By Estelle Sobel Erasmus
I know, it’s been a while. To be fair, I’ve had a difficult time transitioning out of the carefree, vacation-mind of the summer. We had two family trips in short order in August and early September; one of which was a trip to Disney World. During both those trips I had a much-needed break from social media and got a little more focused on what I really want. More on that to come.
Suffice to say that it has been very, very, hard getting back into a blogging routine, or any kind of routine at all after all that (I know…I know.. first world problems). And of course, as you are aware for a while I’ve been Searching for My Creativity.
But let me take a moment to tell you what’s been on my mind lately…
It’s the allure of the women in my family and their ability to elicit the attention of men. Let’s start with my mother. When she was a teenager and living in Israel, a Sheik (Sheik) offered my grandmother a huge wad of cash in exchange for her. That’s right, cash, which wasn’t chump change even back in the day. He saw my mother at the airport; and proceeded to try to win her over with talk of all his riches. When that didn’t work, he turned his attention to my grandmother. I believe he first offered horses and cattle and sheep; and then moved to cash. My grandmother had gone through a war and been to hell and back for her family, but to her credit, turned him down flat (not sure if Honey Boo Boo’s mom would have done the same).
Which brings me back to well, me. Back in the day, I was known as the “Dating Diva”, and spoke regularly on talk shows about how to get a man’s attention and interest, and keep it. I also was quite the dating expert and knew how turn a get together for coffee into a five- course-meal (more on that later, too). I had an opportunity to publish a book about dating (just ask book agent Katharine Sands), but had met my husband and decided that I wanted to be married, and didn’t want to be the “Dating Diva” anymore. So I passed on the book project. I’ve known my husband for ten years, so this all truly went down more than a decade ago, and um, I guess I’ve kept my husband’s interest, so maybe I should have written that book:)
At any rate, my daughter has exhibited an uncanny ability to elicit interest from grandfatherly type figures (as well as toddler boys). When she was a baby, we were traveling in Toronto and an older man came right up to our table at dinner and gave us a tiny key chain with two dangling dutch shoes, to give to my “adorable little one.” I accepted the homage to my daughter graciously, but to my husband’s amusement refused to give it to her to handle, convinced that a tiny camera was concealed in one of the shoes. Bottom line: I managed to
throw it in the garbage lose it once we got home.
Flash forward to this month. We were coming home from Yom Kippur services, and went to the mailroom to get our mail. My husband was wearing my daughter’s piggy neck rest around his neck while carrying her (the Princess must be toted when her feet hurts much like a mini-Cleopatra). An older, distinguished looking gentleman looked at the piggy neck rest and asked my husband, “what is that? Where did you get it.?” My husband said, “it’s for the airport, but she likes to carry it around. Not sure where we got it.” I volunteered, “Maybe at Target.” “Can I see it?” the man said. “My name is Ed Kaplan and I’m a toy inventor.”
“Wow,” I exclaimed. “What toys did you invent?”
“I just came from a meeting with Fisher Price,” Ed said. ” I have a lot of licenses, but did you ever hear of Doodle Bear?”
“Doodle Bear? We love Doodle Bear,” I exclaimed, thinking of the Doodle Bear we had upstairs who was festooned in ink all over his Doodle Bear body.
My daughter smiled brightly at him. “I have a Doodle Bear,” she said. He’s in my home.”
“I happen to have a special Doodle Bear with me, and I’d love to give it to this young lady, if that’s ok with you,” he said to me, smiling back at her. Look, here’s my name on the back of this package. And sure, enough there was his name-Ed Kaplan– as it was also on the card he handed me.
“This is a special Doodle Bear,” he repeated. You won’t find another one like it. They don’t make these anymore.”
My daughter’s starting early at working her charms, but as long as there are no Sheiks around (or men bearing gifts like creepy key chains), I think we’re good.
What “gifts” have you or your children elicited, and what do you think about it?