February 11, 2006

Growing Up Ivy - Part 2

Childhood memory from 3rd or 4th grade. We lived on an Air Force base in Michigan - Kincheloe I think was the name of it, but I am not sure if it is still there. We were in the Upper Peninsula, and would sometimes go to Sault Ste. Marie to go shopping. I had been saving for a "Chrissy" doll that I had seen on a previous trip. Chrissy had a cute little bob hairstyle with a ponytail sticking out of the top. If you pushed a button on her tummy and pulled the ponytail, it would "grow" past the length of her dress! I could make it short again by turning a dial on her back.

I remember getting really cocky because I had managed to save up even more money than I needed for my Chrissy doll. So feeling generous I started giving money away. Some to my little brother, and then even to some company that mom and dad had over. I just walked up and handed them some change. They said, "Oh, keep your money, we don't want your money!" I remember feeling very proud and insisting that they keep it because I had "more than enough!"

Then came the day when we went to the dime store. Mom and dad let me go to the toy section by myself while the rest of the family looked in different departments. This is my first memory of not having to be right by my parents' sides at the store. I walked Chrissy up to the counter and tried to pay for her, but did not have enough money. I was mortified. I had felt so mature, and wonderful for saving so much money. All that change carefully counted, and spread out all over the counter and the girl told me it wasn't enough. At first I just stood there dumbstruck, and finally got around to pointing to the price tag. That is when I got my first lesson about sales tax. And possibly (though I never asked) why my family decided I could be allowed to make the purchase on my own. A lesson sticks a little better when there's a little bit of worry and embarrassment to go along with it. I frantically searched for my dad who bailed me out with some change. He did ask me, though why I was needing money as he'd seen me before giving some away.

I'd like to say that I learned a valuable lesson about money... well, I did. But applying that lesson is a different story.

The End.*

*Here is an alternate ending to the story for Old Hoss's sake:

My parents had planned this whole event of letting me make my purchase alone. I had assumed they wanted me to feel more "grown up", but instead it was a plot to ditch me. At 8 p.m. when the store was closing and my family was still nowhere to be found, I left the store empty handed, and walked the 20 miles back to base through the snow. Only to find out that the family had moved. It took me quite awhile, but I caught up to them eventually in South Dakota. Boy were they surprised to see me on their doorstep!


Blogger mreddie said...

It is so odd to me that some memories like that stick with us and others are like they never happened, even when someone reminds us of them, or so it is with me. ec

7:29 PM  
Blogger Peter said...

Hivy, that's a nice story with a twist in the tail, the first, and true version, (that Hoss can be cruel and evil sometimes) and his version just would not have happened, the family would not have had time to move!

12:13 AM  
Blogger MarkD60 said...

I remember I got caught stealing matches from a little Ma and Pa store. The cashier asked "why do you want to steal matches? They only cost 2 cents!" (1960's) I replied, "2 cents, Gee, I thought they cost about a quarter!"

4:02 AM  
Blogger Matthew said...

Are you still in the practice of giving money away? If so, make checks payable to...

4:56 AM  
Blogger Dorothy said...

What a neat idea, Ivy! I was kinda sorta doing that with my finding my father journey. This was so cute. I remember that doll, too. I never had one, but I knew people who did. I can't wait to hear another installment!

6:11 AM  
Anonymous TSB said...

I'd post my childhood memories, but I truly can't think of any good ones...so instead I live vicariously through yours...:)

7:59 AM  
Blogger poopie said...

Yeah, I'm with Matthew. Send me some ;)

8:22 AM  
Blogger OldHorsetailSnake said...

I'll bet your baby brother couldn't have done that.

(If you're still giving away money, remember me....I am still "pile-less".)

9:26 AM  
Blogger Marti said...

OMG I remember the Chrissy doll!

And how I nearly slaughtered a cousin who'd come for a visit and pulled the hair out full length and CUT IT OFF!

(I still shiver with horror at the memory...maybe I'll go with the "living vicariously" crowd here and stop remembering my own memories LOL)

Cyberhugs to you hon. Sorry for not bein' 'round for a while.

11:23 AM  
Blogger Jamie Dawn said...

I'm so glad the second version is fiction.

So, you were tossing money away like a lord over her peasants. "Here, have some coins to buy some moldy bread. I'm getting a Chrissy doll!"

11:54 AM  
Blogger Jona said...

Aww, that's a touching story:o) But how mean is sales tax, to apply to kids toys?!

12:03 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

I had a Chrissy doll too, I loved her and my little sister cut all of her hair off when I was at school one day. I'm loving these posts Ivy dear!

1:01 PM  
Blogger Tan Lucy Pez said...

Soooooo funny! I loved the "alternate ending."

1:12 PM  
Anonymous kristy said...

I just got here via Jona/Lentula Vitae (and I know/love Hoss too). Just had to say I LOVE your blog design--it's beautiful! Will check back again. And, yes, I remember Chirssy dolls well. My sister had one. I might have given her a haircut. More than 30 years later, I'm still taking the fifth on that one!

9:44 PM  
Blogger No_Newz said...

Hoss is the best!
I wonder if that embarrassment you felt was payback for throwing your little brother out of the camper? ;)
Lois Lane

7:51 AM  
Anonymous Penny said...

I envy people that can remember their childhoods like that. I'm still trying to remember High School ... of course it WAS the 60's & 70's.


9:38 AM  
Blogger Doug Bagley said...

I hear ya about learning lessons but not always applying them. Seems like I do that more than I care to admit, LOL.
Happy Valentine's Day

3:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My sister had a Crissy doll too!

I think I cut its' hair off, but I don't remember off hand.


5:08 PM  
Blogger Lis said...

What a fun story. I too had a Crissy doll, til my cousin tied it to a tree by her ponytail and used her for batting practice!
OK....I admit it. It was my idea. Batting her out of that tree was so much more fun than doing her hair!!!

7:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, Kincheloe air force base is not still there- they closed up shop in the 1970's...people now live in these houses...My husband and I own one. It is now called the town of kincheloe. There are reminders of the base being here such as the bug airport hangers and weird buildings. The gov't mostly dozed and buried their secret buildings. Pretty cool though to take a ride in the woods and you can just tell that something was there but is now buried but sticking out just a little bit. Makes me want to go exploring!

5:30 AM  

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