I know it’s been a while since I’ve been in touch — a couple of decades, at least — and I’m really sorry about that. Enough time has passed, though, that I feel I can talk about a few things — apologize, really, for things I may have done that didn’t make you so happy, resulting in the steady decline of gift quality in the latter part of my childhood years, culminating with the training bra under the tree the Christmas morning of my 12th year. A sad day.
I suspect your frustration with me began at an early age, starting with the tea set you delivered in my preschool years. I do not feel I should be blamed for the fact that my father and brother were not paying attention to me while mama was out, and that they enthusiastically drank cup after cup of my tea just to keep me out of their way as they watched wrestling that Saturday afternoon. Not until a commercial, I believe, did they realize I was too tiny to reach the kitchen or bathroom sink, and found me dipping tea from the toilet.
It wasn’t my fault, but I’m sorry.
Perhaps it was the puppy you brought me when I was nine. I named him Sanford. He was a cute puppy, a Cocker Spaniel, and I loved him so. What I did not love was his penchant for pooping. I do feel obligated to apologize now, however, for the time I found he had inadvertently pooped in my sister’s room and, instead of steadfastedly cleaning up his mess, I kicked it underneath her dresser. I further apologize for lying and saying I didn’t smell anything for the next two weeks when day after day the entire family would be called in and asked, “What is that smell? Do you smell anything?” Once I suggested that maybe the smell was coming from my sister’s feet.
I’m glad I could run fast.
Was it the Easy Bake Oven incident of 1975? I would like to point out that nowhere on the box did it suggest that it would not be such a great idea to bake Silly Putty. That being said, I consider it partly the fault of the manufacturer that my Silly Putty cake exploded, resulting in the unfortunate early demise of my Easy Bake Oven. I am sorry, however, for attempting to blame the foray on my cousin, who was nowhere near the scene at the time of the baking accident. The scalding hot bulb ... the smell ... I wasn’t thinking clearly.
Could it be that you are still holding a grudge from my mixing and matching UnderRoos, your gift in 1977? My sister tried to warn me that it just wasn’t right to wear my Wonder Woman star-spangled UnderRoos bottoms with my Super Girl UnderRoos top, but I wouldn’t listen. If I offended you or some unwritten UnderRoos law, I deeply regret it.
And while I am in a contrite mood, I suppose I should repent for waking up in the wee hours of the morning to play with the Rock Tumbler you brought my sister, the one she wouldn’t let me touch. Who would have thought six to eight miniature boulders spinning around in a metal tube would wake up an entire household? It wasn’t my fault. I was seduced under the spell of beautifully polished rock tumbled jewelry.
Again, I’m glad I could run fast.
So, dear Santa, I guess that’s about it. I know you can’t do anything about the training bra now, but I hope my apology at least makes you feel a little bad about laying it out there for everyone to see. And I hope my saying I’m sorry will make you at least consider bringing me what I want this year.
A cell phone with big numbers I can actually see and a new microwave.
Then maybe I’ll quit texting and calling the wrong people all the time ... and I promise not to put Silly Putty in the microwave. I learned my lesson good with that one. Burnt Silly Putty does not smell so good ...
Or maybe that’s just my sister’s feet.
Contact columnist Mandy Flynn, whose stocking has been hung by the chimney with care, at firstname.lastname@example.org.