Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Last Doll (so I thought)

In 1966 when I was 12, I got my Last Doll for Christmas. I don't know what kind she was but she was a little girl doll with long blonde hair and three lovely outfits. (I've looked through the online Sears  and Penney's Wishbooks from 1966 and couldn't find her, so I think she was from Montgomery Wards.) I named her Elisabeth. I remember showing her to a friend, who asked "Did you want her?" Now I could have said "Oh, I don't know what my parents were thinking" but instead I replied, bravely and defiantly, "Yes, I asked for her." The friend gave me an odd look and the subject was changed. After all, we were in junior high and it was time to put away childish things.

Wendy in her summer dress

For the next 20 years I was pretty much doll-less except for my baby doll I'd had since I was four, and dutifully took wherever I moved. But I'm not fond of baby dolls and mostly she stayed in closets. Fast forward to the mid-80s. Big Sis and Auntie Berman became enamored with Cabbage Patch Kids and gave me one for Christmas. I liked her but was hardly enamored. A few years later they got me an American Girl doll. It was the Felicity doll (because we both had red hair) with Samatha's clothes (because I love Edwardian styles). Although I loved her clothes, I thought she was kind of, um, homely and I never had any desire to make clothes for her.

Wendy in her school uniform

Then came the early 00s and I went to work at Hancock Fabrics. They had just started selling Daisy Kingdom dolls and I was surprised when the manager said "Oh, let's dress one!" and started ripping open packages. I was surprised because I didn't know it was okay to like dolls when you were a grown-up. I didn't count my sisters, because I just thought they were weird for liking dolls (in fact, when my mother was on her deathbed in 1984, she and I had a few discussions about their dolly weirdness). I thought the dolls were really cute but expensive, even with my employee discount. When the Daisy Kingdom campaign came to an end, the manager asked me if I wanted to buy the display model for $10 (she knew I really liked those dolls) and I got both the doll and her dress for that price.

I named her Wendy and made several outfits for her.

Wendy in her Christmas Dress

Wendy in an everyday dress

I had a slight case of Dolly Fever when I saw the Living Dead Dolls (more on that in a later post), but I really had it bad when I saw a picture of Effanbee's Gloria Ann!


  1. Well, it is too bad you took so long to realized that adults like dolls since your GRANDMOTHER loved them. But I suppose you thought she was weird, too. It is edifying to know that the best you could do was discuss our weirdness as mom lay dying. I'm sure my last thoughts will be much more lofty and, um, spiritual. Anyhoo, thanks to your "weird" sister your dollies can now ALL be on display and maybe you'd like to apologize for any and all mean things you've said in regards to Dolly Fever???????

  2. I don't believe I said anything mean. Weirdness can be a positive attribute!

  3. How cool is that!
    She is such a lovely doll!