Monday, November 19, 2007
Welcome to the Dollhouse
These lusciously black dolls from San Telmo invoke some sorta irrevocable fetish in me. I swear it's not lewd or inappropriate--I just would love to line them up on my fireplace mantle, taking each one down every so often to whisper sweet nothings in her ear. When I was an immigrant kid in the US, my biggest dream outside of raising a colony of sea monkeys was to own a Shirley Temple doll, having just discovered the jaunty, curly-headed moppet on Saturday retro matinees. In bumper-sticker terms, I guess you could say I brake for dolls, the more cherubic, the heavier my lead foot.
One of my fondest memories from Cambodia was getting a sweet little French doll from my aunt Vanna who was living in Paris at the time (today she lives outside of Paris). It smelled stunningly like sugar with spindly limbs. The French intruder was adored so much that I had nannies lining up to create miniature Khmer outfits for it, resulting in a sewing-machine one-upmanship. I've a foto of me and the doll in matching batik tops and sarongs. If you're nice, I'll look for it.
My doll frenzy reached its altitudinous high when years later in the states, I stealthily snatched my younger sister's Baby Alive doll (remember those?) one afternoon and threw it kicking and screaming into the washing machine. I'm not sure what possessed me--lack of oxygen to the brain? But Baby Alive never looked quite alive again. To this day my sister has yet to forgive me for this crime of passion. (I am so misunderstood.)