Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day and a Flaming Beanie Baby

Happy Mother’s Day!!!  In honor of my mother, I figured I would tell a funny story about her.  She doesn’t really understand the internettes or what a blog is…so, don’t worry, she’ll never see this.  I’m not sure if everyone remembers that stupid Beanie Baby craze?  If you don’t, click here for the full-story of the insanity

My mom, me, my sister and my brother - 20 years before the Beanie Baby craze took over her life.

My mom completely got into the beanie baby collecting frenzy.  She was like a meth addict looking for her next fix by the Del Rancho. My dad was able to feed her growing addiction.  He owned the Hallmark Store in Stillwater, Oklahoma.  He ordered extra beanies especially for her.  She used her grocery money to pay him.  When we went over for dinners, at this time, the meals were noticeably smaller.  She added shelves to my old room and filled them with Beanie Babies.  She added shelves to my sister’s old room and filled them with Beanie Babies.  Those cute little bastards where everywhere.  The late 1990’s will always be remembered fondly and disturbingly as, “Mom’s Little Beanie Baby Habit.”

Princess Diana died August 31, 1997.  Naturally, the most honorable way to commemorate this tragedy was through the Princess Bear Beanie Baby.  People went ape-shit crazy…or at least a little more ape-shit crazy for this Beanie Baby.  Ty, the Beanie Baby manufacturer, initially only released 12 bears to each store…this caused a complete supply and demand meltdown.  Earth was likely to tilt completely off its axis if everyone didn’t have one of the Princess Bears.  My mom was completely rabid about getting this bear.  She rearranged all the other bears to make room for this priceless piece of history.  There were many sleepless nights, but eventually she was able to add the purple bear to her collection.  There was peace in the world.

A few days after she acquired the Princess Bear, we had a family get together to celebrate a birthday.  Naturally, the meal was very small…several other bears had been purchased at that time.  My mom loves candles.  She had one of those really large three-wick candles sitting on the bar in the living room.  She brought the precious Princess Bear in the living room to show off her recent addition.  She had us all get quiet.  She wanted us to hear the story of this prized tiny stuffed animal filled with beanies.  Her voice choked a little has she told us about the tragedy of Princess Diana (as if we hadn’t heard) and what this bear signified.  As she cradled the bear in her hands (which, by the way, she had wrapped in tissue paper…it was just too precious to touch with human hands) and rotated her body to display it to the entire room, the candle burned bright.  She made another display circle.  On this turn, she got too close to the flame.  The tissue paper instantly erupted in flames.  Jaws dropped around the room.  We all ran toward mom to put the fire out.  She was ok, but the Princess Bear had a burned-off ear.  After the initial fear of seeing your mom potentially going up in flames, the humor of the moment took over.  It was a very somber dinner.  Mom tried to be strong during her moment of personal loss. For the rest of us, it was the hardest dinner to get through.  Trying not to completely crack up laughing and eat is very difficult.

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