I looked and looked for a certain two-sided doll from my childhood this past summer. I couldn’t imagine anyone had chucked the doll out intentionally because the doll has an air about it, that is, a slight bit of weirdness that a family member would, upon finding such a doll, naturally assume I would want to take a look at it. Even without knowing that I was, in fact, the doll’s owner.
I knew that in the guest room, upstairs at my Grandmother’s, were three shoe boxes full of my dolls. When I couldn’t find the doll at home, I became convinced it was up there. I don’t know why I got obsessed with locating this doll. Probably, it was a distraction from some other stuff that was going on. Also, I just wanted it. It’s special; my Aunt Mary embroidered it.
The next time we (my parents and me) were up north, I peered into the boxes, which were overflowing with the teeny dolls and figurines coveted by little girls of the early 80s. Mon chi chi, Smurfs, some California Raisins, Strawberry Shortcake, My Little Pony … but no two-sided, hand embroidered doll.
I wasn’t devastated, exactly, but my heart sank. If it wasn’t here, and it wasn’t at my place, the only other place I could think it could be was too sad to say out loud. When I left the house in Hamilton, there were a few boxes of things that had never been unpacked from when we moved in. These I looked into, saw the stuff appeared to be my ex-husband’s, and I didn’t go through them thoroughly. I thought it must have accidentally been left behind in one of them. My stuff could have been mixed in. I don’t know, I didn’t really find out for sure. God knows what I left there. I can’t think about it too much.
There wasn’t much else to do but forget about it. Then, on August 29, I opened an email from my Mom.
“I found it with your Barbie dolls. Is this the one you thought was at Grandma’s?” (Wow, my Mom still has my Barbies?! By the way, I had three and I called them all Cara, for some reason.)
I obviously loved and played with this doll a lot, as evidenced by the gross stains on it. “It looks like a Freshie or a pop stain,” my Mom said in her email but I secretly think it might be coffee. I’m just saying. Mom threw it in the laundry but the stain didn’t come out. That’s okay, I kind of like it that way, to see that this doll wasn’t too precious to play with.
I think this doll is a treasure. Maybe even an heirloom. I’m so glad it wasn’t lost.