Pick Me!

A weblog by Laura Moncur


I Never Had A Big Wheel

Filed under: Barbies and other favorite toys,Personal History — Laura Moncur @ 8:25 am

Plaid Stallions had a Nerd Therapy Session that touched my heart:

Sherry recalls:

From the time I was about 5, every Christmas and birthday, I would ask for a Big Wheel. Would I get one? No! My mother was adamant, and always thought she had good reasons; “You’ll outgrow it too fast”, or “We don’t have room to store it”.

I never got a Big Wheel either. My dad considered them death traps because they were so short that cars couldn’t see them. Instead, he bought a couple of thrift store bikes and made me a Franken Bike out of the parts.

I was so embarrassed by the ripped brown seat held together by duct tape. It didn’t entirely clash with the bright yellow frame, but it certainly didn’t look like a GIRL’S bike, which was really important to me back then.

He tried to make it better by putting pink streamer hand grips on the long handlebars, but that just made it look even more grotesque. Not a picture of that bike exists today because I was unwilling to be photographed riding it.

How I wish I could see that bike again today…

I made a mockup of what my bike kind of looked like using this original photo from the BMX Museum forums: Original bike picture

Bless my poor dad’s heart, he was just trying to save my life.

After my parents got divorced, my mom lifted the ban on Big Wheels and my little sister got a Green Machine Big Wheel. I was too old to fit into a Big Wheel by then, so I was so jealous of her. Here is a picture of a Green Machine from Marx Toy Museum via Fourth Grade Nothing.

She never seemed bothered that it was a boy’s toy.

In the end, that one of a kind Franken Bike that my dad made me became far more valuable in my mind than the Big Wheel because it was the the toy of my childhood. It almost seems that it doesn’t matter WHAT we play with as children, whether it’s cool or embarrassing, we end up cherishing it because it was the toy that held us up while we were learning how to make our way in this world.


Buy Cheap or Expensive?

Filed under: Personal History — Laura Moncur @ 7:22 am

I used to have a friend named Faisal from Pakistan. Once he told me that in his country they had a saying:

Buy expensive and you cry once. Buy cheap and you cry many times.

I smiled and nodded, saying that we had the same saying here. It went:

You get what you pay for.

Over the last ten years, I’ve thought of Faisal’s saying many many times and I believe it is wrong. This morning, I realized why.

I was looking at my sandals. They were sitting on the carpeting, discarded after a long and tiring day yesterday. I remembered that I had bought them at about the same time as my conversation with Faisal so many years ago. Ten years. These sandals have lasted me over ten years.

When I bought them, I had felt a wave of guilt because they cost me about fifty dollars and I had never once in my life spent that much on a pair of sandals. I could remember the distinct shame of spending so much money on frivolous shoes. Every time I had looked at those sandals, I had felt that twinge of shame for their exorbitant price.

This morning, however, I calculated exactly how much those sandals have cost me. I know I’ve owned them for over ten years, so they have averaged less than five bucks a year. The longer they last, the cheaper their per year cost will be.

While I was remembering how long I’ve had these sandals, all our adventures came to mind. They were there for me when we swam in the fish-filled waters of Roatan. I’ve washed the stench of sweat out of them by throwing them in the washing machine. They have accompanied me on countless camping trips to Lake Mead and the mountains of Utah. They have even scaled Elephant Hill, following Stacey and Dan, slowly inching the Hummer up the trail. Mike has taken hundreds of pictures of me wearing them. They have been my good friends these last ten years.

I will truly grieve when they inevitably break and I can no longer wear them.

You see, Faisal was wrong. Buy expensive and you cry TWICE. Once when you buy the item and once when you finally have to say goodbye to it.


Mike and I Bought A Teardrop Trailer

Filed under: Teardrop Trailer Restoration — Laura Moncur @ 10:00 am

Last Thursday, Mike and I bought this cool teardrop trailer.

I talked about it ad nauseum on Starling Travel with more photos.

We are in the process of renovating it, so I’ll be posting photos of it here since Starling Travel is about TRAVEL, not trailer restoration.

We’ve already stripped some of the peeling white paint (paradoxically, the black paint is sticking just fine and looks great). I’ll post photos of that in a couple of days once we get it down to the point where we can paint.

After months of fighting a teardrop trailer obsession, I am finally a teardrop owner! So excited!

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