I can't recall who told me I needed to write a letter to Santa. Most likely something I learned from watching TV. My letters always included the toys I wanted that year like the Care Bears board game or She-Ra action figures. But they also included random things that didn't make sense for an oblivious nerd girl living in the hood.
For some reason I always put this on my letters to Santa. I grew up in a townhouse with a balcony. My parents house didn't have a wide backyard with acres of land for a horse, but I got it in my head that I needed a pony.
I wasn't even one of those girls that liked horses. Back in the day there were still some ranches in my parents neighborhood, so we would see people riding horses on the sidewalk. I didn't think "WOW HOW COOL!" instead I would think, "Why is that horse in the city?" or "Isn't the concrete bad on their legs?" Even as I got older, I still put a pony on my list. Little girls on tv were always asking their parents and Santa for ponies so I thought I had to do the same.
This was such a 90s thing to ask Santa for. And yes I was writing letters to Santa when I was a tween in the 90s. Hey it meant more presents! My mom responded to my request by asking me "Why do you want a pager?! Are you a drug dealer?!" It was such a typical Filipino mom response to this request.
Eventually I wouldn't need to ask Santa for a pager because I bought one off of someone in high school. I was planning to go to the local pager store near my house, but some kid told me he "found" one and would sell it to me for $40. I saved some allowance and babysitting money and voila, Oblivious Nerd Girl had a pager! Too bad I absolutely sucked at reading pager code and I could never remember what everything meant. I relied on friends to translate for me. I don't even remember how i paid the monthly plan on the pager. I feel like it was something my parents eventually paid for because it was there way of getting in my touch with me in a pre-cell phone age.
I remember doing a nightly ritual of sending "6000 171647" texts to other kids by bouncing off their numbers. That way you would only have to technically dial one number while you bounced from pager to pager. The plan I was on didn't allow this, so if you paged me I had to be the last one on the string of folks you said "5177337 012361775 637 143 823" too.
As an only child I constantly had aunties whispering in my ear, "You should ask your parents for a baby brother or sister." To my many aunts and uncles being an only child was an anomaly for them. Families are meant to be big, if not huge. Moms is one of 10 children and Pops is the eldest of seven. Well that may have worked back in the Philippines where there was an army of ya-ya's (nannies) to help raise numerous children, but it wasn't going to be the case here in the States.
This was something I put every year and actually did hope for. I had a preference. I really wanted a baby brother. Growing up with my cousins nearby, I knew I could handle having a baby brother since I had practically had two baby brothers in C and V. I would have been cool with a baby sister to pass down all the dollies that were ignored when I chose to play with GI Joe and Voltron. And yes I know this is me playing into gender roles, but that's what I grew up knowing. Most likely if I had a sibling they would have turned out loving everything I did. There would have been another kid out there who loved the Lakers and Dodgers or enjoyed Jem and She-Ra just as much Thundercats and He-Man. We would have played a lot of Double Dragon on NES and gotten in trouble for eating ice cream for breakfast on Saturday mornings.