Last Christmas, pillow pets were one of the big trends. Ian’s cousin has two young girls, Grace (5) and Lauren (3). We decided that pillow pets would make nice Christmas gifts for the girls. We figured, that way, they’d both get the same thing, but it would still be different. We perused the choices in our local Bed Bath and Beyond: bears, bees, ladybugs, dogs, and unicorns. Getting a unicorn was a no-brainer. It was purple and sparkly. What little girl wouldn’t want a unicorn pillow pet? We also selected a ladybug, which was perhaps not as mesmerizing as the unicorn but was awfully cute.
A few days later, I was in Walgreens and noticed that they carried additional pillow pet choices, most notably, penguins. I am a huge fan of the flightless little buggers, so I stood and debated buying a penguin and returning the ladybug. In the end, I decided against it. The ladybug was adorable, and I really didn’t want to bother with returning stuff.
On Christmas, while we were at Ian’s aunt and uncle’s house, Ian approached me and pulled me aside. “We should check the tags on the gifts for the girls. I notice that Grace has a unicorn pillow pet with her today.” We checked the bags with the presents. All was well. The unicorn was marked for Lauren and the ladybug for Grace.
When gift-opening time came, Lauren pulled the unicorn pillow pet from the bag and began jumping up and down with glee, hugging her new toy.
“Wow,” her father said to me. “Santa brought her a penguin pillow pet and she hated it. She said we should send it back or throw it away because it wasn’t smiling.”
“That’s funny because I didn’t see the penguins at first, and when I did, I thought they were so cute that I was sort of sad I didn’t see them in the first place.”
“Well,” he said. “If you want one, we have one that I don’t think is going to get a lot of use.”