diet coke for breakfast

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Posted by Jake
LILEKS (James) The Bleat

It’s been a good month. Gnat has enjoyed it all tremendously; 3 1/2 is a great age for Christmas.
“Daddy?” she said as we were driving to Target. “Santa has a beard, I think.”
That he does.
“And Jesus has a beard.”
“But Baby Jesus doesn’t have a beard.”
“Cause he’s a baby.”
That’s right. She apprehends the Holy Trinity of a toddler Christmas: Santa, Baby Jesus, and the Full-Grown Special Edition Son of God.

Lileks is back from holiday for a brief holiday stint.

In honor of such I have a little Christmas anecdote of my own:

My parents I elected to give gifts to the Salvation Army rather than to each other this year. Before you go catatonic with the "good will towards men" on me, I would like to emphasize the extreme self-interest of this decision. Three-year-old abstractions who desire footballs, Barbies, and educational toys are far easier to shop for than your family. Besides, in doing so I got to indulge in a level of nostalgia for childhood that I am rarely prone to.

Armed with our comission for the above listed toys, we trekked out to Toys R Us. Huge surprise, the place is more crowded than Time Square at New Year's. There are old ladies literally clubbing each other to death with Hokie Pokie Elmo's, but none of this really phases us because we are not shopping for relatives -- takes the pressure off it does.

Quickly we duck off to the Barbie aisle. Now being a boy I have never really inspected the Barbie aisle. Frankly I was still under the impression that there was just one kind of Barbie. In fact, in truly post-modern fashion, Barbie has emerged from the chrysalis of the 50s into a panoply of not only occupations but ethnicities. Pregnant Barbie stands side by side with various Princesses of the World, including Danish and the Princess of South Africa.

No problems there...I guess the selection of the correct Barbie is the key decision. What do we want to say with this Barbie?

Instruction from my Mother: "I want a Barbie that has a job."

"Not a shiftless layabout," I reply.

"Exactly, I don't want Barbie that tends toward slut."

Only one of the Barbies present at this late hour appears to have an occupation: Baby Doctor Barbie. All of the other tend to be some variation of Paris Hilton, either the idle rich or destined to achieve notoriety for doing nothing in particular. But selecting just a single Barbie just won't do. We inspect our other choices and select one of the foriegn princesses (South African I think).

I would protest that princesses are not really the 9-to-5 types, but I am sure somewhere they are hiring so I choose not to dwell of the subject. Gender roles have been decidedly affirmed, we move straight through educational toys and sport equipment.

May the girl who gets South African Princess Barbie also fight a boy to the death for a football. Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.


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