Monday, December 10, 2007

B is for Broken *

When I was about six years old, I had a walking doll.

She looked a little like this:

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Walking dolls were all the rage in the 50s and mine had been given to me as a Christmas present. She was about twenty inches high and was the most beautiful doll I'd ever owned.

One summer afternoon, when we'd run out of things to do and boredom was setting in, my cousin, Bobby, decided that it would be interesting to try and open up the doll and see what was inside. I thought it would be interesting too, but didn't think it was such a good idea.

Cousin Bobby persisted. He assured me that it would be okay. It would be like an operation and we'd be able to put her back together again. He "promised". What did I know? He was a whopping two months older than me and always took charge about these things. Against my better judgment, I agreed.

We found a pair of my grandmother's sewing scissors and Bobby set to work. With the pointy-end of the scissors, he poked a hole through the rubbery skin. Then snip, snip, snip through her chest. She was full of white cottony stuffing. Next, he twisted off her head. Well, that was interesting. It was mostly hollow but we could see how her eyes rolled up and down inside the sockets.

We were giggling and probably making quite a racket when my grandmother came up behind us. She looked at the doll, took away the scissors and told us to clean up the mess, then walked away. That's when I took a good look at what we'd done. Legs, arms and head had been twisted off and bits of stuffing lay amid the doll clothes that we'd been so careful to remove.

There was no way we'd ever put that doll back together. She was utterly broken and I was heartbroken. For days afterward, tears welled up in my eyes every time I thought about it. It was Bobby's idea, but my own decision to go along with him.

Bobby got a spanking over this episode, but no one spoke to me again about what we'd done. I was never reprimanded or punished. I think the family knew our destruction of the doll was punishment enough.

* Another Encylopedia of Me blog.

1 comment:

Kay Dennison said...

I seem to recall exploring the innards of one of my dolls and, yeah, I got spanked.