Monday, September 28, 2015

Rampion's Story (Barbie Long Long Hair, brunette with blue streak)

Some of the other dolls might have hinted at it, but I'm going to come right out and say it. Treesa's a little weird. Take my name for example. No really, take it. I don't want it. Seriously though, I know it's not as bad as it could be. There's worse things Treesa could've named me. She didn't have much to go on after all. I'd better explain.

When Treesa names a doll, the first place she goes for inspiration is the name on the box. Even when she gets a doll at the thrift store, she ALWAYS tries to find out what the doll's original name was. Treesa bought me new in box, but the only words on my box were 'Barbie' and 'Long Long Hair'. She told me, when she named me Rampion, that it's where the name Rapunzel comes from.

I was cool with it at first. It was different, kind of edgy, you know? Then I found out what Rampion actually means. Another doll, Halle, told me rampion is a plant that people in Europe put in salads. She told me that in the original Rapunzel fairytale, the trouble starts when Rapunzel's birth mom sees rampion growing in the witch's garden next door and gets a pregnancy craving. She begs her husband to get her some, but the witch catches him. When baby Rapunzel is born, the witch claims her as payment for the rampion and names her Rapunzel, the German word for rampion. I asked Halle how she knew all that. She said she read it in a book Treesa left lying around. Makes sense I guess. Treesa loves books, and if anyone would know where Treesa got my name from it's Halle.

Halle's sort of the eyes and ears of the collection. She likes to stay on top of what's going on so she can keep the rest of us in the know. Halle always says, "Humans don't tell us anything." She does sort of have a point, and you can't really blame her for feeling that way. Things were kind of rough for Halle before Treesa made her part of the collection, so Halle doesn't really trust humans, Treesa included. But I won't go into that now. Knowing Halle, she's probably planning to write her own post, just so she can have her say.

I got kind of annoyed when I found out about my name. Who wants to be named after a vegetable? So I sort of complained to Treesa about it. Treesa said if you can have human girls named Fern and Ivy, you can have a doll named Rampion. I said humans don't eat ferns. She said Gwyneth Paltrow named her daughter Apple. At the time I couldn't come up with a snappy comeback. I'm sure Halle would've thought of something.

Then Treesa let me in on a secret. She said the reason she uses things like 'word association' to name her dolls is so she'll actually REMEMBER them. So I guess I'm stuck with Rampion. But when the dolls I hang out with have names like Dandelion and Shade, I guess Rampion isn't so weird after all.

So Long, Rampion

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Harriet's Story (vintage Mattel The Happy Family Mother Hattie)

I never expected to become a single mother. I had a husband once, when I was new. We were packaged together, along with our baby. I still remember the day we were bought. I remember the design on the brightly colored paper that was used to wrap our box, a present for a little girl roughly 40 years ago. That little girl grew up, and we were put in storage.

If only I'd known what would happen after that. There's so many things I wish I could go back and tell my husband. I wish I'd told him more often how much I love him. There were days in storage when I got angry at him, not because of anything he'd done but because I was so tired of it all. I was tired of the way each day dragged on, the same as the last. I was tired of waiting for something to change. If I'd known I was going to lose him I would've tried harder to control my temper, and to enjoy the waiting.

The drive to the thrift store was long. We were left there, ready to be bagged, tagged and shelved. I was bagged with Hon, our baby. But Hal, my husband, wasn't bagged with us. I watched as he was put in another bag with some random, blond Barbie doll. I watched as he was put in the front row on the display rack, before me and Hon were put several rows back. I caught glimpses of him as a customer took Hal's bag off the rack and walked up to the registers with it. I would've stopped caring what happened to me after that, if I hadn't had our baby with me.

It's been difficult, getting used to being a single mother. I miss Hal so much, but I keep putting my feelings aside so I can be there for Honey, our baby. Treesa changed her name from Hon to Honey, the same way she changed my name from Hattie to Harriet. The other dolls in the collection have been very understanding. They gave me my space, when I asked for it. Some of them offered to listen if I needed to talk. I'm grateful to them. But it's been hard for me to feel like I really belong. I feel so different from them because I'm scaled differently than them. I look like a child, standing next to a Barbie doll. Treesa also had trouble finding clothes for a doll my size. Honey still has her original outfit, but I don't. Treesa used a Barbie wrap skirt to dress me, wrapped and tied in such a way that it resembles a dress.

Some days, I feel like giving up. But I keep going, for Honey. I know she depends on me, and I know how easily I could've lost her too. I try to live my life one day at a time, focusing on those little moments I most want to remember so I can treasure them always. I took too many things for granted before I lost Hal, but not anymore.

 Harriet and Honey

Stay Strong, Harriet