Monday, April 23, 2007

The Drama That Is ebay

It's called a Webkinz. It's like a Beany Baby with it's own online community. You buy the doll, enter a code on a web page, and suddenly you are playing with your new toy in a virtual world with all of your little Webkinz-owning friends.

Cute, isn't it?

It's a pain in the part where pains aren't good, that's what it is.

Anna wants the Pegasus. She must have the Pegasus. She has been saving and saving for Pegasus for the last week now. Unfortunately, Pegasus is rare. About to be retired, they say.

Anna hasn't been able to find Pegasus in a store. Never mind that she hasn't actually gone to a store where they sell Webkinz, or called or emailed or anything. She just knows she won't be able to find it in the store, because it's rare.

She knows it's rare, because that's what the sellers on ebay say. Every one of the 208 Webkins Pegasus dolls for sale at this very moment has listed in the item description that this toy is rare.

It's also expensive. With shipping, most sell for well over $20. Anna doesn't have $20. And I won't give it to her, now that I'm a mean dad and she's getting an allowance.

You see, the time was not too long ago that I would have just made up jobs for her to do for a little bit of money, and she would have gotten me to agree to let her have the money now while she worked it off later, thereby managing to get away with twice as much money for half as many jobs.

But she made a mistake.

Anna's mistake was negotiating for an allowance. I feel it's rather generous, but it stipulates completion of chores. And she is not allowed to borrow against it. So now she has to save up her money in order to get what she wants.

What a mean dad I am.

Now Anna's learning some life lessons. Like how hard it is to buy something on ebay for three dollars less than the current going rate. She has been outbid over a dozen times in the last 24 hours. She's learning about disappointment and discouragement, and you'd think for all the tears this stupid little doll has caused that it was a date to the prom.

I know I'm going to be in trouble one of these days, when the tears are over a boy and not some flimsy piece of stuffed fabric. Then again, it might actually be easier, because I understand the pain of a broken heart and should be much more sympathetic.

I don't understand tears over toys. I never cried when I couldn't find a Jawa, even when all my friends managed to come up with one. I was disappointed, sure. But there were never tears. I never cried about toys.

Girls, yes. Toys, no.

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