A Pony For Christmas

Banner news today…after waiting for 40 years it finally came to me yesterday – the pony I wanted for Christmas when I was ten!

Well, not an actual pony, I am speaking symbolically of course about the type of gift that you know you have only a small chance of getting, but you just want it so bad that you hope against hope and all reason that you’ll get it.  I have had many pony moments in life beyond the original one at age ten and all have ended in bitter disappointment.

I think a lot of kids ask for ponies.  The year I asked for one I think I got a Barbie Styling Head instead.  Needless to say, it didn’t measure up.  In Barbie’s defense she did have makeup that you could also apply to her face after styling her hair.  The blue eye shadow was somewhat exciting. I remember waking up that morning and running out to the living room fully expecting to see my pony or at least a note that said “look outside” where my very own Christmas pony would be waiting for me.  No pony, no note, no way.

Was it unrealistic to hope for such a thing – yes of course it was, but that doesn’t stop the daring hope that for once a miraculous thing that is against all odds will happen to you. There was the time as a young teenager that I hoped against hope that I would meet David Cassidy and he would fall madly in love with me (and for those of you who are youngsters – he was on the Partridge Family show and a “stone cold fox”).  David never came to visit my small town of West Covina, California which is why (I am sure to this day) he was unable to fall madly in love with me – had he met me I am sure it would have been love at first sight. But my parents could not allow us to live in a big glitzy exciting town like Hollywood, no we had to live in the suburbs (where I might add they don’t allow ponies).  Damn, I always hated geography!

There was the time that I hoped against hope that my girl singing group would be discovered and I would be a rich and famous singer.  This was a particularly brazen hope as I can’t even keep the alphabet song on key (albeit I was only a back-up singer and my dancing was phenomenal).  But nonetheless the group members, Natalie, Pam and little ol’ me, were so convinced that we would be all the rage that we adopted stage names – Andi, Toni and Franki.  I was Franki and my autograph – which I practiced for weeks- had a heart as the dot for the “i”.  It was very star like in my estimation.  I was oh so ready and oh so hopeful…unfortunately, I was also oh so delusional.  The record company never called (oh, and for those of you who may not recognize this term “record” it was the way we listened to music back in the day on the creatively named machine called a “record player” – it was all the rage…really).

Then there was the time that I hoped against hope that the Publisher’s Clearing House would pull up in front of my house and award me the big check.  I was all ready with my cutest outfit, surprised look and impromptu speech.  I even made sure my porch and entry were spotless so that I would appear like a good and deserving citizen when they arrived.  Alas, after hours of waiting and peering nervously out the front window I had to acknowledge that the van was not coming.

An enduring pony moment that happens again and again to this very day is hoping against hope that Oprah is going to somehow learn about me and want to be my BFF (best friend forever). But no…that one has not happened either…yet.

But yesterday, FINALLY, I had a pony moment that did not end in bitter disappointment and I have to tell you friends it was as glorious a moment as I had always imagined.   I thought to myself, “Damn, this new forty thing is really working for me – Oprah was right – this is the best time of a woman’s life!”  I felt like I was a blossom whose petals were finally opening and were soaking up the sun for the first time – I was immersed in the moment.

Ah, but there is a stern warning to offer here, the pony moment is immediately addictive (like Crack – you have one pony moment and all you can think about is your next pony moment).  I was gleeful all day, but by the end of the day I was Jones’n for my next pony fix.  Yes this is the sad (but true) downside of actually achieving the pony moment – wanting to hit the pony high again and again.

I am not sure yet if I will seek treatment or if I will keep searching for the next pony high.  I can’t imagine what the twelve step program even looks like for this addiction.  It must involve reasonable expectations and hard work – but who wants that?  Don’t we all want a pony?

Ah, but I digress yet again, my pony moment yesterday, I almost forgot to tell you.  This was like all my other pony moments – hoping against hope that I would get this unlikely outcome and determined to believe it possible until someone turned out the lights.  And then it happened – yesterday morning I learned that my grant application to the U.S. Department of Education designed to help NDSU build the capacity to do comprehensive emergency planning (written in May 2008) was funded to the tune of $412,352.  Now, you gotta’ admit…that is one good-looking pony.

Day five of the new forty – obla di obla da

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