Suburban Snapshots

Enough Already With Elsa

Monday, March 24, 2014

I have a vague memory of the Christmas that my sister got a Cabbage Patch Kid when we other two girls didn't. I don't think I wanted one, but had a notion that people were going batshit crazy for the things and that my aunt had visited both an ancient oracle and a witch doctor just to find out which Toys R Us would have them in stock on a given Tuesday.

Every year I watch people on Black Friday cram themselves through sliding doors to pummel each other toward high-def televisions in the true spirit of the season. I'd smugly snicker with everyone else at lines wrapped around Apple stores for whichever shiny, new gadget I'd end up buying three months later.

My sanctimony was as thick as the smell of people who've spent three nights on the sidewalk outside Best Buy.

And then Frozen happened, and the request for a Frozen-themed birthday party, and while it's established that I'm pretty laid back in my parenting style, it's also understood that I lose my fucking mind over birthdays (I actually enjoy this temporary insanity, it's one of the few times a year my husband just rolls his eyes and shuts his mouth while I spend money on coordinating piñatas and cake plates).

And oh, Anna wants to dress up as Elsa. That's irony, Alanis.

Now, when I say I'm crazy about birthdays, please don't mistake me for the level of crazy that would throw down $250 for a Disney-licensed Elsa dress on eBay, where people who stalk Target's loading docks to intercept new shipments cash in on the tears of a million little girls. No, I'm crazy but I have principles, dammit.

I bought her a $40 pageant dress that I'll staple some shimmery scrap of fabric to. My cousin is braiding a blond wig she wore as Lady Gaga for Halloween and shipping that with a pair of sparkly flats. I ordered the cake to save time, and I'll hang our Christmas lights over the appetizer table for ambiance. Her guest list is limited to family — my sister birthed a child army so I'd never have to invite the whole kindergarten class to a party.

It's the gift that's bringing my crazy to the tipping point. All she's asked for is this dinky little $6 figurine, but like all things Elsa, it's nowhere to be found. I've been ducking into Targets, running through Toys R Us and braved two separate Walmarts on a Saturday. I group-texted friends to be on the lookout, and I'm considering setting up a hunting blind at the...I've said too much.

It's less crazy if you know it's crazy, right? RIGHT?

She may or may not get the doll, but she'll have her party and I'll eat my leftover cake for breakfast and everyone will be happy except my husband, who will remind me for the eleven-billionth time that all he ever had as a kid was "some ice cream cake and a song." Then I'll eat his cake too, and that's not a euphemism.

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