A life lesson I learned from a Cabbage Patch Kid

When I was a little girl, maybe 6 or 7 years of age, Cabbage Patch Kids were all the rage.  I had friends who had 3, 4, 6, 7 of them, and would bring them into school.

Of COURSE I wanted one.  Just one.  I didn’t want to be Octomom or anything.

My mom called radio stations.  She was on waiting lists at toy stores and places like Consumers Catalog Showroom. Come Christmas morning, I was the proud mommy to a CPK by the name of Tanya Hyacinth.

I cried.  Not out of happiness, but out of GUILT.  It was hard for me to play with the doll for the longest time.  I wanted something so bad and I got it and I felt terrible and unworthy. I didn’t do anything to deserve such an expensive present that my parents went through a lot of trouble to get for me.

Such is the story of my life.  I grew up in an upper-middle class neighborhood.  I never had to want for anything.  We were one of the first on our block to have cable, when I was 5 years old. I had a pool.  We weren’t the richest family in town, by far, but my father did well for his family.  Yes, I grew up pretty damn spoiled.  I’d like to think I wasn’t a brat.  My dad was sure to teach the value of a dollar and the importance of hard work. To a fault, sometimes.  There’s a whole other slew of issues going on there.  But, in essence, presents make me feel very, very guilty.  Don’t get me wrong, I love presents, but deep down, I always feel bad about receiving them.

This feeling has increased as I’ve gotten older.  Because I’m not quite 100% self-sufficient yet, and yes, my parents have bailed me out from time to time.  I don’t like to talk about it, because I know that many people aren’t quite as lucky as I am in that respect.

I’m now feeling this way again, because due to some circumstances, I’ve been in the position to receive some gifts.  WOW, that sounds shady, doesn’t it?  Sounds like some sorta Pretty Woman scenario.  No, I haven’t taken to hookin’ on the Boulevard or anything like that.  Eric has just been able to spoil me a little bit.

I have to laugh a little – some girls get spoiled with jewels and shit.  But that ain’t me, y’all.  I get spoiled with gadgetry!  And, let’s not get it twisted, because you know the boy bought himself some fun gifts too.

But I just keep hearing You Don’t Deserve Any Of It echoing in my head.  As if this is some omen.  And part of me knows that it’s ridiculous, me thinking this way.  But part of me just can’t let go of the dread and the guilt.  I don’t deserve any of the good things that I have.  I should have done something.  My mere existence doesn’t merit a present, does it?

It’s harder for me to accept gifts right now because I’m pretty much living paycheck to paycheck and trying get my shit together.  It’s hard to reconcile a constant diet of PB&J sandwiches and 10/$10 microwave meals (for example, my actual lunch today) with a shiny new laptop.  Granted, the laptop has been on my wishlist forever, because my previous one is almost 5 years old and is about to die. But STILL.  Want does not equal Need does not equal Deserve.

I think a psychotherapist would have a field day with me, with all the weird-ass issues I have.  One minute I’m all Ooooh, Ahhhhh over my present; then the next, my stomach is in knots because I feel so bad about actually getting it.

You have to wonder about how they came up with all the different names for the CPKs.  I mean, Tanya Hyacinth?  Kinda sounds like a weird stripper or porn name.

Or an abandoned spam twitter account.

About meredithelaine

forty-something. jersey girl in texas via california.
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4 Responses to A life lesson I learned from a Cabbage Patch Kid

  1. Becca says:

    I had Millicent Alyssa. I wonder if the same people now work at O.P.I.making up nail polish names.

  2. Allison says:

    Mine was Orville something. I only had one and a boy was the best my grandma could do. Anyway, I doubt you are writing this looking for advice, but here’s my 2 cents. When you receive a gift, try to think of how the giver is feeling. I LOVE to give presents and love how I feel when I do. Your acceptance is making them feel good. It may help with the guilt.

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