Nothing Gold

Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay. -Robert Frost

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Location: Arlington, Virginia, United States

I am a white American middle class suburban housewife trying desperately to tell herself that that is not who she is. One time I was a glowing young ruffian. Oh my God it was a million years ago.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

What would you do?

I have a small dilemma that is completely insignificant in the scope of things. But maybe you can help me. My friend's daughter is turning eight this weekend and we are going to her birthday party. I don't know what to buy for her present. If you ask either her or her mother what she wants, it's "Bratz and Webkinz", and only "Bratz and Webkinz". I object heartily to Bratz. I find them extremely offensive. As for Webkinz, I don't find them offensive, only a little stupid. And I really don't understand the point of owning more than one, when their real appeal is not the animal, but the login that comes with it. And she already has 4 or something. On the other hand, I also don't approve of judging other people's parenting decisions or trying to parent for them. I think that's misguided at best.
But, maybe not wanting to buy something that I don't like isn't quite the same as disapproving of a parent buying it. (Which I try to avoid mostly by not thinking about it. That works pretty well). Also, isn't making the child happy on her birthday more important than my silly scruples? I don't really mind being the boring one that always buys books and board games for the kids, but I wonder if my priorities are wrong here. Anyways, assuming that you felt the same as I do (and it's okay if you don't irl), and assuming that anyone still reads this, what would you do?


Blogger Mike Croghan said...

I would do what I always try to do when I buy a gift for someone: get something that I think is cool, and which I also think there's a good chance the recipient will enjoy. It's probably a very self-centered methodology, but it's the one I always use.

12:00 PM  
Blogger Mike Croghan said...

P.S., love your background and profile pics. :-)

12:01 PM  
Blogger Maggie said...

Thanks! Did you see my sidebar quotation? It's my favorite.

1:50 PM  
Blogger Mike Croghan said...

Love it - seems like I've heard it before; who's it from?

1:52 PM  
Blogger Maggie said...


Cat's Cradle
Kurt Vonnegut

2:23 PM  
Blogger Ken Tennyson said...

Sorry, a little late to give advice I guess... What did you end up doing?

3:55 PM  
Blogger Maggie said...

A subscription to American Girl magazine.

6:03 PM  
Blogger Liz said...


Sorry I'm late answering this. When I was working they took away our access to blogspot and now that I'm not working I forgot about the whole thing for a while. For some odd reason today realized I hadn't read any blogs in months.

As for the Webkinz thing - the reason kids wan more of them is that there are special on-line bonuses for getting more of them. Each month, they have a pet of the month that gets special privileges so they encourage you to buy the pet of the month. Also, you get access to different games and sections of the web site if you various add-ons. For example, if you buy a charm bracelet and / or charm you get access to the enchanted forest.

Obviously, we have lots of Webkinz. Elizabeth has almost thirty pets plus charms, clothes, lip gloss, body lotion, etc. They all come with secret codes that get you more goodies on-line.

My personal opinion on Webkinz is kinda mixed. I like the fact that she can play with her long distance cousins on Webkinz. They can play games together in real time and send each other mail. I also like that many of the games are educational (really, I'm not kidding about that part.) I also like that its a safe place for her to develop computer skills. It's also helping her with budgeting and prioritizing because she gets an allowance now so many of the things she has because she had save up for. Lastly, it's a pretty cheap bribe when I can't find a babysitter. I have a regular appointment and sometimes the babysitter cancels at the last minute. A Webkinz is cheaper than the babysitter and she will sit quietly in the waiting room during my appointment if she knows she's getting a Webkinz at the end. I only do it in an emergency, because I'm not sure if the Webkinz really is worth the boredom she must feel, but sometimes a single mom has to resort to less than optimal solutions :-(

But, even with all the positives, their marketing techniques are pretty intrusive, not to mention slick.

I don't know... I'm not trying to defend Webkinz or anything. I just thought I could provide some insight into the desire for more of them. Oh and one more thing... the membership only lasts for one year and every time you register a new Webkinz the membership is extended to be a year from that date. One of Elizabeth's friends asked for Webkinz for her birthday and then her mom put them all away so she could time out the new registrations. I that was a bit sadistic but very clever.

HA! What a comment! Anyway... how are you guys doing?


2:53 AM  

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