In my childhood home there was no television. My sister and I were not coerced by commercials into believing that we needed a specific item. When we told Santa we wanted a doll there was no specificity.
Do you remember the Cabbage Patch doll debacle? How shopping center stocks were depleted near Christmas, 1983, and parents were spending hundreds of dollars to purchase one so as not to disappoint their son or daughter who was expecting a Cabbage Patch doll under the tree? I wonder now how these same children who are now adults handle disappointments when their expectations are shattered? Do they always blame something or someone else for their dissatisfaction? The ethos of a good attitude towards diversity is a developed skill—honed with experience.
Sometimes one’s expectations can go beyond what they dream. But this does not occur often and without considerable dedication. This happened to Xavier Roberts. He created fabric sculptured dolls he named Little People. He began making these dolls by hand, in 1978. Did he have expectations that the dolls would become historic? It’s doubtful.
Roberts sold them at fairs throughout the Southeast. In 1982 he sold the rights of the soft sculptured dolls to Coleco, a toy manufacturer, who changed the name to Cabbage Patch Kids. Xavier Roberts was a millionaire by the age of 26.
It was the unique marketing concept that helped sell the dolls. When “adopting” a Cabbage Patch Kid, an adoption certificate and name were included. In 1985 “Christopher Xavier” became the first CPK on a NASA Space Shuttle. A US postage stamp commemorating the 1980s is a Cabbage Patch Kid image—a dimpled, orange-red headed doll with yellow ribbons in her hair and wearing a yellow sweater. The US Olympic team chose a Cabbage Patch doll to be their mascot in 1992 and again, in 1996, with special sport related CPKs designed for the event. This was the most successful doll in toy history.
Those adults who did not receive a Cabbage Patch doll under the Christmas tree as a child will find that they are now collectors items. That old expectation of holding a Cabbage Patch doll can be appeased by purchasing one off Ebay.
Whatever your expectations in life, remember to temper them. Sometimes you will be surprised or possibly disappointed. It is when we assume too much that the difficulties in life become unmanageable. After all, it was only a doll.
Copyright ©Ann Rains
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