays are as real to us as yours are to you.)

Related:
Blame Canada! Part 7
Blame Canada! Part 6
Blame Canada! Part 5

Santa Doesn’t Take Back Gifts

, , , , , , | | Right | May 29, 2019

(A lady walks into up to the return counter. It’s about mid-August. She is carrying a red and green holiday bag.)

Customer: “I want to return this.” *dumps out a toddler onesie that is printed like a Santa suit*

(I check the receipt. It’s from December of last year.)

Me: “Ma’am, this is from Christmas of last year. It’s not in our system. If you don’t want it anymore, I’d suggest donating it because we can’t take it back. Sorry.”

Customer: “My daughter told me to return this. No wonder she gave it to me; she was too ashamed to go herself! I can’t believe she did that to me. Sorry I wasted your time.”

(She wadded up the suit and the bag and stormed out. I would not want to be her daughter when she gets home.)

Someone Made Your Dream(boat) Come True

, , , , , , , | | Hopeless | May 25, 2019

In 1973 or ‘74, when I was five or six years old, my family and I lived in Phoenix. We had very little in the way of money or material things, but we were a happy little family for the most part. My brother was just a baby, and my sister and I spent our days playing outside in the Arizona sunshine. That year was a particularly lean one for us. We drove up to Flagstaff to cut our own Christmas tree, free of charge back then, I think, and made our decorations from egg cartons and glitter. It must have been a hard time for my mother and stepfather, but I can’t remember really wanting for much; we were always fed and clothed.

I can still remember sitting down at the kitchen table to write my annual letter to Santa. I told him that we didn’t have much, and that I knew he was very busy, but that I had a few small requests for him. My sister loved to read, and I asked him if he could bring her some books and something for my baby brother. We pretty much lived on tuna and macaroni those days and I asked Santa for a ham or turkey as a special treat for our family’s Christmas dinner. I closed my letter with a special request, stating, “If you have room in your sleigh, I would love a Barbie Dream Boat.” I was obsessed with Barbies, and the Dream Boat was all the Barbie rage that Christmas. I sealed the letter in an envelope, gave it to my mother, and really didn’t think much more about it since Mom had told me that kids didn’t always get what they wanted from Santa, seeing as how he was a very busy man with lots of children on his list.

A few days before the “big day,” we went out shopping with the little money we had. We bought gifts for our family and I remember how sad my mom looked while we shopped that day. Looking back, I know that her melancholy was due to not being able to give her children the fantastic holiday that all children desire. I was sad for her.

We returned home from our excursion and piled into the house, removing our coats and falling back into whatever activities were abandoned earlier in the day. Minutes later, I remember hearing bells and a hearty, “Ho, Ho, Ho!” from the front yard of our run-down little house. My sister and I ran out onto the front porch to see our stepfather walking toward the house, arms full of brightly-wrapped presents. Much to our delight, there were more on the tailgate of our old Willys Jeep, including a big ham. He told us that Santa had just been there, saying that he had made a special early trip to our humble home. He explained that the bells we had heard were from Santa’s sleigh and that we had just missed seeing him fly away with his reindeer. We were all very excited, me especially, happy in the knowledge that Mr. Claus had read my letter.

Christmas morning was delightful! Santa had filled my entire list, complete with a set of Winnie-the-Pooh books for my sister and a Mickey Mouse blanket for my baby brother. There were gloves for all of us, and big marker sets for my sister and me. The biggest present of all was for me, and you never saw such a happy little girl when I finally took off the wrapping. It was the Barbie Dream Boat I had asked for! It was a happy Christmas, indeed!

I got many hours of fun playtime out of that cardboard and plastic boat, and we all enjoyed the presents that “Santa” had brought us. We filled our tummies with ham and had a wonderful day. For many years to come, I was a firm believer in Santa Claus, even though he never again gave me exactly the items on my wish list. After all, he was a very busy man with lots of children’s dreams to fulfill.

Many years later, my mother and stepfather sat my sister and me down on the couch and said that they had something to tell us. They reminded us of that Christmas, which we still remembered well. We were 12 and 14 by that time, and our belief in Santa was fading fast, if not completely gone. They told us of a postal worker in Phoenix who picked one child’s letter each year, and that the letter he picked that year was mine. He had told my parents that my letter touched his heart because I had put myself last on the list, thinking of my family before asking for myself. They had prearranged a time for him to drop off the goodies, and staged it so that it would seem as if Santa had really been there. I have to admit I was just a little crushed to find out that it wasn’t really St. Nick who had paid us a visit that year, but I knew in my adolescent mind that it just couldn’t have been.

It warms my heart to this day to share that story, and to think about the way that postal worker made our holiday a happy one. I often wish that I knew his name so that I could thank him personally, but I’m sure he knows how much it meant to all of us.

I Shall Diminish, And Go To The East(er)

, , , , , | Working | April 21, 2019

(It is the Saturday before Easter. I work in a flooring store at the front desk reception. After a busy day, we are closing the showroom and the president of the company is leaving. As he is walking out the door, he is waving goodbye.)

Me: “Bye! Have a happy Easter!”

Boss: *smiles and laughs while he waves out the door*

(I was a little puzzled by his reaction, but then I remembered… my boss is Jewish. I had just wished my JEWISH boss a HAPPY EASTER! I laid my head on my desk, utterly mortified by what I had just done.)

Page 1/8212345...Last