Monday, August 31, 2009

Making my own cheer

When I was a kid, I wanted a Care Bear. Well, to be honest, first I wanted a Cabbage Patch doll. However, my mother told me they were flammable and we could not have them in the house. Years later, she admitted we just couldn't afford it at the time. Mom was always about making up weird excuses for why we couldn't do things and then, once we were adults, admitting that no Smurfs weren't actually evil they just annoyed her.

Anyway, back to the Care Bears. I wanted one desperately. I might have been 11 years old at the time and everyone I had ever met or ever wanted to meet had a Care Bear. Except me. Do you know what damage that does to a child's psyche? Do you? Well, I'm fine. But I wanted that damn Care Bear. So, Mom and I made a deal. If I saved all my money from my flyer route, I could buy the bear for myself.

Back in the day, I think we maybe made $5 from that flyer route. Every Saturday, my brother and I (sometimes with the sisters in tow) would deliver unwanted flyers to houses in our neighbourhood. My parents always stressed child labour work ethic and responsibility. I saved my share of the $5 every week for a couple of months and finally made my way to Canadian Tire to spend my hard earned money on my very own Care Bear, thank you very much.

I remember the purchase price on the bear. $14.97 I stood in the aisle contemplating which bear I would take home. My very own Care Bear!!! I knew all their names by heart and could not wait to make one mine. I'm sure there was a lot of debate as to which bear I would settle on, but the one I brought home makes no sense to adult me. I'm sure 11 year old me had a good reason though. I bought Champ Bear.

Champ Bear was good at sports. I did not play sports. Champ Bear was athletic. I fell down crossing the grass. Champ Bear was a winner!!! I... well, I mostly came in last. Champ Bear was an odd choice for me. But I loved him. I prized him above all my possessions because he was my bear and he was awesome. I still have him in a box somewhere so I can bring him out when i am 90 and bore my grandchildren about how hard I worked to earn the money to buy him. He was my bear!!! I had stood the test of time. I have prevailed over the evil regime of my parents. I had my bear!!!

It was only a few months later and my sisters had their own bears. Purchased for them. I maintain that parents are cruel.


  1. You were an experimental model. We had so many stupid rules for you it was pathetic. Candy, Barbie Dolls, you name it. By the time LynnieC came along we realized that if we kept you kids clothed and fed, the rest was up to you and God.

  2. I have to debate that point about your athletics skills. You kicked butt at rugby. I think it was just a matter of finding the right sport for you. Champ Bear would have been proud.

  3. With Cabbage Patch dolls, Mom's reasoning was "Do you realise that people are fighting each other in toy stores to get one of those? I'm not doing that." I found one for a dollar at a garage sale and bought it with allowance money.

  4. Your Mom telling you that you couldn't have a cabbage patch doll because they were flammable killed me, hahaha.

    Here, I dug this old post up for you- I'm just saying- be careful!

  5. Dad: I maintain that you ruined my life.

    Rae: You are biased.

    QoWP: Garage sales were the best place for them.

    I'm not Benny: I love the evil stare.

  6. I firmly believe that, as first children, you and I were definitely the "experimental" model!! Your Dad is at least big enough to admit it! You are right, those that came behind got the benefit of parents who had learned better at our expense. Bitter with you!

  7. Grr... being the oldest sucks. And my brother was close enough in age that I didn't even have the benefit of being allowed to stay up later or do things first. We did everything together.

    Speaking of having to work for things your siblings are just bestowed... I wanted a house key, and my parents made me carry around a key CHAIN (with no keys on it) for ONE SOLID YEAR to prove that I could keep track of it. Every so often they would ask, "Do you have your keychain?" and I would dutifully pull it out of my purse or pocket: "Here it is." I kid you not, less than two months after I finally got my actual house key, they were like, "Oh, hey, Daniel... you should probably have a house key. Here you go."

    I am pretty sure I threw a tantrum. Not pretty when you're 15, but come on. Totally justified.


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