Believe

I pride myself on getting that perfect gift…The Santa gift. 

If you want to receive, you have to believe, is my motto.

It was December 20th 2002, when Jack revealed to me the secret gift he had whispered in Santa’s ear – a Buzz Lightyear Pinball Machine. 

Sick or well, rain or shine, I was a determined elf, not about to not let this six-year-old down. But, I faced two problems: I had the flu and that toy was sold out everywhere. Armed with plenty of tissues, I staggered like Blitzen from one store to another, until I bagged the last one. 

Fast forward 18 years, my daughter Lindsay and I were out shopping in my favorite store, when we spotted a beautiful velvet blouse. 

“I love it, but not at $100,” I winced, returning it to the rack. “Just wait, it will go on sale.”

This Christmas ornament doesn’t fall far from the tree. “Maybe Santa will bring it,” Lindsay winked.

Just after Thanksgiving, Lindsay and I were holiday shopping and as we came to that very store, we spied the sign: ENTIRE STORE SALE. Alas, the rack of velvet blouses was empty. 

Lindsay teared up, “That was your present. I’ve been coming here every day to catch it on sale.”

“We’ll ask someone,” I said, now wanting it as much for her as for me.

The manager pulled it up on the computer, “You’re in luck! There’s one left and believe it or not it’s your size – and, on sale for $80.”

“We’ll buy it!” I declared.

When we walked out of the store, receipt in hand, the manager warned us, “hope it doesn’t get canceled if the system hasn’t updated itself.”

On the sidewalk, I took the extra precaution and began to order it online. One left in stock. Immediately, into my cart. I reached for my wallet only to return to “SOLD OUT” brazened across the screen.

“You know what that means?” I said, “We got the last one! Lindsay, there is a Santa, and he’s a bargain hunter.”

I could hardly wait till Christmas. But, on December 23rd that warning came to fruition with the cancelation email from the store.

“C’mon Santa! Mama needs a fancy shirt!” I yelled at my computer.

On Christmas morning, Lindsay handed me an envelope that I opened, feigning surprise. 

“Oh my God, you got it!” 

“Mom you’re not going to believe this but right after you told me about the cancelation I went online and there it was so I ordered it, again, you should get it in a few days.”

I didn’t have the heart to tell Lindsay, but on Christmas Eve I got the cancelation for that order.

December 26th, I checked online hoping to find one, ship it, and no one would be the wiser. But no one had returned one – of course not. 

While shopping on the 27th, I came clean about the cancellation.

Lindsay moaned, “Santa Schmanta! They did it to us twice! Maybe someone returned one.” 

“Doubtful,” I said. I was right.

Again, the manager pulled it up on the computer. I’d seen this movie before. 

“I’ll check other stores. They have 4 in San Diego,” she said very matter-of-factly.

“ARE YOU SURE?” I screamed.

“Yes, would you like me to order one for you? Oh look, it’s on sale for $50.”

“You just gotta believe, Mom,” beamed Lindsay.

“I’ll take two at that price,” I declared.

Live with Waffletude!

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