A wonderful woman that I know posted a panicky plea on Facebook today:
"On the hunt for a Luvabella Baby Girl. Not the newborn. [My daughter] has decided this is a suitable replacement for a the baby sister she prays for every night. Can’t find one in stock anywhere. I think it will be a hidden gem in a random store somewhere. If anyone happens to see one please scoop it up and i will add a finders fee to the purchase!"
Took me back in time, prolly thirty-five years, when Sherry just a year or two older than this little girl. It was the infamous Year of the Cabbage Patch Kid and in our house one was desperately needed. It wasn't Christmas, but Eastertime, and that wascally wabbit had better deliver. True, no one in our house believed in the Easter Bunny at that point, but Joe and I knew what -- as good parents -- we needed to do. However, it seemed a near impossibility. Every store had been sold out since before Christmas.
There were ads in the classifieds that the doll could be found in somewhat suspicious circumstances that involved a CASH ONLY transaction in a dark and lonely parking lot. I was just about to succumb to the risk of #whatcouldpossiblygowrong when one weekday morning I somehow learned that the Kiddie City in Center City had received a shipment. Said KC was only a few blocks from where Himself was working downtown in Philadelphia.
I called him and quickly outlined how he was going to spend his lunch hour that day. Skin color and hair color, I told him, were irrelevant. Just make sure it was a girl. He knew a desperate situation when he heard one and promptly set out. But when he reported back by phone at 1:15, the news wasn't good. Kiddie City had one, but her name was Evangeline, and he didn't think Sherry would like that.
Don't condemn him, friends. He's a man.
At my "suggestion," back to the store he went. By the grace of God, Evangeline was still on the shelf and he scooped her up.
The story could end here, except it doesn't.
On the chance that he was right about the Kid's name, we began a campaign at home wherein we were right and left stumbling over people named Evangeline. Familiarity, we thought, would dispel any dislike of the name. Joe would report having a chat on the train with a woman named Evangeline, and we proclaimed astonishment when a waitress on a rare adults-only dinner out bore the same moniker. Even the impeccably trustworthy Aunt Bonnie was hauled in on the scheme, not that I remember where her purported Evangeline encounter occurred. It was enough to make one think that Evangeline was the new most popular name for girls, a concept Sherry could readily understand being that there were no fewer than six Jennifers in the second grade at her school.
Easter morning dawned filled with its usual joy and hope, especially at our home that year, as Joe and I were confident all would be well. Each of the boys opened and was pleased with whatever Star Wars apparatus had been wished for. Sherry unwrapped her package, beamed with delight and then saw the name. And she knew.
"You really got me, didn't you!" she exclaimed.
Good luck, Michele, with that Luvabella. May she make Rosie's Christmas. And you've made my day today.