April 2, 2015
Sugar and Spice and everything is not so nice....
Here I am, a sweet little girl dressed in pure white standing between my dear cousins who came to celebrate my first communion. Ah but all is not as it seems. Behind that innocent smile was less sugar and everything was not nice.
Oh yes I behaved like a good girl. I was polite to adults and listened to my teachers. I didn't sit on my little brother and try to squish him. Not that often. I ate all my vegetables and behaved. I loved my parents. I did as I was told. I never was sent to the principal's office or fought with my friends.
Until I took out my Barbie doll and became. Well...nasty.
When I put my Barbie away in her plastic case, I became my good little girl self again. Certainly, a therapist could analyze this and use phrases like repressed anger, and perhaps the experts would be correct. Or maybe I was just exercising an emotional muscle that I never had a chance to practice in my real good girl life. Eventually, I put away Barbie permanently and also learned to people please less and assert myself more. Took time but I thought I found the right balance.
Until recently. I seem to have lost my filter. I worry I've become like my former neighbor Francis. She was in her 80s by the time I met her. A few months before she died the two of us were sitting and chatting near our townhomes. Another neighbor passed by, a young woman, and Francis blurted, "she's fat." I'm sure the woman heard. I felt terrible. But Francis didn't. Then Francis told me that my dog at the time, Buddy, was gay. "He likes other boy dogs," she said Which was true. But still.
I once had a Midge doll. I cut her hair and used a mascara wand to dye it black. I think I must have been angry at someone to do this to poor Midge. I'm thinking in order to retain my friendships I might need to get dolls. Each time I want to say something that I should keep to myself such as, "why are you dating that loser?" Or, "are you really going to waste money again on that?" This is not a good way to keep friendships. Instead, I will let the doll say all my mean thoughts just as I did when I was 10 year's old.
But then sitting home surrounded by dolls and talking to them may not be the best idea. I'm thinking instead to pour all my opinions and biases and petty jealousies into the characters I write. Pretend when I write that I'm playing Barbies again and just let it all loose, to the fictional world rather than the real world. I'll embrace my inner nasty Barbie. As a result, I might be able to maintain a few more friendships so I'm not completely alone when my time comes.
For those of you who don't like to write I would lend you my Midge doll but I threw her in the trash one day. Then I smiled and looked oh so sweet again.