My Best Friend Lost His Head

Shan and Tommy - Happy in Spring

When I’m searching for blog ideas, I look through pictures.  I found this one and it brought back happiness and devastation.  That is a bit dramatic, but when you’re little, things appear much more tragic.

No, it’s not because I look like a little boy in this picture, but it’s because my favorite doll, Tommy, had a rough life.  I was an only child until I was 8 and the only grandchild, niece etc. for almost the same amount of time.  Although I had many dolls and toys, Tommy was my favorite.  He was probably the cheapest doll I had too, which my parents probably loved, right?  It’s like buying the expensive toy and the kid loves the box.  He had yarn hair, cloth limbs and a cheap plastic head.  He had big cheeks like I did (do) and just had an overall happy face.

Although I love Tommy and we had many lazy afternoon naps together, tea parties and adventures, I have to say he lost his head.  No, literally, he lost his head.  The first tragic occasion came in the summer of my third birthday.  I vaguely remember, but I’ve also heard the story enough times that it feels familiar.  I went shopping with my Mom, because that’s what three year olds do.  Upon our return to our powder blue Honda Civic, Mom popped me into my car seat and then we saw it on the backseat.  Oh no, not Tommy.  Tommy’s cheap plastic head had gotten so warm in the summer heat, that the seal connecting him to his body let loose.

Tommy was decapitated by the summer sun.

Dad tried everything from glue to zip ties.  All winter, Tommy was safe, but the minute the weather became warm, there was no telling what might become of poor Tommy.

For now, Tommy is in a box with my other special friends.  He has probably lost his head in the attic more than once since he’s been up there, but I’m hoping he’s found some stability in his life.  When I saw Toy Story 3, I thought about donating my toys that are in my Dad’s attic but then I realized I’m too selfish and sentimental; at least with dolls like Tommy. The last thing I’d want is for him to blow his top for another young child.

Now that I think about it, Tommy isn’t the only one of my “friends” in my very early years to hit a rough patch.  Maybe I’ll share the tragic assault on Megan with you soon too.  Poor, poor Megan.  At least the pug lovers would laugh at it.

Little Old Soul or Burden to Elderly Society?

I thought I was a pretty normal kid.  I was the first of my generation on my Mom’s side.  I was the only kid for the first six years across the board.  I also grew up without many kids around in my neighborhood and by the time they were there, I was still the only girl.  I’d like to think I’m an old soul, well, because I feel like I am.  Part of me also wonders if it’s because my favorite people and maybe my best friends during those years, were my Mom and my Grandmoms.  I had three of the later, “two regulars and a great” I’d always say.

I never lacked a childhood.  I played games, had toys and knew the basics, Sesame Street and Smurfs.  It might be kind of odd that a lot of my favorite toys can be found at antique stores, but they were obviously both amusing and made well, so who am I to question that.  Mister Rogers was one of my icons, still is, and I get teased for wearing a Mr. Rogers sweater on occasion to this day.  They are so versatile.  But honestly, I’m not weird.  It’s not like I go to a public park bench and start singing while I change my shoes or anything.

It has recently come to my attention however, that some of my regular childhood memories are not so regular for children of the 80’s.  Well, maybe child-like people IN their 80’s, but I was born in the early 1980’s.  Apparently there’s a difference?  Here is a sampling.

  • Lunch dates at Wanamaker’s with patent leather purses and hats
  • Bingo with the Widow/Widowers at the Senior Center
  • Lawrence Welk sing-a-longs with Gram (The real show, not the SNL parodies – which are excellent by the way)
  • Carol Burnett repeats on PBS
  • Anne of Green Gables and/or Romance Novels (Yes, I realize this was quite varied)
  • Senior citizen bus trips to anywhere and everywhere
  • Sewing and crocheting lessons during 2nd grade summer

Ok, so either I was ancient, or I was often taken to places I wasn’t supposed to be.  Making this list makes me wonder if I was ever a burden to elderly population, but I made such good friends with every old lady I met that I was always invited back.  There was one lady named Dolly, I thought she was the greatest because well, her name was Dolly.

Anyway, there is something proper about a little girl with her tea cup and saucer, legs crossed while she listens to her elders talk.  I don’t remember ever feeling like a kid.  Maybe it’s because no one spoke to me like I was one, but in fact they treated me like a little lady.