Another Embarrassing Christmas Moment
by Amberli McCoy
As a gift from my father's DNA I received an awesomely huge gap between my two front teeth as a child. When I was really young I sincerely believed that a third front tooth was supposed to fill up that gap and I couldn't figure out why it wouldn't grow in. I even remember claiming that I'd lost a tooth when Ryan made fun of my sweet gap, on the rare occasions that he actually made fun of me.
As a young child I also did not understand why the same gingerbread cookies were used every year to decorate the Christmas tree and why after Christmas did they go back into the Christmas tree decoration box? When were we going to get to eat these yummy items?
Well, one year I decided that the cookies would last no longer, they had met their fate and their fate had something to do with my two front teeth. I waited until the house was quiet, the living room was empty. I snuck up to the tree, careful not to make a sound. I located said gingerbread man and hastily stuffed him in my pocket before stealing off to the bathroom. My mouth watered as I anticipated finally tasting the burst of cinnamon spiced heaven I had been dreaming of since Christmases long ago. I pulled the coveted treat from my pocket, admired the frosted buttons, the squiggly smile. I closed my eyes preparing for the sweet reward of patience, and sunk my two front teeth into his left foot. Momentarily deterred by the unexpected texture I bit down harder. Determined not to be deprived of my treat, I bit down again until my teeth removed the sucker's little foot. Slowly I began to chew, chewing, chewing...a little waxy...what kind of waxy cookie was this? Reality slowly dawned on me as I recognized that this was no cookie at all! It was in fact an Avon holiday item, an actual Christmas tree ornament, a gingerbread man made of a waxy soaplike substance, not at all desirable to the taste.
Horrified and scared I instinctively shoved the half eaten waxy man into the bathroom drawer and exited the bathroom quickly and quietly, leaving the scene of the crime. Time passed, the soapy taste left my mouth, the traumatic incident of the fake gingerbread cookie began to fade from my mind...until a few days later, when my mother approached me. In her hand she held a suspicious looking item. A waxy gingerbread man, missing his left foot. In her curious way my mother inquired as to whether or not I knew anything of the waxy man. I stared at her with big innocent eyes and shook my head no. When she probed further I mumbled the first thing that came to my mind, "A mouse must have done it." (Please do not think that this mouse-blaming was an isolated incident in my childhood. It was in fact the excuse that poured from my mouth anytime anything was questioned, why was my room messy, who ate the cereal, how did mud stains get on my floor or nail polish splattered on my dresser?)
My mother, the wise woman that she is, told me to open my mouth. Hesitantly I obeyed. Like the last piece of the puzzle being snuggly fit into place my mother fit that half eaten left foot right into my two front teeth. A perfect match. My gap, the square teeth marks in the sadly victimized gingerbread man. This was no work of a measly little mouse, but of a mousey little girl who stole the cheap Avon waxy man off the tree and abandoned him in the bathroom drawer...my cover was blown, my mouse excuse failed, the gap had betrayed me, and I was careful never to taste Avon items or any other such Christmas tree hangings all the days of my life...