Sunday, April 4, 2010
Is Easter The New Christmas?
I tell ya what, times have certainly changed from when I was a kid. It would seem that Easter has become Spring Christmas! I will admit, that Dylan got Alvin & The Chipmunks: The Squeequel (or however that imaginary word is spelled)... on DVD because I wasn't paying $25 for a freakin' Blu Ray of THAT... not to mention, for a kid! And he got a 3-month Runescape card, which was like $21. So that's pretty elaborate, compared to the sucktacular (speaking of made-up words) old school Easter candy I used to get: godawful jelly beans... nuthin' gourmet about those, they all tasted the same, like chewy sugar, except black, which tasted like Nazism; pecan logs, which thankfully seem to have gone extinct; and those vile Peeps that still linger... Peeps are actually the new Candy Corn. And of course, dyed hard boiled eggs... STILL don't see how that qualifies as ANY sort of treat. Although, they do make a fine addition to any sandwich I have discovered. Even so, are children suddenly sandwich gourmets? I can surely attest that mine is not. Also, I don't get how hiding said perishable edibles OUTSIDE in like bushes and shrubs makes you want to even touch one, much less ingest it! Maybe we should take to hiding all of our meals outdoors just for fun. "I found the mashed potatoes next to this raccoon's nest! Nom nom nom!"
Now, as I said, Dylan's Easter spoils are pretty elaborate to me, but I don't think it's as extreme as it would appear that other children's are. Conferring with people at work, it turns out some folks spend like $400 on Easter basket stuffers! They get REAL toys and BIKES and iPods and video games... and video game SYSTEMS! One lady said her sister gives her kids King's Island season passes! That's like $75 each! Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if some lucky soul found this in their basket:
I spent less than $50 altogether, and the main reason I went this route is that Dylan NEVER eats candy. So after buying him candy every holiday, I finally realized it's a hollow gesture and just opted to spend the money on something he'd actually use. Originally, it was just going to be the Runescape card, but he'd wanted to see Alvin when it was in theaters and we never got around to it. Oh and I got him some boxers because the ones he currently has look TINY... oh and for those who haven't seen him in a while, he's officially bigger than ME now. Not taller, just... y'know, girthier. He has to wear grown up clothes now. Even I don't have to do that! I did get him a Reece's egg and some Robin's Eggs because you kind of have to get those. No jelly beans. We still have bags of those from when David and I went to the Jelly Belly factory last fall. I also passed on the chicken that poops out gum eggs... once again, how is that enticing? What's next, chocolate shaped like actual doo doo?! With gummy flies on it? GROSS! I'm stunned that isn't already a real thing. (Yes, I used the word "doo doo.")
Anyway, last night at work, in the mad dash to buy everything at the last possible second, some bitch got huffy with me because we didn't have jump ropes. Look, here's a news flash and please pass it on to all adults, particularly older ones... it's 2010 not 1950! Kids don't play with jump ropes, hula hoops, pogo sticks, marbles, jacks, tinker toys, Lincoln Logs, yo yos... I'm sure I'm forgetting some, but you get the gist. They also don't build wooden club houses for their He-Man Woman Haters Club where they put on vaudeville shows! Little Rascals reference. That made me happy at least. I'm sure I forgot something, but yeah. Try dialing it up to this CENTURY. Does anyone even know HOW to play marbles? I remember having them as a kid, but never had one inkling of what they were used for, other than the obvious, throwing them on the ground if you're being chased so that the pursuer slips and falls on them. With that funny woooop-wooop-wheeeee sound effect. Then you can smack them in the head with a frying pan. Or a rolling pin. You choose.
Ugh. Lincoln Logs along with Tinker Toys ARE actually available at Target... in that retro toy aisle that NO ONE even buys anything from, even though they do have some really neat replicas of old Fisher Price toys like that little wooden bee that you pull around or the little school house music player thingee... I think the only things that actually sell are the sock monkeys and Raggedy Ann dolls. One thing that gets picked up constantly are the Jack In A Boxes, but I don't think people actually buy them, they just pick them up, carry them around the store and discard them. Anyhoo, back to Lincoln Logs and Tinker Toys... they're called LEGOS look into them. You build ANYTHING out of Legos. You know what you can build out of Lincoln Logs? Log cabins. THAT'S. IT. Tinker Toys are even worse. All you can build are... joints. And not the kind you smoke, either. But like, "Hey, look, I built two sticks, joined together by this socket. Oh look, now it's three sticks! Woooooo! Gettin' freaky!" Boo! Horrible toys!
Perhaps most appallingly, I once had a woman of the trash blanc persuasion who asked me if we had any toy guns that weren't Nerf guns. The question caught me completely off guard. I was dumbfounded. My initial reaction was to reply, "Why on Earth would you want to give your kid a toy gun? What the hell is wrong with you? Why not just give him a baby doll to shake and throw around while you're at it?" It really hadn't occurred to me until that moment just how times had changed, because they TOTALLY still made toy guns when I was a kid. But even so, it was such a subtle transition that I hadn't noticed it until just then. Oh well, that woman will learn her lesson when she has to go bail little Billy Bob out of jail next week.
One final note, speaking of changes, at Target there's one aisle that's always the "stocking stuffer" aisle, G30. It gets divided up into these little bins with all these seasonal toys, most of which are just like holiday themed versions of real toys, like for Easter, there are Easter Polly Pockets or Mini Barbies or Thomas the Train etc. toys. Someone said something to me about how some guy didn't want to refer to Good Friday as "Good Friday" but as something like "Spring Friday" or something. She didn't explain it very well, but I gather it has something to do with that whole separation between church and state thing, like why no one wants the 10 commandments posted in municipal buildings and such. But then I realized last night that NONE of these toys say Easter on them. It's like "Spring Polly Pocket" or "Spring Thomas the Train" even though they clearly have like Easter eggs or bunnies and other Easter-specific accessories or images on them... most of them actually come in egg-shaped packages!
So, I'm not sure how to feel about this one. I mean, obviously, I'm not Christian, but I still partake in the holidays because they're fun. Also, I generally get screwed out of holidays off work, so I'm taking advantage wherever I can. Like with Christmas, I just say it's a celebration of family and love and giving. You kinda can't get away from Christmas. Sorry, Jews. But with Easter... you can totally just ignore it, the way whites do Black History Month. It's not this all pervasive thing that you can't get away from. I'd totally ignore it, if I didn't have a kid. But are they trying to appeal to non-Christians, like "Hey Muslims, you can still buy this pastel Polly Pocket!" Or is it a PC thing like, "Sorry about the pastel Polly Pocket, Muslims. But, y'know she's just dressed for spring, not specifically Easter. Ignore the basket of eggs in her hand." Hmmmm?
Anyway... enjoy the dirty eggs your kids found lying all over the lawn!