I Took My Son To A Toy Shop And Found They Stock Mid-Life Crises -

I Took My Son To A Toy Shop And Found They Stock Mid-Life Crises

Credit: huffingtonpost.com.au

  • Nov 30 2017 02:30About: 18 days ago
  • 5 views

My son got a toy shop voucher last Christmas -- a great gift for him, a diplomatic mission for me. He was always going to want something bigger and better than the voucher could afford. There's something condemning about our culture when a child can leave a toy shop unhappy.

As it turned out, though, he was fine. It was me who wandered into a weird experience; the toys sparking another in a series of middle-age crises.

My son and I separated shortly after we first walked into the toy shop. I wanted to show him the model planes and boats I used to build when I was a kid. He had no interest in those and ran off to find the latest Ninjago and Nexo Knights box sets -- Lego subcultures I didn't fully understand.

What came first, anyway, the toy or the TV show? Or were they released together, a marketing blitzkrieg on eight to 10-year-old boys.

I stayed behind to look at toys that don't get their own commercials. Model rocket kits that you build and paint yourself, and fly with combustible powder engine cartridges that look like little sticks of dynamite.

I don't know what we bought for my son in the toy shop that day. It doesn't really matter. Not yet.

I loved those rockets. Every launch was a neighborhood event, complete with countdown. Sometimes they fizzled on the launch pad. Sometimes they blasted off to what seemed like the edge of earth's atmosphere, at least to my nine-year-old imagination. I lost more than one of those rockets to suburban rooftops when their parachutes failed to open. Preparing for the descent was not on my radar.

This toy shop was well stocked. I picked up boxes of model airplanes; a 'Spitfire', a 'Messerschmitt', complete with decals, rotating propellers and even tiny pilots in accurate uniform. I loved all the detail and remembered how my cheap, glossy paints never gave my own model planes the professional finish I was after. I guess I'd left a few toy stores disappointed, too.

I heard a song through the toy shop's weak, tinny speakers and worked hard to ignore the tune. It was Kajagoogoo's 'Too Shy', a song that reminded me of an improbably, intimidatingly beautiful girl who once broke my heart. I didn't want that grown up memory polluting my pure enjoyment of these toys.

I wanted to stay with the boxes of model railway cars and the scenery: the hollowed out plastic mountain tunnel sprayed with synthetic moss, the boxes of little cloud sheep, the half-dozen miniature sunbathers waiting to be released from their hermetically sealed plastic dome.

It was in that toy shop that I finally understood the phenomenon of middle-aged dedication to model railways. It was all built on nostalgia; a yearning to manifest a platonic ideal of the world in miniature that had never -- could never -- exist in a world populated by real people who don't emerge from a plastic case, designed, knees bent, with no other purpose than to sit on a park bench, or endlessly punch tickets on a railway platform.

Models are about making time stand still.

I don't know what we bought for my son in the toy shop that day. It doesn't really matter. Not yet.



Follow Us on Twitter

*Batteries sold separately.

Related stories with I Took My Son To A Toy Shop And Found They Stock Mid-Life Crises

China vows steps after US launches probe into aluminum trade -World News
China vows steps after US launches probe into aluminum trade 18 days ago
China will take necessary measures to ensure Chinese aluminum companies' legal rights, the Ministry of Commerce said on Wednes
This Indian mother-daughter duo is set to fly around the world in 80 days -World News
This Indian mother-daughter duo is set to fly around the world in 80 days 18 days ago
There has never been a better time in history to speak about women empowerment. Between the 2017 Women’s March, putting the spotlight on sexual predators, and feminism on the runways, women are back on the frontline, demanding justice and equal standin
Man of the Times: Jean-Claude Biver, Part II -World News
Man of the Times: Jean-Claude Biver, Part II 18 days ago
By Tim Mosso Jean-Claude Biver’s arrival at the helm of Zenith and TAG Heuer was announced amid the manic media scrum of the 2014 Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie trade show. The glamor of the occasion, in which Switzerland’s top executives
2018 Hyundai Kona is coming to the U.S. -World News
2018 Hyundai Kona is coming to the U.S. 18 days ago
Filed under: Videos,Autoblog Minute,Original Video The 2018 Hyundai Kona crossover is officially coming to the U.S. It’s Hyundai’s first B-Segment crossover for the U.S. market. The Kona is scheduled to be at dealerships in t
Sarah Hanson-Young Cries In Senate Speech On Marriage Equality -World News
Sarah Hanson-Young Cries In Senate Speech On Marriage Equality 18 days ago
'Boy this parliament has come such a long way'.
Hackers Broke Through the iPhone X Face ID with a $150 Mask -World News
Hackers Broke Through the iPhone X Face ID with a $150 Mask 18 days ago
What was all that "one in a million" talk?
Questions Raised Over What Nine Network Knew Of Don Burke Allegations -World News
Questions Raised Over What Nine Network Knew Of Don Burke Allegations 18 days ago
Former bosses describe Burke as a 'terrible grub' and 'Harvey Weinstein-type' figure, but he was never punished.
Stardew Valley's town built in 3D using Sims 4 -World News
Stardew Valley's town built in 3D using Sims 4 18 days ago
Have you ever wondered what Stardew Valley's Pelican Town, and its residents, would look like in 3D? Well wonder no longer because thanks to artist DrGluon and Sims YouTuber Loverrlee we now know - cute as a button.The town was recreated in The Sims 4's b
Charity Fundraisers Can Get 17 Times Your Donation In Commission -World News
Charity Fundraisers Can Get 17 Times Your Donation In Commission 18 days ago
New report sheds light on maligned fundraising industry.
Scientists warn Lake Victoria is dying -World News
Scientists warn Lake Victoria is dying 18 days ago
They blame over-fishing and pollution for severely damaged fish stocks in Africa's largest freshwater lake.
Shenzhen Customs cracks case of pangolin smuggling -World News
Shenzhen Customs cracks case of pangolin smuggling 18 days ago
Shenzhen Customs announced on Wednesday that it c