Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Land of Misfit Toys

I've always rooted for the underdog. My heart melts into a puddle at the sight (or even the mention) of something someone else derides. If it's a team, I'm inclined to support it. If it's a toy, I'll surely want to hug it. If it's a book, I'll likely want to read it.

And I can never get through an annual viewing of the yuletide television perennial "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" without wanting to adopt every single one of the playthings that have been deemed (by society? Santa Claus?) "misfits."

So, as the calendar says we're closer to Valentines Day or St. Paddy's than Christmas, why do I have Rudolph's plastic and furry pals on the brain?

Spring Cleaning (and that phrase always makes me think of another classic -- James Barrie's Peter Pan) is coming early to my house. We're doing a major de-clutterfying and I am discovering things I haven't used, or even seen, for years, and forgot I owned. That qualification would seem to make the item destined for either the scrap heap or the thrift shop.

I have no problem consigning my husband's area rugs to that category, but when I come across an old and beloved childhood toy -- the long-since-bald doll, the one with now-wonky legs, or the stuffed animal that has so many patches it's hard for a civilian to tell what species it once represented, a current interpretation of a "misfit toy," I can't imagine doing anything but wanting to love it.

So, as we're about to stare down another blizzard here in NYC, I raise my iced coffee glass to Spring Cleaning and the re-discovery of Misfit Toys. You gotta love 'em.