MJ went Christmas shopping yesterday. When she came home she burst into the house with a gargantuan smile across her face. Smiles have been few and far between lately so I was thrilled and asked what was up.
“I just got THE BEST Christmas present for Will. I’m so excited. Look at this!” And with that she lugged the box into the house and…
She bought him two large Tonka Trucks.
“Oh,” I said rather flatly after the huge build up. “Cool babe, I’m sure he’ll like those.”
MJ looked at me, very much taken aback, and asked why I wasn’t more excited. After all, she said, these were Tonka Trucks. A rite of passage for American kids all over the country. She then went on a 5-minute tangent talking about how awesome Tonka Trucks are. How necessary they are. How much fun she had with them when she was a kid. I listened to her, and then I gave her my honest opinion.
“I never liked playing with them,” I said. “I always thought they were kind of stupid.”
Well little did I know what I had said. I might as well have lit an American flag on fire and then crapped all over it’s charred remains. MJ was appalled at what I had said. Just absolutely horrified. Then she wanted to know why I felt that way.
Look, maybe I’m the freak here and I’m the only kid in America who didn’t like playing with Tonka Trucks. But truth be told, I’ve never had much of an imagination. So when I’d go over my friends’ houses to play and I’d see them with Tonka Trucks, I became confused. They’d be hauling dirt or rocks or whatever else they could put in the truck and taking it from one side of the yard to the other. I’d ask them why they were doing that. Was there some depot station I wasn’t aware of. Why did the dirt have to go from one side to the other? Where was the advantage of moving the rocks across the yard? After all, it was pretty obvious this wasn’t a real truck because you had to hold the Tonka Truck and guide it with your hand. So really, what was the point?
MJ just shook her head and told me I was sad for not having any imagination at all. Then, she got personal.
“Didn’t you play with Cabbage Patch Kids and Carebears?” she asked mockingly.
And it’s true. I did have Cabbage Patch Kids and Carebears. They were gifts from family and even as kids my brother and I knew we couldn’t say we didn’t like them. So instead of cuddling up with them, we came up with games that used them in a different way.
For instance, we didn’t look at the dolls as Cabbage Patch Kids. Instead, we turned them into Cabbage Patch Kids Stuntmen. We proceeded to throw them out windows and have them fight each other. And since Nate and I shared a bedroom for 10 years, we often took out our frustration on each other in the form of Stuffed Animal Fights. That’s where the Carebears came in. We especially liked Carebears with tails because then you could really whip them across the room at the other person and cause some damage.
The only exception was Rainbow Bright. She was never thrown because…well, she was my girlfriend and I always took her for rides on my Big Wheel. Good times…
But the point is, MJ has a great imagination and she’ll create all sorts of cool games to play with Will. I, however, don’t have the capacity for that kind of stuff. I just stare in confusion as people play these made-up games. I fail to see the fun in hauling dirt and rocks in a plastic toy truck. All these kids are playing these games and having tea parties without any tea, and I just think it’s the dumbest thing on the planet.
Maybe I should ask for an imagination for Christmas.