I’m someone who usually doesn’t ask for a lot of material things. When Santa Claus asks me for my Christmas list, I generally ask for gift certificates, and I fill gaps in my wardrobe. I don’t need much to be happy.
One year while I was in college, I visited my parents for Thanksgiving. Mom asked me what I wanted for Christmas and there really wasn’t anything I had my heart set on. I responded, “I don’t know Mom. Get me a pony.”
She got me a pony.
Ok, so it’s 4 inches long and made of plastic, but it’s a pony. It’s been over 10 years since that Christmas and I still have it.
Since that Christmas, I’ve acquired a pony collection. I have my plastic pony, pony socks, a pony calendar, and an awesome pony tote bag. I have not purchased a single piece of my collection, but it keeps growing. That might be because my response to a lot questions and statements is still, “I want a pony.”
In 2010, my parents took a trip to Italy (and took my world-traveling red plastic slinky with them). Mom was so tickled when she saw a pony (ok it was a horse) in a plaza in Florence that was wearing a warning sign that said, “I bite.” She took a picture of it for me.
The pony has acquired a dual meaning for me:
- Be careful what you ask for. You just might get it; and
- Ask for what you want. You just might get it.
I think they’re both valuable lessons . . . and my pony collection continues to grow.
I like to randomly ask people for a pony, like when my server at a restaurant asks if I need anything else. The reactions I get run the spectrum. A few years ago, I asked a server at Five & Diner, a ‘50’s style diner, for a pony, and she drew a sketch of a pony on my bill. She got a great tip that night, and I still have the sketch on my fridge.