I know what you’re thinking, who didn’t right? But my addiction was intense. So intense that my mom would drive me to McDonalds every single day so I could get eight Happy Meals (that was the max per car back when Teenie Beanies were the Happy Meal prize.)
I had my list of Hallmarks and other various drug stores in surrounding small towns that I would call every single day asking if they’d gotten in their shipment of new Beanies.
“You get the goods yet?” I’d ask in my low raspy ten year old voice.
“No, little girl. Please stop calling.”
“Don’t be cute with me Evelyn, I heard you’re getting Patty the Platypus in. You wouldn’t happen to know anything about this, would you now?” I had my ways of getting info. “And don’t call me, little girl. You know who this is.”
“I don’t know where you’re getting this Taylor, we don’t have any Beanies left. You bought us out last week. Please stop bothering us.”
I made about twenty calls like this every single morning in the summer of ’97. Some days were better than others.
My best dealer was in Hartington, Nebraska. It was a little mom and pop drug store that got a new shipment in every Wednesday morning. As soon as I got word they get fresh merch I would immediately demand my mom drive me up there so I could get my fix. And because you don’t want to piss off an addict, my mom obeyed.
I used a lot of my own hard saved cash (which I naturally kept in my Fossil watch tin) to feed my Beanie addiction. But my mom also helped out as well, because she knew I had a plan and she would get every single cent back.
I’ll never forget the time I walked into Marilyn’s Hallmark downtown and saw Princess Diana, Erin the Shamrock Bear and PEACE Bear just sitting on the shelf. Peace was the white bear covered in peace signs and she was beautiful. I almost had a heart attack on site. I immediately purchased all three for $12 a piece. I would later re-sell all of them for about $200 a piece.
Here’s something you should know about me. I’ve been hustling and dealing since the day I was born. The only time I got in trouble in elementary school was for underground candy dealing. I actually created a hand drawn menu that said “Sweet Stuff” on it that I would pass out to my customers so they could see what I had. My mom used to work for a candy company and our panty was full of free samples, so of course I took those free samples to school to make a profit. The “Sweet Stuff” menu is actually what solidified my guilt in the end, but that’s neither here nor there at this point.
Back to my Beanie dealing.
Unlike a lot of people involved with the Beanie Baby ring in the 90s, I got out on top. During the height of the craze I took my entire collection to a craft fair in Denver while I was visiting my cousin with the sole intent to sell every one of them. I wasn’t attached to any. Addicts never are.
But when my cousin Whitney and I got to the craft fair we were informed we couldn’t set up a booth since our items weren’t handmade. So what did the young sassy Wolfe girls do? We marched across the street to the first front yard closest to the fair, explained to the owners our situation, offered them $20 and set up shop. We were in business.
Two hours later I had sold every single Beanie Baby I owned (and McDonalds Teeny Beanie) and was walking away with more than $1300. Not a bad day for a ten year old.
When I walked into my first candy store after my huge day of sales, I made it rain on those Jelly Bellies and Peachie-Os. I bought pounds and pounds of sugar intent on keeping my high going. I pulled out my wad of singles (I LOVED singles when I was a kid) and I could hear Damn It Feels Good to be a Gangster as I walked around the mall with my fat bags of candy, tossing dollar bills into every mall vending machine I could find.
Just for fun press play so you can get the full effect of how great I felt. It really adds something I swear.
When I returned to Norfolk I immediately payed off all my debts and even gave my mom $20 extra and told her to go buy herself something nice. I felt like I owed it to her, you know?
I invested the rest of the money in bubblegum CDs and Polly Pockets. I’ve been told one of these two has increased quite a bit in value. I think I’m going to sit on mine for a few more years.
And that’s the tale of my favorite childhood addiction. Many more were to come in the later years.
What was yours like? Link up below. Tomorrow’s prompt: Favorite Quote and Why.