You would have thought with the way I loved drawing, reading, and ice-skating, I would also like dolls. After all, isn’t that what every little girl wants, even today? Just look at the booming business Barbie is doing. My stepdaughter had much more than her share of Barbie dolls when I met her. Hubby was either feeling guilt often or he didn’t know what else to buy her. Maybe it was both.
Mom and all of my female adult relatives have bought me dolls when I was a kid. I’m sure most of them, if not all of them thought I was going to be thrilled with such a gift. Except for Mom, I could assimulate a delighted little girl for a few hours – no problem. I’d carry the doll around the house, sit her next to me when I’d sit down, and even pretend as if I was talking to the thing. The minute the relatives were gone, I would grab the doll by the hand or foot, march into my bedroom and throw it in the toy crib with all the other dolls that had been given to me.
Mom even bought me a Midge doll. She was supposed to be Barbie’s best friend. She didn’t have the sexy eyes, the oval face or the ponytail. Instead, she had a round face (or maybe it was square), freckles, and her hair was in a flip with bangs. The rest of her was like the Barbie doll back then, with breasts three times the size of her hips and her legs as long as the polls at a goal line of a football field. As you might have guessed already, I wasn’t impressed. Poor Mom tried so hard too. She even made clothes for my Midge doll. Although amazed by her skills in sewing and I let her know it too, I just wasn’t interested in the doll – end of story.
However, one doll had me fascinated. I think it was on my eighth birthday when I got this unique little creature. The only thing wrong was that it didn’t have any clothes. Yes, it was the famous Troll doll. It was the ugliest doll on the market, probably still is.
I conned some scraps of fabric and snaps from Mom so that my little doll wouldn’t have to be naked. All the clothes I made looked similar to the robes a Buddhist monk would wear. At least the poor little thing was covered. Sometimes I’d try to braid the wild orange hair it had. Yes, it made the doll look even sillier, but it was fun.
That doll went everywhere with me. I was an avid bike rider and rode my Schwinn to the very limits of the boundaries my parents had for me. The doll went with me stuffed into my front pocket. I’m sure I must have looked ridiculous with that giant bulge on my left hip.
There were only two places I wasn’t allowed to have the doll with me. One place was at the church, not even for Bible School in the summer. My buddy had to stay home standing on the chest of drawers in my room. The other place was at the table at mealtime. This meant any meal, which I didn’t think was fair. Nonetheless, those were the house rules. My brother couldn’t bring anything to the table either so I didn’t whine too much or for very long.
It wasn’t until I was older that I started wondering why I didn’t like the conventional dolls. Although I preferred to ride my bike, play outdoor games like Spud and make pretend fires out of leaves, I really wasn’t a ‘Tomboy’. I hated getting dirty and I liked wearing dresses. I finally decided that my problem was that I was too much of a realist, even as a kid. Although there were those leaves I played campfire with, most of my playtime was within the realm of what was real.
Did you have a favorite toy that went everywhere with you?