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Monday, June 19, 2017

Story time!

If you've been in the doll hobby long enough you'll eventually have at least one story that will make your friends either laugh or raise an eyebrow.  I've got several, so I think I'll waste a few moments of everyone's time and share my moments of dolly humor.

When my sister was a toddler she had a peculiar way of treating her Barbie dolls.  Within five minutes of opening the box she'd disrobe the doll and...leave it that way!  Such behavior amused our parents and annoyed me, because even back then the clothes were the best part of the doll.  We never learned my sister's reasoning behind this until an incident involving Sonja, my Sun Jewel Teresa.
In her fairly recent Dolly Dress Discussion I spoke of Sonja losing her swimsuit in a humorous manner, and this is how it happened.  My sister was playing with the doll on a Saturday morning while Mama did laundry and Daddy and I watched a little TV.  As small children often do, my sister suddenly lost interest in Sonja and shifted her attention to some other play item.  She peeled Sonja's swimsuit off, tossed the suit in one direction, tossed the doll in another direction, and tore out of the room.  Daddy was stunned.
  "Hey, go over and get that doll!  Bring her and that swimsuit here!" he said.  I did as instructed.  Daddy spent the next few minutes dressing Sonja and setting her right, and set her on the coffee table.  A few minutes later my sister came back into the room, saw her doll redressed, and pitched a minor fit.  She proceeded to disrobe Sonja a second time, then ran out of the room again.
  "That little turd!"  Daddy exclaimed, and he once again made Sonja look decent.  Soon after my sister returned, and upon seeing Sonja dressed again she flopped onto the floor and threw a fill-tilt tantrum.
  "What in the world is the matter?"  Daddy demanded, bemused by this sudden tizzy.
  "WANT HER TO BE SMOOF!!!"  my sister shrieked, and she pulled off Sonja's swimsuit again and stormed out of the room.  We didn't try to dress the doll again, and the swimsuit eventually vanished.  It turned out that "smoof" was my sister's word for "smooth," and in this case "smooth" meant butt naked.  My sister never explained why she preferred her dolls "smoof" despite our repeated asking, and we eventually chalked it up to her toddler mind working in a very unusual way.  This story sets the stage for story two.

A month or so passed, and a few more dolls came into the house, some of which (oddly enough) were for me.  I wasn't a dolly lover during my early childhood, but I did get a few that I had to keep up out of my sister's reach, lest they suddenly become "smoof."  Anyway, one day my sister got this doll.
This is Maggie, and I have no idea which Barbie she used to be, but that's beside the point.  Maggie was the first doll either of us kids had seen with molded-on underwear.  Nowadays that's fairly common among play dolls, but back then it was a surprise for us.  My sister subjected Maggie to the usual treatment, taking off and promptly losing the doll's clothes...but since the underwear was molded on, there was no way it would come off!  And since it was TEXTURED, there was no real way for the doll to be completely smooth all over.  Not that my sister didn't try, of course!  She spent the better part of that weekend trying to get those molded britches off.  Finally she admitted defeat in dramatic fashion, flinging helpless Maggie across the room and screaming her lungs out.  This sudden outburst shocked us all, and we showered her with the usual "what's" and "why's."
  "WANT HER TO BE SMOOF!!!  SHE WON'T GET SMOOF!!!" my sister bellowed.  Daddy laughed at such an idea and gently explained that not all Barbie dolls could get "smoof."
  "I DON'T LIKE THAT DOLL!!!"  my sister wailed, and she made such a fuss that Mama put her to bed early.  When my bedtime came, about an hour and a half later, I could still hear her raising Cain over that doll.

This happened when I was...oh, I'd say about eleven.  In one of my parents' less-than-bright ideas my sister and I were packed into a single room.  Supposedly it was for security reasons, but I think it was really so Daddy could have a man cave.  That got annoying after awhile, but that's beside the point.  At some time during the beginning of this arrangement I obtained my aunt's Chatty Cathy.
Now Chatty Cathy and her equally talkative dolly associates are creepy enough in the face without the talking feature, but this particular doll had a backstory to go along with the vacant face.  She no longer talks, and Daddy informed us that as the doll started to wear out her voice shifted from June Foray's to something more like Freddie Krueger's.  I found the story amusing, but it freaked my sister out a little.

Time passed, and Sister and I continued sharing a room.  Cathy occupied the tallest shelf in the room, flanked by our American Girls (just Felicity and Molly at the time), and their shelf was right in front of a window.  Every time light came through that window it made the stereotypical big shadows that one sees in horror movies, so the setting was perfect.  On one particular weekend a middle-of-the-night thunderstorm came through, one of those that comes out of nowhere during warm weather and scares the crap out of small children with overactive imaginations.  I was old enough at that time to know that not all thunderstorms spawned tornadoes...but my sister wasn't, and I could hear her thrashing about in the bed.  Remembering that Cathy was still on the top of the shelf, lording over the both of us, I lay very still in my bed and growled in my best June-Foray-meets-Freddie-Krueger voice, "WILL YOU PLAY WITH ME???"
  Sister gasped in horror.  "Was that you?" she asked in a small, frightened voice.  Being the evil sister that I am, I lay completely still, not letting on that anything was out of the ordinary.  About five minutes passed and she lay down.  Still thirsting for a good prank I continued my charade, this time growling "I KNOW WHERE YOU LIVE!"  Sister gasped again and whimpered for awhile, while I went back to sleep.

I learned much, much later (about ten years after the fact) that my prank had some very long-lasting consequences.  Sister informed me that she cried under the cover for the rest of the night, and she NEVER liked dolls again.  At Christmas she received another American Girl doll (Samantha that time), and she never once played with her.  Nor did she want to play dolls with me, especially if I brought along the possessed Chatty Cathy.  Within a year of that prank she'd given me both Samantha and Molly, stating that she wanted nothing more to do with them, and she's hated dolls ever since.  On a very recent visit home she ventured back into my spare bedroom where I keep my inanimate crew, and her response to the sight was "Dammit, that's a lot of dolls."  I'm mean, you say?  Read the next story, which is a classic "God'll getcha for that" moment.

This story took place about five years ago.  By this time I'd extended my collection to include a few composition dolls, including Tommy and Sally (better known as the Creepy Babies)...
..Anita, who is also a little creepy...
...and Lili Marlene, who usually isn't creepy.
I don't know who made Tommy (he's unmarked), while Sally, Anita, and Lili are Horsman dolls.  I like Horsman dolls almost as much as I like Ideal dolls, but that's beside the point.  I don't remember why, but one night I lifted Lili out of her basket and put her on the bed next to my head.  I occasionally did this to dolls, but usually the one I did this for was my mother's old Kissy doll, who is much loved among the family and isn't even slightly creepy.
See?  Wouldn't harm a fly.  Anyway, I put Lili on my bed next to my pillow, snapped off the light, and went to sleep.  The next morning I unfortunately woke early (never a good thing on a Saturday) and the first thing I saw when I woke up was this.
"HOLY S**T!!!" I yelled, half-jumping out of bed.  Then I remembered that I'd put Lili there the night before, for reasons I'd since forgotten and still don't remember.  Mama, who was in the next room, heard nothing, but Sister did hear and came running.  When I told her what had happened she burst out laughing and responded "That's what you get for scaring me with that Chatty Cathy doll!"  Indeed, it was. 

This happened about a year ago, when I was new to the ball-jointed doll hobby and when Johnny was the only one I had.  I wagged him around with me everywhere, so pleased was I to have my first BJD, and one of the places we often went was my grandmother's place.  To set the scene, here's what Johnny was wearing on the evening this story took place.  Normally his glasses are on straight; I must've knocked them sideways when I set the picture up.
I didn't intend for Johnny to be this big of a fop, but sometimes ball-jointed dolls have minds of their own.  Anyway, one of my uncles resides with Grandma...I think I referred to him as Second Uncle in a past post (I have two of them).  Anywho, Second Uncle is pretty stuck on himself.  If it doesn't have anything to do with spies, exercise, boxing, lousy modern pop music, or some trashy-looking young female, he doesn't care about it.  I'd already told him twice before that Johnny was/is a boy doll, but apparently this had gone out of his head once again.  So there I was, getting a stubborn old recliner ready for sitting in.  Johnny was nestled on a cushion waiting to be picked up, and I suddenly realized that my rear was between the TV and Second Uncle's line of vision.
  "I'll get my butt out of your way in a minute," I reassured him.
  "Oh, don't mind me," Second Uncle responded.  "I'm just sitting here looking at your Barbie."
  "Oh, he's not a Barbie," I casually responded.
  "He?" came the shocked reply.
Third time wasn't the charm, either.  I constantly have to remind Second Uncle that Johnny and his friend Alistair are boys.  I'll admit that they both look a little girly when they're wearing yukata, but this happens even when they're NOT in yukata!

On the other hand, Second Uncle has been very positive about the hobby.  Grandma is humorously negative, reserving a special vitriol for Johnny's unorthodox wig.  One evening she glanced over at the doll, turned to Second Uncle,  and said "Don't you think he's the ugliest thing?"
  "No, I think he's kinda neat!" Second Uncle responded.  That one time he remembered that Johnny is a he.  Undeterred, Grandma begged me to "get that poor doll a new wig!"  Johnny's character is supposed to have uncombable hair syndrome, hence my admittedly odd choice for a wig and my refusal to change it.

This one is the most recent, and...let's just say that I never expected to have to yell something this weird at one of my cats.  I was putting the Little Miss Revlon review together when this incident happened.  Remember that one?
Underneath her green dress Wendy wears a little pair of underpants in matching fabric.  As with 99.9% of my dolls reviews I had to take the her clothes off (WANT HER TO BE SMOOF!!!).  I set the clothes (dress, sash, shoes, petticoat, undies) aside in a fairly neat pile, took the pictures I needed, and started the redressing process.  All this went as planned until the redressing step, when I surprisingly discovered that Wendy's cute little skivvies were MIA.  At the same time, I noticed that my youngest cat Lily (not to be confused with Lili the doll) was swatting something around the kitchen floor.  Something green and flowered...
  "HEY!!!  You gimmie back those panties!" I yelped.  It took a short chase around the kitchen table, but I got the panties back, and the petticoat that Lily had also absconded with.  Life with cats is rarely dull, but that's one thing I NEVER dreamed I'd have to say to Lily!

Soooo...do any of y'all have any good stories?  Share your memories.

Yours truly,


  1. I remember that I would get frustrated undressing my dolls in preparation for redressing them as a kid. I had the brilliant idea one day that if I just went ahead and took all their clothes off before putting them up, I could dive right into redressing them (aka the fun part)and putting on whatever bit of play-acting was on order for the day. (Typically this would be something to do with taking care of my many doll-size horses.)

    Anyway, my mother could NOT stand the idea of those naked Barbies laying in their rubbermaid container in a heap. If she spotted a mass of bare dolls in there, she'd call me in and complain, and when/if I refused to dress them she'd do it herself. To this day, I have NO idea what the deal was.

    I caught Finn running around with a pair of doll undies one day, and I'm still trying to figure out where he got them - and who they belong to! XD

    1. Lord have mercy, kids and pets certainly do some strange things with toys. At least you had some sort of rationale with your stripping of Barbie dolls, though! I think my sister just liked the feel of that plastic in her hands!

  2. This isn't a doll story, but when my daughters were little, they had a play Winnie the Pooh phone that had a different Pooh character for each phone button, that would talk when you pressed the button. Well, apparently that thing had a hair trigger, because one night, when it was in the top shelf of our closet, we experienced a heavy thunderstorm. And that thing would "talk" every time we had a large rumble of thunder! I think that's how it ended up in our closet in the first place, because it was randomly making noises when it was in our daughters' room.

    Oh, and throughout most of childhood, I shared a bedroom with my *two* sisters. One of my sisters beds had to be pushed up right next to mine; that's how crowded that room was. We dreamed of having bunk beds, but it never happened.

    1. Multiple children plus small house often equals a battle for space! And yet parents for some reason want to pack us into the same room like a bunch of sardines. Why I'll never know.

      Lordy, I can remember us having teddy bears when we were little, and these teddy bears lit up. Every so often they'd light up during thunderstorms, and I even thought that lightning had hit the house due to those stupid bears. Their tummies flickered just like a small fire.

  3. So many cute stories! I can identify with the sisters being packed in like sardines in one bedroom! Since we had 8 kid in the family, there was no other option. And since we had 6 girls and 2 boys, you know who got to be the most "packed"! For many years, I shared a bedroom with 3 other sisters! Barely enough room, but it somehow worked out.

    1. LOL, at least it worked out in the end! Four is a bunch for one room though; I'm impressed that it worked out.

  4. Here's a doll story for you. I've been collecting dolls since I was twelve. When I turned eighteen, I had my first boyfriend ever. Parents' rules were in their house, boyfriend was not allowed in my bedroom with me alone. More because of him than me, they knew I wouldn't try anything.

    So, one day he comes to my house and asks my dad if we can go to my room. I was getting annoyed with him by then, so I turn to my dad and say "Let me show him my room, I swear we'll just be a minute."

    He walks in my room, spots the huge 8-shelf unit packed with almost 300 dolls, says "Hell no!" and walks out again. He walks up to my dad and goes "Dang, those dolls are creepy!" ...My dad almost fell out of his chair laughing!

    1. That's one way to get a pushy guy off your back! Thumbs up!