On Saturday I tried to make a quick stop at the Goodwill, but was there for much longer than planned. This particular store is one of their outlets, where they sell everything by the pound. The goods are on wheeled tables which are switched out several times during the day, so there is a constant supply of “new” items. I bought a spring blouse, two books, some odd pieces of crocheted lace, and this dirty old doll….
Usually, I skip over dolls completely, but she caught my eye and I recognized her immediately. This is a Thumbellina. I received a larger one for Christmas when I was barely 7 years old. By winding the knob on her back, her head will move just enough to appear to be a real baby. This little one was dirty, two of her fingertips have been broken off, and she smells from almost 50 years of improper storage. She’s definitely not appealing, with messy hair and missing her baby outfit. Even so, I put her in my cart and paid for her at the register.
Sunday morning I decided to make this little one more presentable, so that I could bring her to my children and grandchildren. I wanted to show them what my dolls were like. I washed her vinyl parts and shampooed her matted artificial hair. That’s when it all went wrong. She slipped from my hand and landed directly on her back, breaking the knob into small, sharp pieces. The piece that remains still turns, but I wouldn’t let a child play with it now.
I’m not upset about it, other than calling myself clumsy for the following half hour. My original Thumbellina and other dolls were accidentally discarded during my sister’s move (they had been stored in her attic), so I guess this just wasn’t meant to be.