therealljidol Week 3: Coprolite
I got all excited when I saw this week's LJ Idol topic (well, more like after I figured out what the word meant) - "YES," I said to Kokomo (my teddy bear and constant companion). "Yet another opportunity to tell people the story about my niece pooping in the baby pool! I love
telling that story." Alas! I realized shortly thereafter that I'd written about that for LJ Idol
last year, so I guess I have to find something else to talk about. Le sigh.
Don't worry, you're safe from more entries about my nieces' and nephew's bodily functions. For now.
So about a year or so ago, my sister Julia calls me and asks, "Hey, where's your Kirsten doll?"
"Hi Jules," I reply, "nice to hear from you. How's life?"
"Very funny," she says. "Where's the goddamn doll? Bella's been asking me to get her one, and I'm not sure I can justify throwing $100 on a doll when you already have one."
For those of you who don't know: the Pleasant Company has been producing a line of dolls based on fictional historical characters known as "American Girls" since 1986. Each doll represents a unique culture and time period in American history - for example, there's a Native American girl named Kaya whose story takes place in 1764; there's also Rebecca, a Russian-Jewish girl from 1914, and Addy Walker, who escaped from slavery with her mother in 1864, and a couple others. Each doll comes with her own book series, five somewhat formulaic stories that are designed to educate and empower.
(Er, don't take me calling them "formulaic" the wrong way - they're awesome! They're part of the reason I love history so much! But looking back on them now, they're all sort of the same. Not a bad thing, just making an observation.)
I don't remember asking my parents for one back in the day, but I suppose I must have. Regardless, a Kirsten Larson doll (timeline: pioneer era, 1856) appeared under the Christmas tree when I was 9 or 10, and I played with her somewhat faithfully (she was a regular character for at least
4 months in the soap opera all my stuffed animals were a part of, married and divorced Kokomo twice) until we moved to a new house when I was 12.
Then, as I'm sort of wont to do with a lot of my possessions, I lost track of her. I didn't think
I'd thrown her out, but when Julia asked me about her, it'd been 12 years since I'd last seen the doll. The way things go in my family, she could have been tossed out into the cold and eaten by wolves for all I knew. (Spoiler: she wasn't eaten by wolves.)
But because I live in Boston and the rest of my family in Jersey, I kept blowing Julia off. "I don't have a clue," I'd tell her repeatedly. "If you're so keen on finding her, look for her yourself."
"You're such a brat," Julia would say to me.
"Yes," I'd agree. "Your point?"
Anyway, two weeks ago she and my brother-in-law were going down to Key West for a short vacation, and I offered to babysit with our other sister for the weekend. They accepted, and then Julia told me that it would be the perfect opportunity for me to tear Mom and Dad's house apart and find the doll. I sighed dramatically a lot but agreed - the kids could go play at the park with Grandpa for a couple hours, giving Cathy and me a break from their craziness, and I'd brave the attic in search of Kirsten.
Dad very graciously shifted the heavy attic door for me before he took the kids off our hands, and I very carefully climbed up there and crawled around the exposed patches of insulation to where there was a pile of dusty boxes all marked "MARGARET - STUFF."
"How likely is that?" I asked myself. "I never have this much luck."
Sure enough, Kirsten was in one of those boxes, buried under a couple sweatshirts and skirts I hadn't seen in 13 years. I picked her up and sniffed at her, then recoiled.
"Oh yeah," I said. "You've definitely been the victim of Dad smoking inside this house since we moved in. I am so sorry."
I made my way back down with her (but not before I managed to slam my head into one of the crossbeams because I made the rookie mistake of standing up) and sent a quick text to Julia - the squirrel is in the tree, I repeat, the squirrel is in the tree
.You think you're funny
, she wrote back, but thanks, I will send her off to the doll spa when I get home
(Yes, the doll spa. You can send your dolls in to the company to be fixed up - it's pretty nifty, I think.)
So the outcome of this year-long doll quest is that my niece will be inheriting (a hopefully better-smelling) Kirsten this Christmas. As reluctant as I was to participate, I have to admit that I'm pretty pleased to be passing her off. Uh, mostly because this gets me out of actually buying her a present. That's the best
.Oh, hush, she's getting the first couple volumes of Tiny Titans and Marvel Adventures: Avengers out of me, too.