Monday, October 31, 2016

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Michaela's Story (redressed purple-haired Barbie fairy)

The first time I saw Treesa I was hanging from a rack at the thrift store in a plastic bag. Wow, I didn't realize how creepy that sounds until just now. It sounds like the opening shot of a bad episode of CSI. All you need is the one-liner before they cut to commercial, probably something about being left hanging. That one works on two levels because the audience is left hanging too, wondering what happened.

But to get back to the story, Treesa walked into the toy department with someone who looked so much like her I thought they were twins. I found out later I was half right. The other person was Treesa's sister, but they're not twins. Treesa said I'm not the only one who's made that mistake though. She said several people have asked her and her sister if they were twins. At least one woman thought Treesa and her sister were the same person until she saw both of them together.

But to get back to the story, Treesa and her sister were looking through the toy racks when Treesa saw me. She showed me to her sister and said, "She would be so cool if she was body swapped." Then back on the rack I went. I had to wait until my tag color went half price before Treesa bought me. I found out later it was my molded clothes that'd turned Treesa off. She didn't want to pay full price for a doll, even thrift store prices, if she was only keeping the head. But I didn't know that at the time. Back then I didn't even know what a body swap WAS because I'd never met a doll who'd had one done before. It wasn't until I met Dandelion and Shade, and Shade told me about HER body swap, that I realized how drastic it was.

But to get back to the story, before Treesa went looking for a body donor for me she decided to clean me up a little. So she took me into the bathroom and started wiping the smudges off my face with a damp towel. Then she combed out my hair. That's when she first noticed the name 'Jordan' was written on the back of my head under my hair.

Jordan was my first owner. She was also a big Toy Story fan. After she saw the movies she wrote her name on all her favorite toys in ink, just like Andy had in the movies. Well, actually she asked her Mom to do the writing on me. Mom's writing was smaller and neater than Jordan's, and the back of my head isn't THAT big.

But to get back to the story, when Treesa lifted up my hair and held it that way for several seconds I knew she must've seen Jordan's name. I wondered what Treesa was thinking. Would she get rid of me if she couldn't get the ink off? Treesa let go of my hair and turned me over so she was looking at my face. She didn't look disappointed exactly. But she did look unhappy. I wondered if she was having 'buyer's remorse'. Was she regretting spending money on me? It's not like she didn't know I was a used doll. She found me at the thrift store, and I'd lost my fairy wings long before I got there. She must've known I could have other 'condition problems'.

Then Treesa said, "You must be so sad." I didn't answer. I'd just gotten to Treesa's house that day, so I didn't know Treesa knew I was alive. Even if I'd known I'm not sure I could've answered, because I wasn't really sure what Treesa meant. Did she think I was sad because I missed Jordan? Or did she think something terrible must've happened to separate me and Jordan? Thinking about it now I guess it makes sense that Treesa was worried about me. After all she had no idea how I ended up at the thrift store. For all Treesa knew Jordan could've died. For the record it was nothing that tragic. Jordan just outgrew me. But Treesa didn't know that.

But to get back to the story, Treesa took me to her room then and found something for me to wear. It was a little tricky finding something that was loose enough to fit over the molded flower details on my...chest, but Treesa did her best.

After I was dressed Treesa left me alone in the room. I guess she thought I might need some time to myself, to process what had happened or something. That's when Dandelion and Shade passed by and saw me. They were talking to each other as they walked, I don't know what they were talking about, but as soon as they noticed me they both stopped.

I was kind of nervous at first because I didn't know what to expect. It didn't help that I'm not much of a talker. But you'd never know that from this post. I'm really surprised how much easier it's been writing out my thoughts instead of talking out loud. But then I've never tried writing before, so I didn't really know what to expect there either.

But to get back to the story, Dandelion and Shade didn't seem to mind carrying most of the conversation. "Nice hair color," Dandelion said. "Thanks," I told her shyly. I didn't know what to say after that, so I didn't say anything.

"My name's Shade," Shade said. "And this is Dandelion. What's your name?" Treesa hadn't given me a name yet, and Jordan had called all her Barbie dolls 'Barbie'. I'd been 'Purple Fairy Barbie', but she'd also had 'Princess Barbie' and 'Ballerina Barbie' and about half a dozen others. I know these names weren't very original, but Jordan more than made up for that with the creative story ideas she'd thought up for us to act out.

But to get back to the story, when Shade asked what my name was I was a little embarrassed. So I stared at the floor admitting, "I don't really have one."

"That's ok," Dandelion told me. "Treesa'll probably give you one soon. She's been pretty good at keeping up with naming her dolls lately."

"And if she forgets you can just remind her," Shade said. I stared at her in disbelief. Was she saying what I thought she was saying? Was she telling me I should show Treesa I was alive? It sure sounded that way. And if that weren't crazy enough it sounded like Shade was saying I should actually TALK to Treesa.

"Remind her?" I asked. I must've sounded stunned because Shade said, "Oops, sorry. I guess I've got so used to Treesa knowing we're alive I forgot how weird it is, weird in a good way," Shade added. "I mean, Treesa's still human, so she still likes to mess with our lives. But at least we can tell her if she goes too far."

It was really a shock finding out Treesa knew we were alive. All I could say after Shade finished explaining was, "Oh." There was an awkward silence, and then Dandelion jumped in. "Did Treesa say anything that'd give us a clue what she wants to name you?" Dandelion asked.

"No," I said. "She just talked about body swapping me." Shade stared at me with this strange look on her face. It was sort of a mix between angry and queasy. "Are you ok?" I asked. Dandelion stepped in again. "Shade had a body swap," Dandelion explained. "She kinda doesn't like to think about it."

"I can understand if it's 'medically necessary'!" Shade burst out. "But for me it was more cosmetic. I don't think Treesa realizes that, for dolls, body swapping is like major surgery! It's risky and things can go wrong!"

Now I was scared. "What exactly is a body swap?" I asked, even though I was pretty sure I wouldn't like the answer. Shade and Dandelion explained the procedure, and when they were done I probably looked even more queasy than Shade had a minute ago. "That sounds...drastic," I said, trying not to feel sick.

"You don't even look like you NEED a body swap," Shade added, "unless you have some serious 'condition issue' I'm missing."

"I don't think so," I said, my voice still shaky. "I lost my fairy wings, but I can get around alright without them." That's when Treesa came back into the room. When she came over to where she'd left me I was terrified. I thought she was going to take me away for my body swap. As soon as Treesa reached me she noticed Dandelion and Shade. "Hey you two," Treesa said. "It was nice of you to introduce yourselves. How's the new arrival?"

"Why don't you ask her yourself?" Shade asked, still sounding upset. Treesa seemed surprised by Shade's tone of voice but she quickly got past that. "You sound like Halle," Treesa said. "New dolls usually don't answer me right away. They need time to get over the whole 'no talking to humans' thing, and they need to see they can trust me. You know that." I think seeing that Treesa didn't get angry with Shade helped me find the courage to speak up. "Are you really going to...body swap me?" I asked. I think Treesa could tell I was scared. "I was thinking about it," Treesa admitted, lowering her voice. "But you don't have to worry about that anymore. I'm not body swapping you, ever. Jordan obviously loved you just the way you are. I wouldn't take that away from you." I didn't really understand what Treesa was trying to say, and I don't think Dandelion and Shade did either. I was just glad I wasn't getting a body swap. Then Treesa smiled and said, "You need a name though. I was thinking Michaela."

"Ok," I said after a moment. I was so relieved that I wasn't going to be body swapped that she could have named me Princess PurpleHair and I would've been ok with it. I found out later the reason Treesa picked Michaela for me was because of Jordan's name. The most famous 'Jordan' Treesa knew of was Michael Jordan, the basketball player.

After Treesa left the room again I had to explain to Dandelion and Shade who Jordan was. I was still so relieved after narrowly escaping a body swap that talking about Jordan wasn't as painful as it could've been. Afterwards Dandelion and Shade introduced me to more of their friends. I met Rampion and Celeste, and Shade's brother Orlando. Rampion is a lot like Dandelion and Shade. All three of them are a lot more talkative than I am. Celeste and Orlando seem quieter though, like me. Although when Celeste talks everybody listens, because Celeste is really good at giving advice.

Well that story took a lot longer to tell than I thought it would. I guess I should work on not going off on tangents.

Enjoy The Day, Michaela