You see, I’ve been digging through boxes in my garage, escaping into my past as if I’ve travelled by time machine. Yesterday I came upon a box of my favorite dolls. Wow did those memories bombard me!
First off was my Chatty Cathy doll. Anybody remember that one? She walked and talked, a bit like me at that time, ha ha. She’s in pretty good shape, believe it or not, except for her hair. Unfortunately for Chatty, I imagined myself a bit of a hair stylist in those days, and lopped all that long, blonde hair off, sort of like the reverse bob I wear nowadays. Apparently, my sister told on me before I could give the poor doll a Marine cut. In this case, tattle-telling was a good thing.
I believe my first Alexander doll was a Swedish one. I didn’t take her picture because she’s pretty beat up. I played with her; I didn’t sit her on a shelf and look at her. She rode my statue horses, taught school, went for rides in my flowered bicycle basket. While her hair is intact, it looks a fright, and her hat slides off her head drunkenly.
I received more Madame Alexander dolls after her, and they look better, although most of their hair is not in the original style. I’m really surprised I became a writer. You’d think I’d be a famous stylist with such early tendencies toward greatness.
While my sister and I played with these dolls, nothing compared to our Barbies. And Barbie’s friends. I liked Francie and Skipper best. They were younger. I loved their hipper clothes. And, I’m proud to say, their hair remained intact.
When I see the tiny snaps, stockings, and shoes we labored to put on our dolls, I realize how good the accessories were for fine motor skills, although they were probably choking hazards as well. Luckily, I was the youngest, and not likely to pop the tiny pieces in my mouth. Besides, my sister had honed her tattling skills.
I even owned the Barbie camper, the jewel in the crown of my toys. It blended my love of dolls and cars in one toy. It was well-loved and well-played-with. I would camp like Barbie: glamping, I think it’s called. My house on wheels. I played with that toy endlessly.
Playing with dolls was an activity my sister and I could engage in for hours. We used our imaginations to create stories and adventures for our toys to embark on. I often feel sad for the kids of today, with everything on a screen. Technology is great, don’t get me wrong. But, without the use of toys, our imaginations get stunted. I’d never trade my time with my sister and our dolls for any video game. It’s too precious.