I haven’t been posting many memories as of late. I do have quite a few more that I ultimately intend to share, however. This particular one popped back into my head in the last week. I had completely blocked it out.
I was about 12 when this happened.
It was a few days before Christmas and I was riding with my family in the car to visit my father’s parents in another state for the Christmas holiday. I was super excited to learn what I might be receiving for Christmas gifts and had been asking my parents all day what I might be getting this year.
“Am I getting a TV”? I asked
The room in which I stayed at my grandparent’s house had a TV and I really liked it! So cool to have a TV in my room! I could watch what I wanted to watch and wasn’t required to watch my younger twin brother’s shows on the TV that we children shared in the lower level of the family home.
My father responded with “Maybe…”
“REALLY??” I responded, about to jump through the roof of the car with excitement.
My mother chimed in with a smile and a wink: “We can’t give away what you might be getting for Christmas.”
I was convinced! I’m getting a TV for Christmas! Sweet! The smile on my face nearly touched my ears.
The next day we were to celebrate the family Christmas at my grandparents house. I couldn’t wait to get my new TV! We went to church and came back to my grandparents house to open gifts. It was the family tradition that we each take turns opening one gift at a time. Behind the Christmas tree, up against the wall was a fairly large box with my name on it. My new TV!
I strategically planned my gift opening so that my TV would be the last gift I would open. Finally, it was my turn to open the big box with my name on it. I picked it up, and it seemed pretty light for a box holding a TV, but I knew it was in there! Mind you, this is the days of the old tube TV’s and many of the older TV’s still had vacuum tubes in them. Even a 13 inch TV would weigh a good 20 lbs.
I opened the box and dug through the packing. Something’s not right. Either my new TV is really small or…
At the bottom of the box is a blue one of these:
It’s a small plastic picture viewer that looks like a TV. You look through the back and push a button on the top to change the picture that you see. I think it had 6 pictures of Europe on it.
This was my new TV.
I was crushed. Obliterated.
My parents both had big smiles on their face and could hardly keep from laughing at my heartbreak. They were reveling in my misery. I barely noticed.
My heart was in my shoes. I nearly broke into tears.
I mustered a very weak “Thank you”, and after finishing up the last few gifts, I retreated to my room at my grandparents house and laid down on the bed and cried.
Yet again, my misery and heartbreak was a source of entertainment for my mother and father.
Another humiliation of Stephen completed successfully.