1. A Present For Ruby!

    EVERY time I go away on business, I like to pick up a little present for one of the kids back home. I find that if I tell them that I’m only buying a present for my favorite, then they all behave a little bit better and I save some money. I’m telling you, I really need to write that parenting book.

    Anyway, Tuesday found me traveling all the way out to Reseda – I had to pick up milk – and you know me and dollar stores. Imagine my delight when I happened across this place:

    Even before entering the store, I’m in love with the place already based on the sign. It starts with the bold headline “DOLLARAMA” which implies – but does not guarantee – that everything is a dollar. Then the subheading (industry term) goes on to tell us that yes, this is in fact a store where all merchandise is “$1 ONLY.” Perfect!

    But hold on a moment! Just as our brains have processed this, it hits us with the rest of it, which is “PLUS DISCOUNT STORE” – and by the time we’ve unraveled that one, we’re already inside. That’s when suddenly we go, “Wait…what?!”  Too late! They’ve got us!

    I’d like to think, and now you would, too, that whatever think tank or public relations company or consulting firm that they hired to write the above sign was the same one behind this one (seen in a previous post):

    Regardless, once inside Dollarama I went to their toy aisle and arbitrarily decided that this time, Ruby was my favorite, and so she’d be getting the present. But what to get?

    She does like her unlicensed Disney knockoff stuff (we’ve carefully avoided buying any licensed Disney merchandise, as it is significantly more expensive), so I thought maybe this would be a good choice:

    But when Ruby plays with her toys, she plays the hell out of ’em and for a long time, all the while having fun doing it. Could this play set take it? As it turns out, according to the package itself, it could:

    …At least I think that’s what it means. So into the “maybe pile” for the Beauty Castle!

    But perhaps she’d rather have this 21-block Tea Set Deluxe!

    I didn’t want to get anything ugly for little Ruby. Nor something made from inferior plastics. I wanted the best welcome gift for the children – eh, child. After all, who wouldn’t?

    Well, according to the package, this thing fits the bill!

    Still, maybe this might be more to the Rube’s liking:

    On the plus side (from the package):

    • Excellent new design
    • NEW pretty beauty set
    • All the vogue all new edition the best gift for you

    and, as you can see:

    • It have creativity and durable, education fun.
    • Look at these attractive pretties! Your kids can choose their favorite ones and buy them home!  (Somehow saving me money!)

    On the minus side:

    The package says “Beauty Doll.”  There’s clearly no doll, beauty or otherwise, in this package; and Ruby, while adorable, is not the sharpest tack on Miss Coulter’s p.m. session kindergarten burlap-covered corkboard. She’ll spend five frustrating hours going through the box looking for a non-existent doll. “Fashion Princess Beauty Doll” was out.

    I came across another tea set, too. While I didn’t take a picture of the whole thing, I did snap a picture of part of it as a reminder to myself:

    This is good to know for the future. Instead of paying $1 only plus at Dollarama, I can probably get this crap wholesale if I go to their showroom.

    So far this has all been princess-themed toys. Fairytale princesses and all that are fine, but some say playtime should be a time of unbridled fantasy, no matter how fanciful and unrealistic. With that in mind, this selection became the front runner:

    It was important, too, that this was something that hideous little rat-child next door, Jessie, didn’t already have (She’s actually a nice kid – cute, really – but I’m having a fight with her father.) This put my mind at ease:

    Clearly little Jessie (with her enormous fivehead) doesn’t have it yet!

    It was at this point when I realized that the money on my meter was about to expire and, hell, I love my kids, but there’s loving your kids and then there’s avoiding an unnecessary parking ticket, right?

    So I just grabbed the next thing I saw:

    Hey, great! I’m thinking, “Maybe if Ruby starts playing with it, Mommy will mimic her and then once in a while they’ll be some goddamn Hamburger Helper on the table when I get home!” (I’m kidding, I’m kidding! Like you, we’re more of a microwavable Banquet pot pie family.)

    So I get home, and everyone gathers ’round the car – and I announce Ruby as my favorite child. Sure, there’s the usual swearing and keying of the driver’s side, but at least one of them is still on my side. That is, until Ruby saw what I got her.

    Then she runs away crying, which was more annoying that hurtful. But when she told me that she wanted to go live with Jessie’s family, that was like a knife to the heart.

    So I asked Tracy what’s the problem.

    “Ted, you jackass! She already has a Kirchen, the Thing of the Kitchen! Don’t you remember? That’s what bit off her pinky last month when she reached way into the back of the fridge for a juice box!”

    Well, how’s that for a coincidence? In my defense, I thought we decided to name it “Kerwin.”

    Posted by on August 25, 2012, 3:02 AM.

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