I have to say upfront, some dolls might find this story a little disturbing. It doesn't make Treesa look very good either. But I still think it needs to be told, so that humans can learn from it.
This is the story of how I met Holly and Ivy. Holly and Ivy are two little girl dolls that were originally part of a Holiday Sisters Gift Set. Holly is a Stacie doll and Ivy is a Kelly doll. There was a third doll in the set, a Barbie, and all three of them wore matching red coats with white fur trim.
Keep in mind this story happened years ago, before us dolls started talking to Treesa. One of the first rules of being a doll is don't show a human you're alive if they're not ready to handle it. Most humans, even doll collectors, don't REALLY think their dolls are alive. They might joke about us being alive. They might even talk to us. But if they ever got an answer they'd probably freak out. Remember that scene in Toy Story where the toys 'come to life' to scare Sid. Or how about all those movies about 'haunted' or 'possessed' dolls. I rest my case.
To get back to my original story, Treesa bought all three Holiday Sisters Gift Set dolls loose at a flea market one fall. They were tightly packed in a clear plastic bag, and because of the way the bag was sealed it was impossible to take the dolls out and really examine them. This turned out to be important later, but at the time Treesa didn't think anything of it. She bought the dolls and brought them home, then she put them aside and sort of forgot about them. She didn't even bother to take them out of the bag.
It wasn't until that winter, when the snow started falling, that Treesa got the 'brilliant' idea to do an outdoor photo shoot with the Holiday Sisters dolls. When she opened the bag and started handling the Barbie doll, the poor doll's head came off. It turned out the Barbie's head had been shoved back on over her broken neck. Treesa hadn't noticed because of the high collar on the Barbie doll's coat. Treesa was upset and disappointed, but she still really wanted to do that photo shoot. So she went upstairs and started looking for a blond Barbie doll to use as a stand in. She picked me. I was brought downstairs and dressed in the broken Barbie's outfit. Then Treesa threw the broken doll in the trash.
Sometimes I wonder if a body swap could've saved her. Unless the doll's head is damaged, when a doll breaks her neck the doll's consciousness goes into a coma like state because of the shock. Depending on how long the undamaged head is separated from a body, the doll might wake up with amnesia after a body swap. In some cases the doll can remain in a coma even after a successful swap. Treesa has performed several successful body swaps since that winter, but at the time it didn't even occur to her to try. I don't like to think about that poor, broken Barbie too often. I can't change the past, and I know me feeling guilty won't help her now.
The photo shoot was set up in Treesa's backyard.
After snapping a few pictures, Treesa ran back inside to get a sled prop she'd forgotten. I was left outside in the snow with a stuffed reindeer and two traumatized little girl dolls who had been stuck in a bag with their broken sister for over a month. The whole thing was completely surreal. I did my best to comfort Holly and Ivy, but I was so overwhelmed myself that I don't think I did a very good job. Treesa soon came back out with the sled and set up the next shot. "Smile," she said.
It's a good thing our smiles were painted on.
After that I sort of took Holly and Ivy under my wing. With everything they'd been through they needed someone. And since they hadn't met any of the other dolls in the collection yet, I thought they'd be more comfortable staying with me for a while. It was difficult at first. I did my best to help, but only one thing can heal broken hearts and that's time.
Several years passed, and I'm happy to say that Holly and Ivy have both blossomed into the wonderful dolls they were always meant to be. Honestly, I can't imagine my life without them anymore. Even though things worked out in the end, a part of me still wishes that it hadn't happened that way. I know toys don't last forever, but if Treesa had opened that bag as soon as she got home maybe things would've been a little easier for Holly and Ivy. They probably still would've had to say goodbye to their sister. But maybe they wouldn't have had to watch Treesa replace her so quickly and easily, like a burned out light bulb.
Lately, Treesa has been trying really hard to understand her dolls' better. Ever since she started reading blogs like Belle's Bulletins, and others that were written by dolls themselves, her perspective has changed. There's still some things I haven't completely forgiven her for, and I know I'm not the only doll who feels that way. But all us dolls know that she really is trying harder now to keep our needs and feelings in mind.
I guess that's the end of the story, for now. Someone once said that there are no happy endings, because nothing ends. All I can say is that my family's life is pretty happy overall, and I'm going to do everything I can to keep it that way for Holly and Ivy for as long as possible. All we need is a little luck, and lots of love.
Holly, Lacey and Ivy