Reading over my blogs, I’m sounding like a very nice person…..which I’m not…..
And to prove to you what a wretched, awful, self-centered person I truly am, let me share the first celebration I remember, of Christmas--which in my family has been renamed (after this event) to, “It’s not Christmas unless Jayne cries…”
It was Christmas, 19s-- oh not going to tell you that. Suffice to say, that all I wanted for Christmas was The Budding Beauty Vanity. Remember how you’d make a list of everything you wanted? How the list would go on, page after page? How if you totaled it, the total was somehow always equal to the Annual Gross Profit of a small country? Well, at the age of 6, my list was short. The only thing on it was…The Budding Beauty Vanity.
Perhaps some of you remember it: Wonderful, shiny French Provincial high quality plastic. The mirrors lit up, so you could see your beautiful face. You could store all those beauty products that every six-year old had to have in the drawers. There was even a hidden compartment in the button-tufted Styrofoam seat that came with the vanity.
So week after week, it was the only thing on my list. Trip after trip to Santa, it was all I asked for. Letter after letter—well, you get the idea. I figured if there was only one thing on my list—
Now, let me interrupt to explain that I’m from a rather large family. I am one of six children, my father was in the military, and my mother was a stay-at-home-and-work-harder-than-you-should-have-to-Mom. Money was often short. My folks did the best they could, but Christmas was often creatively done. My parents were both very handy.
So for weeks, after we children went to bed, my dad spent hours down in the workshop, making vanities for my sister JoJo and I. Jo’s would be a sweet jewelry version that sat on a dresser or such. But mine, well mine would be the Budding Beauty version, according to my Dad. He measured, cut, watched the commercial, and looked at the picture so that he could get it just right. He decided to make it out of maple, because he thought it would look the best. He finished them on Christmas Eve, and placed both vanities under the tree.
I think my Father was as excited as I was that Christmas morning. I had come down early—and spied the box! Oh my goodness, could it be? I could hardly stand sitting through breakfast and the opening of stockings. “Please, please, please, hurry,” kept repeating in my head. Finally, it was my turn. I tore off the paper…..and began to cry. No, not tears of joy…instead they were the tears of a disappointed 6 year old.
“What’s wrong, Missy?” my father asked.
“It’s,” sniff “not” sniff “the right” sob “one,” I responded, and then proceeded to bawl. “I wanted the Budding Beauty Vanity! Not a homemade one!”
“Oh but honey,” my mom said, “look how nice the one your Dad made. And look sweetie, it has a stool—“
“But there’s no hidden compartment! And….it’s brown!”
How my father (and my mother, for that fact), kept from beating me that day, I do not know. I don’t even remember the rest of that Christmas day. I do remember that my friend got the Budding Beauty Vanity…..and her brother used the secret compartment as a toilet…..I remember the legs breaking off her vanity shortly thereafter when she leaned her elbows to heavily on it…..I began to slowly appreciate my homemade version.
But my Father did get his revenge. Over the years, he made sure the vanity always moved with us (a daunting feat as many times as we moved). It was always carefully oiled and refinished when needed.
All in preparation for the Christmas I was pregnant with Erynn…….a package arrived from my parents in Nebraska…….a rather large package…….containing my homemade Budding Beauty Vanity……
Christmas 1984, was again “Christmas,” because “Jayne cried.”