Sunday, December 05, 2010

the best gifts i never received

when i was a child, my list of desired christmas gifts was severely limited by 1. knowing we didn't really have enough money for expensive toys and 2. lack of imagination.

all i really wanted was either a Speak & Spell or an Etch a Sketch – a likely foreshadowing of my attraction to laptops and smartphones. i remember that every time i unwrapped a semi-large christmas gift from 'santa', i prayed with all my might that i would find one of those two toys. but it never happened (i eventually forgave santa, fyi) and i just went back to shampooing funny-looking-Barbie's hair (there is a whole other story about our very limited Barbie collection).

because Speak & Spell was always out of reach, i developed a healthy relationship with our clunky manual typewriter. 

(kids, a typewriter is a computer that does not spellcheck, cannot play music and is not compatible with facebook. much like a computer, however, it can fracture your toes if you drop it during transport. that's all you really need to know.) 

during the summer before grade 4, i was so bored that i taught myself how to type using a typewriting book i found lying around (this explains a lot about me). unfortunately, school started just when the lesson was about typing numbers and symbols, and i never mastered them in the same way i mastered the letters (damn you, school!). i remember this trivial fact every time i have to pause to look at the keys for numbers or most of the symbols. in the interest of time, i should just spell everything out. for instance colon On september one comma nineteen seventy three comma i was born exclamation point open parenthesis i am not that old three exclamation points close parenthesis period

insignificant note: as a result of typing every day for work and other equally important tasks, such as blogging and chatting, i have forgotten how to write. like on paper. just the other day, i had to fill out a few raffle tickets and my name looked like '/\ /\ /\ /\' and my phone number, '| ) ( ( |'. i imagine this would present a slight problem when i win and they need to send me my audi.

my beloved but (sadly) silent keyboard
i probably liked anything with keyboards much earlier though, because growing up, my ultimate dream job was to be a cashier. i used to pretend i worked in a grocery or shoemart (kids, that's 'SM' to you) and used my dad's big calculator to input pretend prices. the louder the punching noises i made, the better. i suppose i also never let go of my love for typing loudly until adulthood. i had a female boss that used to yell from her desk for me to stop typing loudly because she couldn't work. as to whether or not i did it intentionally to irritate her into resignation, i will take to my grave. (ps, it didn't work. she used her office power to find a new and slightly less scandalous keyboard for me.)

speaking of which, here is today's featured martina snippet (was that the longest introduction or what?):

martina's mommy (aka my sister) was organizing her children's toys and asked martina which toys she could pack in storage and possibly give away. 'martina, can we keep this toy?' to this martina said,

'you can keep all of those except the CHING-CHING.'

naturally (and shame on you for not guessing correctly), ching-ching was her toy cash register. except it wasn't really a cash register as much as it was the bottom part of a toy blender. i always knew this kid was after my own heart.

ever since i found out about ching-ching, i've been wondering if it would be cool to give her a toy cash register for Christmas, but it might send her the wrong message (like makeshift ching-chings are not good enough). as i learned from my own childhood, a little bit of deprivation never hurt anyone, particularly growing children who find joy in every tiny ching-ching. maybe it would be just as fun if i wrap her current ching-ching* and write on a little card to say 'merry Christmas to my favorite 4-year-old. love, /\ /\ /\ /\'

*i know i overdid it on the 'ching-ching' but i like how it sounds and it fits in rather well with the season. chingle all the way.

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