“Wow, a Beanie Baby bear!” I exclaimed, hoping Kathy wouldn’t hear the fakeness in my enthusiasm.
“Not just any Beanie Baby bear,” she informed me. “It’s Halo the Angel Beanie Baby. She’s a collectable.”
“Neat,” I said, reaching for the scissors to snip off the heart shaped tag attached to her ear.
And all the girls started to scream.
“Don’t do that!”
I froze, the scissors halfway to the bear. “What?”
“You can’t cut the tag off a Beanie Baby,” Kathy said. Tia and Elise nodded vigorously, like the bobbleheads Mr. Ashford used to collect of his favorite football players. I was starting to think that nodding along with whatever Brittany and Kathy said was all those two girls did.
“Why not?” How was I supposed to play with the bear with its tag always in the way?
“Because,” Brittany said, taking over the explanation, “then it won’t be worth money one day.”
“Here.” Kathy grabbed the gift bag back from me—another pink one—and dug around in the mess of tissue paper, coming up with a small piece of plastic shaped like a heart. “You put this around the tag.” She reached over and snapped the plastic on top of the tag, sealing it off from the dangers of the outside world. Protecting it.
“See?” Brittany said. “Much better.”
Now I had a tag and a plastic cover to get in the way when I played with the bear, but I nodded anyway. Just like Tia and Elise.