Oh Me Oh My

Monday, September 19, 2005

Sewing Supplies & Imagination

Now I wasn't poor or anything when I was a kid but we were certainly never well off and the main reason we had any money was because collectively my parents worked like 37 jobs. Frivolous spending was not an option. I wore my sister's hand-me-downs, my mom used the same piece of foil from 1984 through to 1991, and we never spent money on shit my parents considered wasteful. They'd splurge for Christmas and get you one of those awesome computer toys that taught you math or spelling but if you dare ask for an action figure which was like one-twentieth of the price, all you got was a dirty look.

And so I often found myself making my own toys. I was thinking about it earlier today and came to realize I came up with some pretty awesome (read lame) creations and I will share them with you, in case one day you decide to breed and money is kinda tight:

Slipper Pets:
A spool of thread and one of your parent's chinellas (because the word is the same in EVERY language) could be combined to make a pretty awesome pet. Simply tie the thread to the slipper and walk around your house like you have the most awesome puppy on the block. And unlike real dogs they don't go dying on you when you lower them by the leash from the top floor to the basement. Lousy Humane Society, tell me what to do...

Calendar Puzzles:
Real puzzles were pricey and inevitably you lost a piece or two and then it was worthless--enter the calendar puzzle. When a new year began and my parents were throwing out the old calendars I would cut out all of the pictures of country homes and serene lakes and turn them into mini-puzzles; which is to say I ripped them into pieces, threw them in a bag, then shook it up, spilled it on the floor and let the good times roll.

Sewing Stand-Ins:
Since action figures were out of the question I would use yarn and thread of the appropriate color and pretend it was just as good. Purple string for Donatello, blue yarn for Leonardo, a tomato pin cushion for Raphael and an orange smartie for Michelangelo. (there weren't always the right colours on hand). My sewing kit/snack food super heroes were awesome and they always kicked Shredder's ass regardless of the fact he was a short bread cookie tin lid and not a $12 dollar doll with "real slashing action".

Every time we went to a flea market I practically shit myself begging for my parents to buy me that magnetic fishing game and every time they refused. At the time I wished them dead and contemplated how I could bring this about but in retrospect the game really is kinda stupid. And out of guilt for not getting me or my sister what we wanted, or for having to go to work, or for sitting still through a haircut my parents would always give us a treat--thereby starting my lifelong love affair with junk food. And as I tore open my Mirage bar and watched the same re-run of Happy Days for the 7th time, I was happy...mainly because there was chocolate.


At 7:38 p.m., Blogger Joanna said...

I had one of those fishing games! One day while my mom was baking in the kitchen, my brother and I got our hands on some spools of thread and proceeded to tie up the whole apartment. It was one giant spider-web with my mom trapped in the kitchen. Here's a tip for saving money come Christmas... have your children write letters to Santa every year for about 14 years, then get NOTHING from the list each and every year. They will, in time, grow to not expect or want anything at Christmas-time. True story.

At 10:55 p.m., Blogger adge said...

Are these for real?!? The calendar idea is my fave...it sounds like something little Adrienne would do when she (I) was younger...and still creative. I too Jamie was a deprived child (though I didn't make ninga turtles with yarn and smarties) I created my own Spiralgraph-like toy. With a trusty record player, some paper and paint you too can make one of those nifty tiedyed looking Spiralgraph kind of designs.
step 1: paper on turn table spike
step 2: turn record player on
step 3: apply various colours of paint to moving turn table paper....tada! ART! Tiedyed style!

2 cool Christmas toys I got but never got to appreciate:
1. Mop Top Hair Shop by Playdo...my brother mixed the colours together on Christmas night...needless to say, I only got to choose one hair colour from then on...BROWN.
2. Operation SANS D batteries (or whatever huge ass size they needed)...parents/Santa didn't realize they needed them, so I never got to see the dude's red nose light up. I'd play the game anyways, just imagining instead that the light and buzzing sound would go off. (tear)

ok, I'm rambling...but ya, I guess at least I had those 2 cool toys...you didn't. You win! (since when did I make this a competition???...buh.) Jamie - 'Mr Deprived child of the 90's'



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