When my family moved from a podunk town in South Korea to a slightly-less-but-still-relatively podunk town in Texas, I had two things working against me. One, I was a dumber-than-average 5-year-old, and two, I didn’t know a lick of English.
Shortly after we moved, my mom got wind of the Great American Concept- garage sales. Every weekend, she convinced my reluctant dad to drive around while she scoped out random neighborhoods for steals and deals.
As we were walking home after kindergarten one day, my mom spotted
a garage an apartment sale in a unit close to our own.
I was still trying to learn to speak me some American, so I didn’t understand what the mother-and-daughter duo were saying. Before I knew it, we were inside their apartment. Were we taking a tour? Were we looking at additional items for sale? Who the hell knows; I was five.
In the daughter’s room, I spotted a Monchhichi doll. Yes! I’d been eyeing one at the local five-and-dime, and I couldn’t believe I was going to get one that day…at
garage apartment sale prices, no less.
I started carrying it around. In my mind, we were already at home and I was adoring it and loving it and playing with it. God, I loved America. I asked how much they wanted for the doll in broken English as we were about to exit.
The next five minutes were a little fuzzy. All I could piece together was that the doll was NOT for sale and the little girl was getting a little worried that I was doing some sort of immigrant five-finger discount.
I didn’t take that baby home. My mom refused to buy it for me full price. Damn you, garage sales, for teaching my mother to think everything should cost a quarter.
At Target this week, I spotted a Monchhichi doll. I wanted to bring it home for Cal so that she wouldn’t have any repressed Monchhichi doll issues as an adult.
Who am I kidding?? She doesn’t even know what a Monchhichi doll is!
I wanted it for myself, but shiz, you know, The Project. I stood in front of the display for nearly ten minutes. I gave myself a little pep talk. Surely, if I could resist the temptations of sparkly dresses and butter-soft sandals and manicures and pedicures and fast food and Starbucks and gorgeous sweaters and even new socks, I should be able to walk away from a furr-baby.
Apparently, the market rate for doom is $9.29. I bought it. It’s official. I’m a Project Fuck-up.
I thought about returning my new friend, Chhichi, but I’ve already kissed her and petted her and licked her face, so I’m not sure Target wants her back.