Money may not buy happiness, but . . .

February 16, 2007

. . . it will prolong the need to tell your children that Santa doesn’t exist.

AKA The Continuing Saga of Butterscotch – The Horse that Needs a New Home


Santa’s dead, folks. He died. And now children everywhere are going to have to live with it. And it’s all your fault, Big Meanie.

This photo of the boy crying at the tombstone was the image I saw in my head as Jon and I drove to Target the Thursday night before Christmas to load up our Butterscotch Pony for Babs.

I remember thinking to myself, “I’ll be damned if I have to explain to her this year that Santa doesn’t exist” (or at least doesn’t really bring you what you want).

$275 and a month and a half later, I’m still glad I did it, even if the thing is just sitting and collecting dust at the moment. (Smokey had a good chew on the carrot Butterscotch likes to robotically munch on and Babs quickly yanked on, and broke, the nifty red halter that came with it, ruining Butterscotch’s value on ebay but giving both of them the joy of destroying perfectly good items. I’m not so old that I don’t remember how much fun that was.)

The look on her face when she ripped that box open really was worth it, though, dust or no dust. In hindsight, I wish I would have videotaped it. It was definitely one of those days when I felt like I’d done something good.

Not one to miss the chance to allow my life to serve as a warning to others (and because deep down I’m an attention whore — whoo-hoo, look at my hits jump in the google rankings!) I foolishly, according to Jon, allowed myself to be interviewed by some man claiming to be a New York reporter who found out that I was one of those parents who was willing to hand over my credit card for a toy that costs more than toys should cost — proof that if you blog about something they’re interested in, they will find you.

The story was picked up by a couple of papers, allowing Babs and me our 2007 five-seconds of fame, but this version is my favorite, mostly because it kept the last sentence (which was dropped by others) that allowed me to share my money-doesn’t-buy-happiness philosophy, even though you’d never know it by how much I dropped on that silly pony.

I’m kind of like that, though. I’ll go to McDonalds for lunch and order two things from the dollar menu to save money and then turn around and drive Jon to the airport on his birthday when he thinks he’s going a couple hours down the road and fly him across country instead because he keeps talking about how he wishes he could show me his old stomping grounds. I guess that while money can’t buy happiness, it can still buy some pretty terrific experiences.

If you’re in need of a pick-me-up, though, one that does not require the use of your credit card, I would highly suggest buying your own bag of balloons, finding some two-year-olds and going for it.

Another favorite of mine is to have them jump on beds while you all recite “Five little monkeys jumping on the bed. One fell off and bumped his head. Momma called the doctor and the doctor said, ‘NO MORE MONKEYS JUMPING ON THE BED!'” And then have them fall down, on the bed of course.

It’s pure therapy, I tell ya. Just try to remove all objects that they might actually crack their heads on before you start doing this. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!



  1. hey stranger! sorry not to do my periodic visits, been busy with darn school work. gosh i leave a some weeks and i come back with a new theme, switched to wordpress and all. what happened for you to switch?

    i like the therapies by the way although i am not one to like blowing up balloons. have a good weekend!

  2. You’re famous! We’ve never done the Santa Claus thing at our house, but somehow the Tooth Fairy did sneak in.

  3. Oh, my – This brought back the Christmas I nearly drove myself insane trying to find a barrel for my son because it was the one thing he’d asked for. I know, a barrel – what’s up with that? Fnally found one through a company that makes wooden barrels for industrial purposes, and had them ship me just one. All worth it when he hoisted it up nto his shoulder Christmas morning and walked around proudly.

  4. What a darling picture of her on the pony; she looks a lot like her Mommy!

  5. Hey, my comment worked! It’s about 5:50 PM rather than AM here, but whatever.

  6. Foo! Thanks so much for stopping by. WordPress is a long story. I’ll have to e-mail you. :o) Not sure that I like it more than blogger. How’s your experience going? Looks like the same old fabulous Foo Logs, so I missed that you’d even switched. Hope all is well with you!

    Diesel – whoo hoo! I’m just waiting for them to make YOU famous. And Dan. You and Dan. And Neva. And a few other people. Thank you again for sending the Stanford speech. I referenced it today with a gal who is on the verge of getting fired, though I tried to do it very gently and with a “yeah, it still totally sucks that you would have to worry about getting fired.” Trying to be too optimistic during a time like that can often come across as being disrespectful. (Whew. Can you tell how I spend my day?) Hope you’re having a great Feb. Can’t wait for Innapropriate Card Day!

    CSL ~ I can see that in my head so well. Thank God I didn’t have to try to find a barrel. What’s next, I wonder? (And can it be any worse than Butterscotch?) She did love it for at least 2 hours. (Kind of like the Velveteen Rabbit.)

    Hazy ~ I always love it so much when you pop in. I’m so glad the comment came through. The time thing is really screwy. I always have to go back in and change the day I posted because it fast forwards it a day. My love to you and Mr. H. xoxoxo

  7. Oh and Diesel, p.s. good move on the Santa thing. If I hadn’t started it, I never would have been *in* this mess. But then I would have missed that smile. I would have paid quite a bit more for that smile alone. Man, I love her.

  8. Ang, please, please, please don’t forget about little ole me when they make this pony episode into a big blockbuster movie and you begin hanging around with all of those Hollywood types. 🙂

  9. Dan, Forgetting about you would be absolutely impossible. Ooooooooh, there’s a name for the movie, “Pony Impossible.” If I end up having to live in Hollyweird, I hope that you and Laura will come visit and meet all our Hollywood pals. Of course, who those would be, I’m sure I have no idea. I don’t think I’d fit in very well (and am not sure that I’d want to). I spent six months living in San Diego as a college freshman and decided that any place that was filled with people who kept asking what kind of car you drove and what your father (exchange now “you”) did for a living wasn’t really the place for me. That’s how I ended up in Idaho! My kind o’ folk. (Except for now half of Southern California has moved up and it’s changing the feel a bit. Time to move farther north.) ;o) Hugs to you, Dan!

  10. for me money is all the happiness . if you are rich , then all is urs , deaths and lives is the truth .but the present is to live with ease ,

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