I suppose those two gifts weren't perfectly silly. Both Mother and Mother-in-law got some joy out of them a couple of Christmases ago. Both of them held one in their hands and watched delightful images of their great-grandkids dance across the screen. I remember both of them holding theirs, eyes aglow. I swear.
But soon enough those little electronic scrapbooks got stuck aside like any other photo album; and now one of them, the one we gave my mother-in-law, boomeranged back here into a far corner down of the basement, among the just-plain junk that accumulates over the years. Here it sits, lying on its back, tied up with its own cord.
Maybe I can unload it on my granddaughter.
It was the hot gift for a couple of years, at least--a magic screen that lit up and shuffled your best digital pix, a must for every grandparent. We bought in, twice, and gave them away--perfect for great-grandmas who want and need nothing you or I could buy anyway. One of those gadgets is down here and dusty, chuckling at me from its obscure corner. The other never gets used.
Like Cabbage Patch dolls and those bizarre sequined toy ponies a decade ago or more. You'd think we'd learn.
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. Then Black Friday, as much a holiday, bigger maybe, with the economy is so far south. Black Friday buying will be a barometer of the national eschaton.
I don't know what's hot this year, but chances are we'll probably buy in.
There was a moment when those two great-grandmas held those screens in their hands and smiled sweetly. I swear it. I remember. I'm not lying.
I wonder if that thing still works.
Hear that cackling?