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Saturday, December 11, 2004

Santa's Screw Up

I hope Santa is a little more on the ball now than he was in Christmases past. By "Christmases past" I really mean the one in the year 1970-something. Or, as I like to call it, the year of Santa's screw-up.

Santa, who obviously was having a bad year or drank too much spiked eggnog, did not get me the one thing I wanted more than anything in the world. I was a little girl with big hopes of a Raggedy Ann or Andy doll under my Christmas tree.

I didn't get either of them. They both were under my tree, however. Tragically (to me at the time) the "To" and "From" tag did not reveal my name. Instead, written in that oh-so-familiar writing was, "To: Angie, From: Santa." I was devastated.

I remember it like it was yesterday. My heart sank, tears welled up, my belly was hot inside and I tried to act like everything was right with the world. My world, as I knew it, hit a downward spiral but I tried not to let it show as I unwrapped the Twister game I didn't ask for.

What was so mystifying to me was that my sister Angie, who is about two years older than me, didn't even like Raggedy Ann or Andy. Why Santa got them for her, I couldn't figure out for the life of me. I was hurt, crushed, heartbroken and all kinds of mad.

In addition to not being nearly as good as me that year, Angie told everyone she was getting too old to play with dolls. Being the youngest in a family with eight kids, I always was getting overlooked. Santa, whom I'd always held to a higher standard, was not supposed to be like my Mom and call me by the wrong name. I thought he certainly couldn't forget me, the smiley, freckled-faced kid who didn't cry or wet her pants when she sat on his lap at the mall.

Boy, was I wrong! That fat prick not only forgot me but gave the best present in the whole wide world to the meanest, nastiest bitch on the planet, Angie. Damn Angie! Damn that fat SOB and his stupid reindeer! I vowed if I ever saw Santa again, I would stuff my giant candy cane in his giant ass.

There sat Angie, the dolls flung to the side as she scrambled to see what else she got.

"What an ungrateful greedy brat!" I thought. "How could she just toss them aside like that?"

I hated her! I hated that she had what I wanted, and I was stuck with a game that not even my imaginary friend would play with me.

Had Santa completely lost his fucking mind? He gave this wonderful gift to the same kid who should have been at the top of the naughty list. This was the same girl who used to sit on my chest, pin my arms with her knees and dangle spit in my face. Sure she sucked it back before it actually landed on me, most of the time. I had nightmares about bungee cord luggies attacking me and she got my fucking doll!

I slid closer to her, hoping to not be noticed. As I inched my way over and almost got my hand on one of those dolls, she turned her head, (like Linda Blair in the Exorcist) and said, "Aren't they cute?"

"Of course they are cute, you twit" I thought. "But I knew they were cute WAY before you did."

I asked her if she really, really, really liked them or if she was up for a trade. I looked to my bartering items and all I had to work with was a can of slime, a Slinky, a bag of marbles, bubble bath foam, an Easy-Bake Oven without the light bulb and a stupid game I didn't ask for.

I was denied immediately. She claimed to love those dolls, as they lay facedown tossed aside like yesterday's trash. Of course, she also claimed to love me. I'm sure you can understand why I had doubts.

Later that day, I hoped the thrill would wear off. As I awaited her loss of interest, I saw her. She was stripping them. (Every kid strips the dolls they like the most, it's an unwritten rule in the Guide To Playing With Dolls.) There it was, underneath the little jumper outfits, a heart, on each doll's chest, inscribed with the words "I Love You" and that was it, she was in love, for real. She didn't just think they were cute, now she really loved them.

I was kind of hoping the novelty would wear off. It didn't. After 20 years in therapy, I think I might be over it. OK, I am. I really am over it. I was able to overcome such a horrific time in my childhood because Angie ended up loving those dolls more than I was capable of. Although, I am still pissed off at Santa, I'm learning to deal with that as well.

Angie no longer pins me down to dangle luggies at me but she still loves Raggedy Ann, Andy and their dog Raggedy Arthur. They have a fucking dog? I didn't know that! Of course if I had, that fat bastard at the North Pole probably would have made sure my sister got him too.