Childish Memories: My Dolls Deserved to Die!

Little girls and their dolls, inseparable, best friends, until you wake up one morning and realize they’re a bit freaky. For a brief time in my childhood, I decided dolls were evil and needed to be destroyed. Well, I’m not certain I thought they were evil, but they were (and are) disturbing. Maybe I just outgrew toys in general and needed an excuse to get rid of the dolls.

The doll-killing spree consisted of Barbie and Ken – who were not boyfriend and girlfriend in the traditional sense – and G.I. Joe. In my world, Ken preferred the company of G.I. Joe. Back in those days, Ken and Joe felt as though they couldn’t reveal their true relationship. It’s very sad that the world is so intolerant, but that’s an entirely different topic and too serious to discuss here.

Barbie was the first to go because she was the most annoying of the dolls. Her haughty accessories and outfits irked me, and don’t get me started on those breasts, the RV camper and Chevy Corvette, which has likely been recalled by GM. Unattainable perfection and flagrant materialism wrapped in plastic; sounds like many popular celebrities today. She was a terrible role model.

Her fate was put into the hands of the high-speed, bustling highway in front of my childhood home. At sunset, I placed her in the middle of the road and waited for the next unsuspecting motorist to happen along.

Now don’t worry, back in those days, it was quite safe for an eight-year-old child to play in the street, just as it was safe to ride standing up in the bed of a truck or bounce around unrestrained in the backseat of a car. Car seats were for sissies!

From my discreet location behind a shrub on the hillside, I watched and waited. The anticipation was almost too much to bear, and then came the roar of an engine. Closer. Closer. Closer. Wham, crunch, smash! Barbie traveled a great distance.

I’ll spare the gruesome details of her demise, but let’s just say she endured several more hit and run accidents before she was completely demolished and strewn in a hundred pieces in and along the road. Ken and G.I. Joe suffered a similar fate.

I would like to add that I wasn’t alone in my doll destroying endeavors, as my two brothers had a giant hand in their destruction. I think they might have been the ones who suggested it in the first place because I was a good girl.

Looking back, it hardly seems normal to do such a thing, but let’s face it, we were bored. We latchkey kids had to fill the parental void with something entertaining. Destroying our toys seemed to be a sensible pastime. Today children destroy, kill and maim characters in video games. The two are not so different. Barbie and friends were my Grand Theft Auto of the time. I no longer commit such heinous crimes against dolls, but I do occasionally enjoy a good fighting video game. It’s good for stress relief.

Admittedly, over the years, I have developed a slight fear of dolls that I can’t explain. Dolls are creepy! I’ve always thought so. It’s their vacant eyes boring a hole through your soul. They never stop watching. Perhaps the dolls of the world seek vengeance for the doll-killing spree so long ago. Their mission is to drive me crazy, but the joke is on them. I arrived at that destination long ago.

If you would like to read the other installments of Childish Memories and pass judgment on my strange but wonderful childhood, take your pick…

I Curse More Than You Do!
Blanket Fortresses are Impenetrable!



Childish Memories: I Curse More Than You Do!

CursingBubbleRemember when you heard sophisticated grown-ups use curse words as casually as breathing, and you thought, “I want to be just like them when I grow up. I’m going to curse and curse and no one will be able to stop me.” When you’re a child, there’s something fascinating about using dirty words, and I don’t think the fascination fades, at least for some. Even those of you who feign shock at the sound of a dirty word secretly wish you could speak them with abandon. Go ahead; I give you permission.

When I was about 10 years old, my two brothers and I decided it was time to start cursing. At school, at home, while playing with friends. Anywhere and everywhere we felt like it, except when adults were present. We were smart enough to hide it from the unsuspecting adults.

Here’s the slightly exaggerated re-enactment of the conversation that served as a gateway to cursing:

Stacy (12 years old): “I started cursing. I do it all the time.”

Me: “You’re gonna get in trouble?”

Stacy: “Not if I don’t get caught.”

Me: “Okay. I’m going to curse too.”

Josh (eight years old): “I curse too! I’ve been doing it longer than you guys.”

Me: “No you haven’t. You lie.”

Stacy: “I say every bad word in the world.”

Me: “Well, so do I.”

Josh: “I say a gazillion billion bad words a day.”

Well, you get the idea. It became a competition to see who cursed the most and who knew the most bad words, but oddly enough, not one of us cursed throughout the conversation. I think we were each too scared to be the first. That would eventually change, but for a brief time we remained unsophisticated children.

Even now, I’m not a good curser. I have a few go-to words, but I sort of feel like I’m still that child testing the waters to see if cursing fits me or not. It’s a steady source of entertainment to my friends to see if they can get me to say the F-word, which I’ve seldom uttered in my life. Someday they might hear it, but it’s likely to be in the throes of anger, which they won’t find so amusing. Until then, I live vicariously through other’s use of the F-word. I’ll keep honing my skills. And, for those of you who love to curse, remember to do it in all the places deemed inappropriate by society: work, church, school, the dinner table, the checkout line at the store, a funeral, etc.

Disclaimer: No curses were used in the making of this blog post. I do not condone the use of profanity. I will not be held responsible for embarrassing situations that might arise from their use. Curse responsibly and at your own risk.

If you are so inclined, check out the first installment of Childish Memories: Blanket Fortresses are Impenetrable!.

Stay tuned for the third in the series: Childish Memories: My Dolls Deserved to Die!

Childish Memories: Blanket Fortresses are Impenetrable!

As with many childhoods, mine was fraught with the fear and uncertainty that comes from being forced to sleep in a dark bedroom. How dare my parents! Monsters undoubtedly lived under my bed and in the closet. They lurked outside my door and leered in the opened window, waiting for their chance to get me. It’s a wonder I survived. I’m sure I almost died of fright, more than once.

Crude, childish drawing by me.

Crude, childish drawing by me.

One monster has forever haunted my mind: The Smoking Shadow Man. He appeared to the seven-year-old me on a weekend I spent at my father’s house, late at night after the house was quiet. My bedroom door was left open and the nightlight in the hallway cast long shadows. I awoke disoriented and sat up in the bed trying to remember where I was. Out in the hallway I saw movement. A man-shaped shadow the size of Frankenstein’s monster appeared on the wall outside my door. I think he groaned. Then I saw smoke! Yes, smoke, floated through the doorway. Was the house on fire?

I wanted to scream and call out to my father to rescue me, but instead I covered my head and closed my eyes, confident my blanket fortress would protect me from the evil. If Smoking Shadow Man couldn’t see me, then he couldn’t get me. I still use this logic today. Never let your arms or legs hang over the edge of the bed or outside the covers. The covers are a cocoon of protection that cannot be breached.

Smoking Shadow Man slinked away while I fearlessly cowered under the covers. I had heroically fought off another beast of darkness, unscathed. When I awoke the next morning, to my childish delight, the house had not burned down.

To this day, Smoking Shadow Man remains a mystery. Much like Sasquatch and Yeti, no actual proof of his existence has been found, and he continues to elude capture. Perhaps he was a figment of my imagination, a manifestation of my naïve hope that all the smokers in my family would stop, lest they face certain death.

These days I hide from, I mean fight off, different monsters like middle age, death, a mortgage payment, yard work, frizzy hair, and that never-ending desire for fatty meats and fried food. The monsters have changed, but the desire to seek solace in the safety of my blankets and sleep with the light on still seems like a practical and perfectly adult way to evade the monsters. The next time your monsters get too close, grab your blankie.

Stay tuned for another pointless installment of Childish Memories: I Curse More Than You Do!