I love my husband. While suffering a mild, head cold, my husband brought me some books to make me feel better. Within seconds of flipping to the first page Bless Your Heart, Tramp by Celia Rivenbark, I was smiling, then laughing, then snorting the most unusual sounds due to clogged nasal passages that you have ever heard. “Laughter is the best medicine,” my husband reminded me. So true.
As I got to the essay about “Happy Meals Hostage,” I lost it again. Was Celia my long-lost twin sister? I lived that story. I have told that story. It must have travelled all the way to North Carolina because it matched my experience exactly! In fact, I have my own Princess and Prince and have many tales of life that I never realized people wanted to hear. Boy, if Celia needs some more tidbits , I have enough writing material for her to retire to the Greek Isles. I hear property is going cheap there if you happen not to be too worked up about the value of the Euro.
I have to thank Mrs. Celia because she has freed me from some well-earned clutter. Yes, My Princess is old enough to drive; she lived through that head spinning thing she used to do going through the drive thru, she didn’t even need an exorcist. We are still working on the eye rolling motion that sets me teeth on edge, but there has been progress. As I was reading the essay to my Husband through sniffling and nasal intonations, he got that grin that convinced me to marry him decades ago. He looked at me and said, “Well, maybe it is time.” Time to let go. Time to purge my clutter. It was the long-time coming, moment of recognition that , he finally got my reason for hanging on to the 50 or so “Happy Meal” toys in the kids’ bathroom drawer…. I had earned them , each and every little designer’s clever, molded plastic figure was my reason for estate planning. What if they were valuable someday? What if the Buzz Lightyear is the one toy that my daughter wants to take to college? How about if future (mind you, Prince and Princess, NOT in this decade) grandkids came to VISIT ( remember, only visit like a week or two… your Dad and I will have retired to an isolated island without phone service for most of the year…don’t call us, we’ll call you. Love you , the best way…From A Distance.) and they want to play with the cute, colorful, little friends named “Tinkie Winky,”( By the way, Ms. Celia…I got one. hahahaha! Sorry, your Southern Charm didn’t do the trick for you. You need some lessons from a PRO!!!) “Transformer Red Man”, “Stunted Barbie” and all the rest? Some women joke that they earn their diamonds, we have all heard the jokes before, but this was real, hard-earned, commodities. Nature makes more diamonds every million years or so, but a “Happy Meal “toy is limited to a few weeks in the big box and then no more of those beauties. You can only find them at yard sales or thrift stores where creepy old men usually wearing tee shirts from their travels to the Redneck Riveria that say, “I caught one at Lambert’s Home of the Throwed Rolls” are looking for the perfect collectible. Y’all all know what I’m talking about, otherwise google it.
It is time to let my “Happy Meal” toys go. You may need to read Ms. Celia’s essay to get the full value of my message, but here goes. I may not have been a corporate executive, or a Wall Street Schister, but I was a pretty darn good , dedicated Mom. (I so wanted to put a comma after pretty, but I didn’t want to brag, although my Husband thinks I’m pretty and that is all that matters.)