Late last spring my son was finally able to purchase a long cherished Lego set. He had saved for months, and had done some extra chores. Here is the set he was drooling over:
The Lego Grand Emporium
Finally he had saved up enough money. We drove to the Glendale Galleria that has the closest Lego store in 7 counties. On a Saturday. Yes, I said Saturday. Silly, funny, goofy me. This is the Greater Los Angeles Area. And on any given Saturday, the crowd is stacked three high by 10:00 a.m. It took 30 minutes to drive there; 20 minutes to park and another 15 to negotiate the crowd of salivating children in the Lego Store. Finally! A salesperson came up to us and Wonderboy made his request. Alas, they were all out! But the order was to come in the next Monday. That was not going to work for us. So they offered to order it online, and waive the shipping costs. We spent another 30 minutes trying to input the order information on the play computer with the sticky keyboard that wouldn't work right, then the screen went blank. Walked down to Target and, no dice. No Grand Emporium.
When we finally returned home the following Wednesday.....ha ha, just joking. Later that afternoon, I ordered the Grand Emporium, with shipping costs.
Finally it arrive. The outside box said "Grand Emporium". The invoice said "Grand Emporium" and inside the box was
Yes, it was the Green Grocer. Close, but no cigar. After initial disappointment, I offered to send it back. Wonderboy said "No!" he would build this anyway. It was the same price. He was sure.
It was built in two days. He loved every moment of every step putting it together. I like it too. It's very cool. Lots of detail and great design.
And he began to save again for his cherished dream of The Grand Emporium. Finally, this week he had saved and done enough required chores to get it. We went to the Glendale Galleria yesterday (a Tuesday, with available parking and people stacked only on a single level). The kind sales woman again said that they are sold out. Still sold out. We told her what had happened with our last order. She was very surprised and then told us something we never ever expected to hear:
"You know, The Green Grocer is a collector's item now. Lego has discontinued making it. I have a lady comes in here every week looking for one. They go on e-Bay for a few hundred dollars. If you had ordered one you wouldn't have gotten it."
She then placed his order on their computer. One that actually worked. And on the way home, we marveled at the curious turn of fortune.
After pondering this a day and a half or so, I draw parallels to Jack and the Beanstalk and the story of Joseph and his pretty coat. Well maybe not exact direct parallels, but the concept that what you perceive as a bad situation today may actually end up being spectacularly wonderful.
At least this is what I am telling myself lately. It's far cheaper than a lottery ticket.
The Book of Lego: Chapter 5 Verses 12 - 42.