Presents for the Boys in the Pet Department and Elephant “Elephant Gifts”

It’s that time of year again: shopping for Christmas presents for the boys in the pet department.

Why in the pet department?

Because Boy8 asked for teeny-tiny stuffed animals for Christmas this year.  See, for a few glorious years some brilliant toy maker sold teeny-tiny stuffed animals that could easily fit in the palm of your hand with room to spare.  Teeny-tiny lions and teeny-tiny dogs and teeny-tiny horses.  They were adorable and Boy11 and Boy8 loved them.

When Boy8 asked for another one this year for Christmas I had a bad feeling that teeny-tiny stuffed animals were a passed fad and I was right.  I’ve scoured 3 different stores with nary a teeny-tiny stuffed animal to be found, not even in the kryptonite pink girl aisles.   Yes, kryptonite.  They haven’t done it much lately, but whenever the boys used to pass the pink aisles of the toy store they would drop to the floor and crawl past clutching at their throats and gasping out, “It’s…pink…kryptonite!  Gaaa!”

So, with no teeny-tiny stuffed animals to be found in the toy department I was forced to head to the pet department and get those teeny-tiny mice filled with catnip.  Surely some Ritalin will counteract the hyper effects of the catnip and everything will even out…right?

Along with buying my sons’ presents from the pet department, I had to drum up an “elephant gift” for a cookie exchange I’m going to tomorrow.  The same thing happened last year.  I went to the cookie exchange and had to bring an “elephant gift.”  I wasn’t exactly sure what an “elephant gift” was, so I found a quite hideous elephant with a clock in its stomach lurking in a corner of my attic and took it to the exchange.  Turns out the woman who won it was delighted with it and keeps it proudly displayed on a shelf in her living room.  The other women breathed a sigh of relief that they dodged getting the elephant gift from me.

But what the other women don’t know is that I have an extensive elephant figurine collection in boxes in my attic.  No, I’m serious.  I really do.  My mother decided I needed to collect something so she started sending me lots and lots of elephants.  I used to fill the furniture of my house with them, but after a while I got bored with them and boxed them all up and stuffed them in the attic.

I just remembered about 20 minutes ago that I was supposed to bring another “elephant gift” for tomorrow.  Five minutes later I came down from the (freezing) attic with my offering for this year.  It’s brass and is a little tarnished, but it’ll do.  Obviously they secretly want me to bring elephants or they wouldn’t ask for more “elephant gifts.”

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Taken in the bathroom on the toilet. The elephant was on the toilet, not me. Why are bathrooms the only decently lit rooms in the house? Aren’t we all tired of pictures taken in bathrooms?

But just so I wasn’t totally lame, I also tossed in some very nice Christmas ornaments that I found in the (freezing) attic as well.

And now off to make a last batch of cookies for the cookie exchange and to wrap my elephant gift.  If you’re coming to the exchange and pick up a bag that feels heavy enough to hold a big brass elephant, pick another bag.  You’ve been warned.

I am Iron Man…er…I mean Igor.

Ah, Walmart.  My parents used to work at Walmart.  They hated it.  The managers would lock them into the building late at night and refuse to allow the workers to leave until all of the items that customers had misplaced had been put back where they belonged.  They’d be locked in there for hours past closing time.  The employees considered calling the police and saying they had been kidnapped but never did.

My parents told me that immigrants from Eastern European countries would work there for a while, but then would quit.  The immigrants said, “We left Chelstezistahn to get away from oppressive regimes.  You Americans who keep working here are crazy!”  No, I’m absolutely not making that up.

I found myself in Walmart the other day, oppressive regime or no. Sometimes I dash in and dash out.  Not this time.  This was a meander up and down the aisles misplacing items willy nilly kind of trip.

As many of you know, I get cold easily.  And I’m cheap.  Bad combination in winter.  This means that I freeze indoors because I’m too cheap to turn up the heater.  I rely on hats and long johns.

I don’t like wearing winter knitted hats inside because the dry winter air makes my baby-fine hair staticy in a knitted cap.  I was wearing my Steelers hat a couple of days ago.  When I pulled it off my hair stood on end and static sparks flew around the room almost igniting Boy8.

I prefer to wear hats that are acceptable to be worn indoors, like my  newsboy hat. (Google it.)  The only problem with my newsboy hat is that it doesn’t cover my cold little ears.

So I meandered to the hat section in Walmart to see what hats they might have that would cover my ears and would be acceptable to wear indoors.  I found this one, put it on, and looked in the mirror:

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Oh my!  If that doesn’t make me look absolutely adorable!  Now I know why people think I’m sweet, I mean, look at me!  Don’t I look like a sweetie pie?   Gosh, am I cute or what? I admired myself in the hat for some time and snapped a few pictures.

But that felt more like an outdoor hat so I didn’t buy it.

My eye happened to fall on a wall of winter hats.  They were in all colors and had those little knitted strings at the bottoms of them.  I’m not sure what those strings are for.  I decided to put on the hat and tie the strings together so the hat would stay on my head.  I looked in the mirror…

…eeep!  Oh my!  I look like Igor from Young Frankenstein.   Or maybe a babushka from Chelstezistahn,  No, really.  I do:

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Of course, it was slightly better without me making the face, but only just.  I mean, I took one look at myself in the mirror wearing the Igor hat and burst into cackles.  I had to get a picture of it, it was just so wonderfully absurd.  Unfortunately there were a few children nearby and I had to turn aside so they wouldn’t see me taking my pictures.  Didn’t want to scare them.  “And then we saw a witch in the hat section!  I swear mom, she was a real live witch! We heard her cackling!”

I didn’t buy that hat, either.

I meandered to the long john section and considered whether I wanted a white undershirt or a black undershirt.

And that’s when I saw it.  Oh, the angels sang and the sunrays burst through the roof of Walmart.

It was a long john-type undershirt, but it wasn’t the regular long john material.  No, it was fuzzy and thick and soft on the outside and the inside. And, get this, the sleeves were long and had thumb holes. (!!!) I’d never heard of such a thing, but it makes sense.  You can’t wear a long john shirt alone; you have to cover it with another shirt.  But thick fuzzy material like that would bunch up in the arms if you tried to put on another shirt. With the thumb hole, however, you can slide your arms into another shirt without bunching.  Oh, brilliant!

And cheap as I am, I bought it on the spot.  I considered telling Darling Husband that he just bought me a Christmas present and then waiting until December 25th to wear it but, nah.  I put it on right away.

Here’s a picture of the thumb hole.

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No wait!  No, no…I’m er…not Iron man.  Not Iron Man.  Nope.  Just ignore that last picture.

Here is a picture of the thumb hole:

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You can see how fuzzy and thick and cozy that shirt is from the picture can’t you?  The only problem is that I love it too much to take it off.  I’ll be pretty rank by December.  Maybe Darling Husband will get me a couple more for Christmas so I can take this one off and wash it.