Tuesday, September 11, 2012
A doll story, but not just for women
For those women who still have dolls, and the men who love them........ Not the dolls, the women.
I was late to like dolls. When I was around 4 or 5 I wanted to be like my brother.....I had a name picked out and everything. I wouldn't wear anything but cowboy boots, jeans and flannel shirts and insisted on wearing boys tennis shoes. Black high tops to be exact. It is to their credit that my parents actually bought me a pair and let me wear them.
Every now and then we fish them out of the cedar chest and laugh......
My parents figured it was a phase, and they were right. They held their breath and played it cool. They didn't freak out and drag me to the child psychologist and I really respect them for that.
Anyway, I wanted a horse, I prayed for a horse. I had a plastic collection of no less than 10. Some had broken legs and we had to scotch tape them back on. My Dad got creative with spray painting some of them if that particular month I just had to have one like little Joe's black and white pinto on Bonanza. We lined them all up and played for hours, the neighbor girl and I.
When I was around 6 or 7 I decided I liked to wear dresses and cute clothes. Though I held onto my passion for horses, one Christmas I got a little rag doll who played a lullaby. I promptly fell in love with her.......she had a blue dress and yellow yarn hair. She was my "special" present that year.
I had a succession of dolls after that, and I loved them all. We had an emotional connection my dolls and I.
I had barbie dolls, wanna be barbie dolls, troll dolls, little kittle dolls and paper dolls. Some of my cousins had collector Shirley Temple dolls. My cousin June had a big floppy life-size doll her brothers used to roll down the stairs. They loved how life-like she looked as she fell to her death. They also attached explosives to her. They were sick.
My friend had an African American doll when she was growing up in Texas. She loved that doll and her Dad threw it out because it was the wrong color. I don't think she ever forgave him for it. All these years later, she has looked for one like it in antique shops, even EBay. She's never found one.
One day I went into my favorite gift shop with my Mom, and there on the bottom shelf was the most adorable doll I had ever seen. I had to have her. She had long brown hair that looked real. She is pictured on the right. I named her Suzanne, after a Judy Collins song I loved.
The other doll belonged to my Sister in law who has been in Heaven now since 1998. My Mom had her for awhile, but ran out of room to display her. She was gathering dust in the same trunk my old shoes were in, so I bundled her up and brought her home.
The strange thing about that doll? Shortly before I got married my maid of honor got sick with the chicken pox and couldn't do the ceremony so my Sister in law graciously stepped in and fulfilled her wedding duties, perfectly I might add.......including wearing the beautiful peach colored dress I had picked out for my friend. The very same color this doll wears today.
She's almost as beautiful as my Sister in law was. It is safe to say that I am emotionally attached to both of these dolls. It's what they represent that I hold close, all those good times, safe times. For a few moments I am a little girl again, lost in the wonder and magic of long ago. When dolls were more than just dolls.
I remember every one of them like old familiar friends.
And when I watch my little niece with hers now, I smile and my heart glows warm.
I remember when all over again.