Sunday, June 20, 2010

Bendingmirrors Week 7 Entry: Dolls


Bendingmirrors' Choice: Both


Packing up to move away from the family home was never going to be an easy task. Growing up in a household where your father is a Pastor tends to make all decisions a family affair. Parents who automatically believe that they have every right to know the ins and outs of everything that you do. I may not have ever gotten up to anything bad, but I guess I wasn’t ever really offered the opportunity either. Who wants the Pastor’s daughter around when you’re planning mischief?

I was trying to decide what things I would need to box up for storage, and what could be safely taken with me to a college dorm when I came across the old box of barbie dolls. I hadn’t so much as looked at them in years. Actually, the last time I remember laying eyes on this box was right before the twins were born. In the hopes that I might be blessed with a sister, I had sought out the hiding place of my toys, looking to see what might be passed along, and throwing out those that had been mangled beyond repair. I was left with nine dolls in the end.

Discovering that both of the twins were boys was devastating. I had had high hopes that at least one of them would be a girl. The revelation of my parents complete failure to provide me with a sister had resulted in a childish fit of temper wherein I boxed up all of the dolls and their clothes and put them to the very back of the closet. Out of sight, out of mind.

Going through every single box I opened, I had netted this small collection of dolls, and the question of what to do with them. They had sentimental value, that was certain. Hours of playing with them, imbuing them with characteristics Mattell had not intended, play-acting out a lifetime of drama and fulfillment, they were certainly my constant childhood companions. I wasn’t quite ready to have them thrown out though, the ones I had kept were still in decent condition. But I was also definitely not going to be taking them along to college with me like some whacked-out Drusilla wanna be, naming them all Miss Edith and dragging them out for tea parties. I could just see it now, lining them all up along the wall and offering passers-by imaginary cups of tea. I’d be laughed out of the college before I’d finished the first week.

I suppose I could take them along and use them as a sort of prop for pranking other students. Hurling them off the roof of my new dorm with newly minted friends, enjoying the looks of surprise at those unfortunates who might be hit by the falling dolls. It would be hilarious, but a bigger part of me knew that there was no way I’d ever get involved in pranks like that. I’d be the conscientious one who was too worried about whether people might get injured by a water balloon, let alone a flying doll-shaped missile.

Carefully placing each doll back in the box, I taped the lid back up. Then stacked it in the pile of boxes that would be stored in the attic until I was ready to setup a house of my own. I didn’t need the physical reminders of a childhood filled with love, laughter and liveliness. The emotional reminders of these games and play would always remain in my heart. A solid grounding in a family who’s most important assets were the people, not the things. Parents who both supported me, who were proud of my achievements and constantly engaged in their efforts to help me to become the best person I can be.

My only hope was that I’d manage to do them proud while I was cast adrift in the wide world of college. No matter how far from home I am though, I will always be the Pastor’s daughter at heart. The girl who will always be more comfortable behind a camera than in front of it, and who will always find it far more interesting to watch the prank than take part in it. The best part though, is that I’ve found that I don’t much mind. I am who I am, old saved dolls and all.