Tuesday, January 4, 2011

I Swear I'm Not Bitter

I don’t remember a ton about my childhood, but I do remember this: I never got a Cabbage Patch Kid. I wanted one. Everyone else had one. My cousin had Ramona Anne. My best friend had Stephanie Marie. Other parents would get into physical brawls with other parents in Toys "R" Us to get their kids the last Cabbage Patch Kid on the shelf, but not my parents. Not even one little fistfight.

Do I sound bitter? I’m not bitter. Oh no. Unwrapping my Hanukkah gift and finding a box of underwear and socks instead of a cuddly, chubby-cheeked doll complete with its own birth certificate has actually made me a better person. Now, I can totally empathize with others who have been shafted.

Take flat adverbs, for example. I feel so sorry for them. These poor adverbs do the same job as regular adverbs (they modify verbs, adjectives and other adverbs), but they just don’t get the fancy ly at the end like almost all other adverbs.

Here’s a list of some flat adverbs:

fast, far, straight, fine, hard

In 1983, you had to move fast if you were going to get a Cabbage Patch Kid.
(Fast modifies the verb move.)

Mom, tell it to me straight; you are never going to buy me a Cabbage Patch Kid, are you?
(Straight modifies the verb tell.)

Slow can also be considered a flat adverb. We tend to drop the ly when slow describes a verb denoting movement:

Drive slow; there’s a Cabbage Patch Baby on board.
(Slow modifies the verb drive.)

Speaking of baby on board… if anyone's wondering why there are no grandchildren yet, perhaps it’s because I never got a Cabbage Patch Kid during my formative years and, consequently, my maternal instinct never adequately developed.

My sock drawer, however, is full.


“Adverbs ending in –ly.” Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips. http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/adverbs.aspx.

“Slow.” Merriam-Webster’s Learners Dictionary.


Jeffrey Beesler said...

Yeah, I heard some of those fights for cabbage patch dolls escalated into military operations at one point, hence why they're referred to in the cabbage patch underground as the Secret Cabbage Patch Wars.

Excellent post. I'll try to show more respect to adverbs, "ly" or otherwise.

Theresa Milstein said...

Thanks for explaining flat adverbs.

I was shafted on so many gifts. I never received the Barbie Dream House. But I did get a Cabbage Patch Kid. We had to put our names on a list, wait until February when the next shipment came in, and look at them on a high shelf behind plexiglass to choose one, but my sister and I did get our Cabbage Patch Kids.

What happened to those Baby on Board signs? Did people stop caring about their babies?

The Shanner of Attention said...

I had Faith Kelly and Miranda Ruby, and I loved those little tattooed butt babies.

soft nonsense said...

At least now when you have kids you can guilt your parents into buying them a bunch. I know I won't judge you if one or two of them end up in your hands.

Tizz said...

Hehehe that whole post was super clever! Loved it. Also, I'm really sorry you never got a Cabbage Patch Kid. My mom still likes to tell people how she is surprised I didn't take mine to college.

MartyrMom said...

Too bad your mom wasn't crafty like me! I made my kids a cabbage patch doll. Yeah, they knew later that they had fakes but when they first received them .......ooh la la...2 happy campers!!

Christopher said...

I always wanted the transformers that all fit together. Never got it.

Logical Libby said...

If it makes you feel any better, we had one doll and three sisters. It was like "Fight Club."

Boonie S said...

I never had a cabbage patch doll either. However I was given straight, fine, hard socks in which I could run fast and far.

Have a nice day, Boonie

Wendy Ramer said...

You do know you have a gift, don't you? I don't know anyone else who could post about adverbs (or who would want to) and tie it in with childhood resentment...yes, I detected it despite your denial. And for the record, with 8 nights of Chanukah, I also received my fair share of new underpants...but at least they were new.

Jennifer Fabulous said...

Well, I've had a Cabbage Patch doll for 27 years and my maternal instincts haven't kicked in yet either. Lol.

I wasn't around for the big Cabbage Patch Brawl of 1983 because I was still in the womb. But my aunt graciously stood in line for FOUR HOURS to buy me one six months before I was born. I still have it too, mostly because my aunt still asks about it to this day. Ha.

By the way, awesome, awesome blog. :P

Meg O. said...

I had a Cabbage Patch Kid. I don't remember which one. I promise you weren't missing out. Great grammar lesson - I always learn something new with each post you author!

notesfromnadir said...

Your Mom sounds like she wanted you to have more pragmatic gifts. I understand your feelings for wanting a Cabbage Patch doll because each 1 came w/ their own name--it was a great idea.

I haven't, or don't remember, reading the term flat adverbs. Makes them sound kinda tuneless!

WalksLikeAnEgyptian said...

I was shafted on Christmas altogether.

So wait... am I to understand it is correct to say "drive slow" or "drive safe"? I always thought I had to add an "ly" at the end.