Friday, February 15, 2013

A Valentine's Vignette

Yesterday, I wrote the obligatory Valentine's Day post (link). Truth told, I've never been a fan of Valentine's Day. That, coupled with the fact that the way it's celebrated in Japan is much different than in the US, makes it one of the "take it or leave it" holidays for us (link and link). This year, we decided to "take it." Here's what happened.

A Series of Shots

Shot 1

Establishing shot. White-tiled table covered with red envelopes, stuffed animals, and a bag of dark chocolate.

Shot 2

Five year-old walks into kitchen, sees pink unicorn and her face immediately lights up, "A pink pony! My favorite!!!" Next she opens the card and finds a small princess bracelet that she immediately places on her arm. As she turns, she glimpses a gray hippo in her peripheral vision, "Hey, I wanted a 'Stuffie,' too!" and her laughter dissolves into tears.

Shot 3

Eight year-old enters next, stage right. Eyes two lonely envelopes and asks, "I just got envelopes?" "Look inside," comes the reply. He does and finds a $10 gift card. For a moment, he is distracted by the Perry the Platypus cardboard figure inside the card, but then he looks around. "Hey! She got two things and I only got one!" He, too, starts to cry.

Shot 4

Mom exits stage right. Camera follows as she climbs the stairs and crawls back into bed.

Shot 5

Cut to living room. Eight year-old struggles to deal with the injustices of the world. Like many other obsessions in his life, he is unable to let this one go.  He weeps. He screams. He thrashes about. He knocks over toys. Eventually, he is subdued by his father, an older gentleman with a bad back, a soft voice, and stories of dinosaur extinction. Off-screen, Mom makes bentos and feeds the baby.

Shot 6

Eight year-old returns to kitchen. Sees Mom and immediately loses it again. Yells about the unfairness of receiving only one gift instead of two. Mom walks into pantry and comes out with year-old leftovers from birthday piƱata -- cheap plastic whistle, yo-yo with no string, glasses and moustache--emphatically places them on the table and says, "There, now you have four."

Shot 7

Everyone at kitchen table, eating cereal in sullen silence. Except the baby who giggles with uncontrollable joy over his new Stuffie.



The Agitants (in order of appearance)

The Unsuspecting Unicorn
The Culprit (don't let those droopy eyes fool you)
The Single Card (oh, the horror)
The Payoff


Jewel said...

Sounds EXACTLY like my children. They count at birthdays, Christmas, etc etc. They prefer quantity of quality I assume!!!

Jewel said...

over* *sigh*

Mom on the Edge said...

The funny thing is that I usually don't get them much of anything at all for V day. And, since we don't tend to watch channels that advertise, I had no idea they knew what a "Stuffie" was. Sigh.

Sandra Timmerman said...

Yep never think all is thought over and there will be no surprises, the kids will always surprise you ( and all other parents) hahaha. Great story sooooooo recognisable :-)

FMBMC said...

I'm so glad you reposted this. I don't know how i missed it before. I can totally see Ren consoling the unfairness of only one gift with a discussion of dinosaur extinction. I have much to learn from this man.