Of Grandparents and Princesses

My parents called yesterday, all in a lather. It seems they were at a Disney outlet store and happened upon a big sale. "They have Princess shoes!" exclaimed my dad. "What size does Pie wear?" He proceeded to describe them for me. They are bright green and glittery. "Picture the ruby slippers, but in green," Pop said.

It made me laugh to think of my dad, who is a big man, crouched over some bin in the Disney store, picking his way through little girls' glitter shoes until he found the right ones for his granddaughter. This is a man who is known (even now) to hop a flight at will to catch the Stones or Springsteen in concert. And now he is also a grandpa four times over - and darned good at it, too. His youngest granddaughter, in turn, is completely smitten with him (she would dig him even if he didn't buy her stuff all the time). One day last week she demanded to speak to him on the phone, but he wasn't home when we called. I put her on the phone with my mom instead. As much as A adores my mom, she really just wanted my dad. "But I wanna talk to Granddaddy!" she whined over and over. My mom promised to have him call her back later, and he did.

So now we are waiting for our haul from the Disney sale. My mom is arriving in two weeks and claims she will find room in her suitcase for the goods. My dad also bought my kid a Princess nightgown and a gold Princess jacket, which my mom attempted to describe. She assures me that the gold is very tasteful and "not hookerish at all."

During the same shopping excursion, my mom found a cache of princess stuff at a fabric store somewhere. My mom needs a 12-step program to keep her out of fabric stores. She sews like a fiend, but like many of her cronies who also hang out at the fabric store, she probably has enough fabric to put the AIDS quilt to shame. She'll grab another bolt of fabric and say, "I don't know what I'm going to make with this, but I don't see how I can pass it up." She's like those hoarders you see getting busted on Animal Planet, but with fabric. But anyway, I guess they do sell other stuff at the fabric store, because she happened upon some tiaras and magic wands. "Could she use another wand?" my mom asked. "Well, I don't see how it's possible to have too many magic wands," I assured her.

It's probably for the best that we don't have a Disney store within hundreds of miles of where we live. It does amaze me, as a parent, how Disney never ceases to find new ways to wring money out of all of us. I mean, think about it. The Cinderella character is how many decades old? And they found a way to package her along with Belle (from Beauty and the Beast) and Sleeping Beauty and call them "The Disney Princesses." Sometimes they throw in Ariel from The Little Mermaid, too. I just keep imagining a group of Disney marketing people in some Monday morning staff meeting somewhere, thinking of new ways to package old crap. I picture a whiteboard behind them, where they've scrawled the words, "There's money in them thar hills!" as they hatch yet another diabolical plot against unsuspecting parents. Case in point: they are putting the Cinderella DVD "back in the vault" this week. Who knows when you'll be able to purchase this "timeless classic" again, right? So, you either buy it now or you pray your kid doesn't ask for in six months, when it's no longer available. It's like Disney is saying, "Hand over your $22.99 now and nobody gets hurt."

But, my daughter is going to look adorable in her green glitter shoes, fanciful nightgown, and gold jacket. And my parents, even though the stuff was on sale, surely would have paid twice as much just to make their granddaughter happy. Ain't nothin' wrong with that.


radioactivegan said…
I really love the possibility of describing a Disney Princesses coat as "hookerish". Now that's a timeless classic.

Read down to the part where they tell how they hit upon the idea (the part about the guy at Disney on Ice.) Crazy. Looks like there will be more, too, heaven help us.

Yep, mine loves 'em, too, and my parents also indulge the habit. Well, um, so do I? Sigh.

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