Books by Glenda Young

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Goodbye, Dolly

Not being right fond of playing with dolls as a child, my collection was limited to those bought for me as I never bought any myself. I had a brief moment one weekend where I quite liked my Sindy and had a bit of a fling with Pippa but hated with a vengeance the needy Teeny-tiny Tears I woke up one Christmas morning to find. Father Christmas didn't know me very well that year.

One doll I did like was a big, hard, plastic brute of a doll almost a metre high. My grandma knit clothes for it and I called the doll Judith, the name of my uncle's then girlfriend who I remember I admired a lot, but can't even recall her face now.  Anyway, me and Judith the doll were inseperable and I even gave her a haircut one day with blunt scissors - which were all I was allowed at the time. And then I scribbled on her face with blue pen. She looked smashing.

So when we were told at infant school to bring our favourite toy in for display on the stage at the Harvest Festival, I trundled Judith down to school and gave her to the teacher to put on the stage with all the other toys.  Later, we all trooped into the hall for the Harvest Festival assembly to do a bit of singing and hear a speech about harvests and festivals (I'm assuming this, as I can't remember what was said, being overcome with grief). I was near the front of the stage and my eyes desperately darted around turnips and baskets of fruit, looking for Judith.  I couldn't see he anywhere but other kids' toys were there, dolls in pink satin with angel smiling faces, bloody Teeny-tiny Tears tucked in with displays of potatoes, boy cars and trains lined the front of the stage. But no Judith.  After the service, I asked my teacher where my doll was. She went round to the back of the stage, pulled Judith up by what was left of her hair and explained that as my toy was clearly not my favourite otherwise I wouldn't have cut her hair off or scribbled all over her face, she wasn't going on show and hadn't I better think on and take better care of my things?  I don't think I ever spoke to that teacher again.  Judith was - and remains - my favourite toy. Mind you, she's still got scribble on her face and her hair never grew back.

Anyway, I'm wittering on about dolls because this week I sold three childhood dolls on ebay.  Not Judith. I could never sell Judith. These three dolls were ones I've never played with, three dolls in a box of many who have been stuck in the loft for 40+ years. Three dolls with little monetary worth, wearing frilly frocks with simpering grins. And now they've all gone to homes, to people who want them, and that's more than I ever did.

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