Monday, July 6, 2009

Can't Buy Happiness

On the trip home from a visit to Grandma and Grandpa’s farm, Eiledon was deeply engrossed by her Pokemon Diamond and Pearl game on her Nintendo DS. For those of you who don’t know, it’s a hand-held video-game unit—looks like a tiny laptop. Of course, Eiledon’s is pink. Gavin had decided not to bring his DS on the trip but was perfectly content to lean halfway across the back seat of the car to watch Eiledon play. He can do this for hours. I don’t get it, but hey, no one was fighting.

As dinner time approached, there was a bit of commotion in the back seat—whooping and hollering with glee.

“What happened?” I asked.

“You’ll never believe this!” Gavin shouted. The child always talks loudly, but this time the volume was up to 11. “Eiledon caught a Cranidos!!!!”

I couldn’t have told you the first thing about a Cranidos except that it was obviously quite the prize.

“That’s great!” I said.

There were more exclamations of joy from both children, and an excited conversation about how Cranidos had been obtained from a fossil and how it would evolve into a Rampardos and how it could learn Zen Head Butt after it learned Ancient Power. Seriously. Aren’t you totally jazzed by this information?!? Like I said. No one was fighting.

We pulled off the interstate at St. Michael to grab a bite to eat. We hit McDonald’s first as Gavin wanted a “happy meal” with chicken nuggets, apple slices and milk and, of course, the TOY that came with it. This time the toy was a dinosaur from the new Ice Age animated movie. Eiledon, who dislikes McDonalds entirely with the exception of the fries and chocolate milk-shakes, opted to forego the toy for Subway across the road.

Dan and Gavin waited in the car while Eiledon and I went in to order our meals.

As they munched on their dinners, Gavin regarded his “happy meal” and said philosophically, “I think Eiledon’s much happier than I am. She caught a Cranidos. I just got a fake dinosaur.”

And there you have it, folks. You can’t buy happiness. At least, not at McDonald’s.