Ho ho no

Monday, December 14, 2009
Now, before you all go judging me...let me tell you up front, with crystal clear self-awareness, that I took the kids to go see Santa, not for them, but for me and D. B has been on this planet a little over 2 months. She doesn't even realize yet that she's got hands. And E was only excited because like the idiots we are, we got him all fired up to go see Santa, thinking that it would make standing in line and sitting in a strange old man's lap a little less painful.

Our first attempt to see the fat guy was Saturday. B and I stood in line while E and his dad raced around the mall. We got there shortly after the mall opened and the line was already 60+ minutes long. Then an "elf" came over and told our section of the line that Santa would be taking a scotch and cigarette milk and cookies break right around the time that we would be seeing him. Which meant that if we didn't make the noon cutoff, we'd be waiting an additional 30 minutes. Yeah? No.

Which is why I found myself doing this solo. Or as I jokingly refer to it, so-low. Against his very loud wishes, I dressed E in a button down shirt, dressed B in an attempt to make her look feminine and cute without looking cutesy, and buckled them into the car a full hour before the mall was to open. Fed B in the parking garage and we were out of the car four minutes after the official Santa start time. We shuffled our little legs as quickly as we could past the elderly mall walkers and as we rounded the bend, I could see that the line was not as long as it was on Saturday. Yea for us!

Luckily, the line moved fast (40 minutes or so) and the kids all entertained each other. B was in good spirits, having just woken up from a toasty warm nap in the Ergo. E was singing the Wonder Pets theme song with alternate lyrics (Wonder Pets, Wonder Pets, We're on Our Way...too see Santa and save the day...) and honing his wall-scaling skills. It was finally our turn and like the fearless little boy that he is, E climbed up the steps and got in Santa's lap.

"Have you been a good little boy for Santa?" he whispered.
"Yes. I want the Wonder Pets."
"Do you like toys and trains and trucks and cars?" again with the whisper.
"Yes. And I like the Wonder Pets, too."
"And you've been a good little boy for Santa?" whisper whisper.
"Yes. And that's my mom."
"Yes, but you have to be a good little boy for Santa," enough with the whispering already.
"Yes. I want the Wonder Pets."

You gotta hand it to Cherry Creek. They pick very authentic looking Santas. But I'm pretty sure that the real Santa wouldn't have insisted on whispering to E about being a "good little boy for Santa" over and over again. Maybe it's just me, but in the past three years we've gone twice to see Santa and the first time the guy looked like he had cirrhosis of the liver with a side of hepatitis and this year the guy had a creepy whisper. But you know what? Who cares? Because we were all dressed up and I was getting a picture thankyouverymuch.

I looked through the five pictures the elf behind the camera took and pick the least crappy best one. E looks like he's high and B looks like one of the Sopranos. Awesome. We paid a steep price for a mediocre picture and we were out of there. I got home, plugged the flash drive in and guess what. It doesn't work. It doesn't effing work. I tried blowing on it, plugging it in a different port, shaking it, rebooting my laptop, everything. The bottom half of the picture is yellow. I sent an email to the address on their website and this is what I got:

Dear Ms. J,

I am very sorry for the problem that you have described. Unfortunately, there is no easy fix. I would be happy to set up a retake photo (no waiting) if that is a convenient option. Of course, I will be happy to refund you for the package you purchased. Please advise, and again I offer my sincerest apologies.


While I am impressed with their customer service, I am loath to even consider going back, line or no line. I send her this response:


I don't know if you have children, but I have a newborn and a 2.5 yr old. It took us all morning, and quite a few tears, to get ready to go see Santa. And to tell you the truth, I didn't do it for the kids, I did it for myself. Since I already feel guilty for dragging them out to the mall, sitting them in some strange man's lap, and begging them to SMILE! just once, I wouldn't lather, rinse and repeat if you paid me. So we'll gladly take the refund.

I appreciate how quickly and kindly you responded to my email. I hope you have a wonderful holiday season.

Mrs. J

Now excuse me while I go whisper a bunch of swear words under my breath.
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