Elmo Suckers Me to the Dark Side

Stupid Elmo. Stupid Fisher-Price. Stupid Mommy.

This will be the first Christmas my daughter will be old enough to actually get a little excited about the consumer hoopla. Toys-lots of them. Everywhere. Stuffed in stockings, shoved under trees.

She has a mild affection for that little red monster from Sesame Street and my suburban soccer, (no wait) security, (nope, that's not it either) mortgage mom ears perked up when I heard about the new TMX Elmo-the 10th Anniversary Tickle Me Elmo rolled out with much pomp and circumstance at toy stores across the nation this week.

Predictably, the "special" Elmo flew off shelves and parents are already beating each other up to get their hands on one for the little darlings.

Hi, My Name is Erin, and I too tried to get an Elmo.

I know, I know. Horrible, isn't it? We all know it's a marketing ploy. We all know my 17-month old doesn't really need an annoying, red, giggling monster.

So why did I pre-order one on Amazon.com, only to get ANGRY when I was sent this email:

Hello from Amazon.com. We are sorry to report that we will not be able to obtain the following item from your order: "TMX Elmo" Though we had expected to be able to send this item to you, we've since found that it is not available from any of our sources at this time. We realize this is disappointing news to hear, and we apologize for the inconvenience we have caused you.

Now imagine this mom yelling "BASTARDS!" at the top of her lungs while sipping her latte and checking her email. Sick. Sad.

What the hell is wrong with me? Are we just so used to being force fed what we think we need, that we happily give up hard earned dollars and minds to be able to hold up some toy like a Suburban Trophy? And what was with my disappointment at NOT being able to secure one of these coveted items? Does it go back to my roots, the days when my parents scoured suburban Detroit stores for a Cabbage Patch? (As an aside, my mother called as I was typing this, wanting to know if she could go look at her Target for this year's must have gift.)

All I know is some ugly emotions came out of me when I found out I would not be getting an Elmo. Not food. Or shelter. Or even health care. But AN ELMO. That is how powerful today's marketing schemes are. They have me believing I need one of these in order to make my child's life complete.

I also know if someone wanted to slip me one of those giggling red guys on the sly, I'd take it. I'm not proud, dammit.