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Disclaimer: If you are easily offended by sheer honesty, or you think me having my own opinions is "being negative", then this is not the place for you, and I suggest you leave and head elsewhere. I call a spade a spade, and I don't sugarcoat anything.

Monday, April 12, 2010

When Opportunity Knocks

Funny how I was thinking about this last night when I was watching a program about hording. They said that excessive hording always coincides with excessive shopping. I couldn't agree more! This one woman the show was portraying last night happened to mention that if she goes shopping and sees something she wants and doesn't get it right then, she does nothing but think about it until she does get it. That triggered a memory of something that I remember from my teen years. A big thing that taught me a lesson I will never forget! Well, it was big to me! To others, it may just sound like something insignificant. But being a teenager with her heart set on something, it was a big thing to me.

When I was a teenager, I loved penguins! In fact, I still love penguins. I'm a bird-lover, what can I say?! I also loved collecting plush animals from the World Wildlife Fund Endangered Species collection. They were my favorite because they were so real looking! One day I went to the mall, and there at Waldenbooks was a collection of WWF plush animals that they were selling. They had a whole bunch of them all displayed on a stand, but the one that caught my eye the most was this full-sized emperor penguin. But there was one problem, that penguin had a price tag of $40. And at the age of 14, $40 might as well have been $1000 to me! There was no way I could have saved that much. And I feared that by the time I could raise that much, the toys would be gone. Well, I had to leave it put, but if I didn't know any better, I would have shoplifted that penguin!! But I knew that was wrong so I didn't do it. I left that store empty-handed, and went home, but when I did go home, I thought of and talked about nothing but that some day I was going to get that plush emperor penguin.

Well, for the following 3 months, until summer, I continuously went back to that store just to see if that plush penguin was there. Sure enough it was! All that time, it was still there. Well, my grandma somehow heard of my dilemma, and she wanted to offer me $40 to paint and finish the drawers in her bedroom, so I said OK. It was now summer vacation, and I was going to stay there a couple of weeks and work on her drawers. The weekend before I left for grandma's, I went back to that mall to see if the penguin I wanted was still there. Sure enough it was. I figured it has been there for 3 whole months that maybe it will still be there when I get paid in 2 weeks. I managed to have it almost finished in a week. And then grandma went nuts one day. So I spent the rest of that day just working on her drawers so I could go home the next day. I didn't like staying at her place when she was going nuts. She'd start crying and get freaky sometimes and I didn't like it. Don't get me wrong, I loved my grandma! But I hated it when she would get all nutty.

The very next day I headed for home, and I got some extra money that I had been saving that I thought would be good enough to cover the tax on that plush penguin. Then I caught the bus back down to the mall, all the way singing to myself "I'm going to get my penguin!" I was high on anticipation! It was bright and early when I took off, I was going to quickly run down to the mall, purchase my penguin, run home and go back to sleep, caressing with my new plush pet! That bus could not get there fast enough for me. When it finally reached the parking lot, I ran out of that bus, all the way into the mall and back to Waldenbooks, all with the greatest excitement. I fully expected to see that shelf again, with all the plush animals sitting on it, including my penguin, just like I saw them only one week before, and every time I went there for the previous 3 months. But when I got there, all the plush animals, including my penguin, were all gone!! It was like an arrow had pierced me right through the heart! Just when I had finally got the money to purchase this item, it was gone!

The first words that came to my mind was of course "Where are they???" So I asked the clerk. He told me the plush animals were not selling very well, so they sent them back. I even went so far as to tell the clerk how I'd scrimped and saved for 3 months to get that penguin, and about the job I did for grandma. All he could give me was a half-assed apology, which was more like a brush-off. I asked him when they would ever have those again and he said "Maybe at Christmas." Well, you could imagine my disappointment. There I was with the money I had saved for months, and the last bit I worked so hard at. And nothing to show for it. I was really upset! That's probably the most upset I ever have been in my life. At least at that time. It taught me a lesson too! It taught me that from then on, when I see something I really want, I need to find a way to get it right then! Because it won't wait till I have the money. I had just seen that penguin only a week before, and up until then, had been there for 3 full months, so the thought of asking the store to hold it until I got paid didn't even cross my mind. I figured it would still be there then. But the clerk told me they had just sent the plush animals back only a couple of days before I got there to purchase it.

Just FTR, in case anybody was wondering, Waldenbooks never did get those plush toys back not even for Christmas. And today, you can't get those plush toys anywhere! I've looked! Even on ebay they don't have them. I looked on ebay, Amazon, even on the World Wildlife Fund's own website. They are nowhere now. Even stores that used to always have them don't have them anymore. So that was one opportunity that I completely missed out on, and would never get back again. Just goes to show you! When opportunity knocks, you'd better answer the door! To this day, I wondered what GOD's plan for me was there. Why was I not able to get that penguin, even though I wanted it more than anything? I guess I will never know for sure.
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