This is a special memory from my own childhood.
I think we’ve all had favorite toys as children. One of mine was a wonderful toy squirrel! It was about the size of a real squirrel and he had a little nut in both hands that he held to his mouth while he sat up on his back two legs. You wound him up and he would hop across the floor while his tail rotated until it hit the floor and it would roll the squirrel over. I really loved that little squirrel.
My favorite stuffed animal was my big purple rabbit! She was about 3′ tall and had beautiful long ears that were purple on the outside and white on the inside. She had long, shiny fur and a pink satin bow around her neck. My parents had given her to me for Easter. I named her Flopsy and she slept sitting in a chair next to the bed I shared with my sister.
I had almost forgotten about my favorite doll until my cousin Suzi sent me this picture of the beautiful ballerina doll that she was making for her great granddaughter. This is the same Aunt Suzi who made Amara so many amazing dolls and doll clothes. She is a doll expert! Seeing her doll made the memories of my own ballerina come flooding back.
I had found my ballerina in the Spiegel’s catalog. She was about 24″ tall and her legs were jointed so that she could do the splits. Her ankles were also jointed so that she could stand “en pointe”. She wore a pink leotard and tutu, white tights and pink satin pointe shoes. She even came with a black stand to hold her and a carrying case. I must have been about 8 years old and I really wanted that doll. I had shown her to my mother and after much begging she had promised to order her for my birthday.
I tried to wait patiently for her to order her but I knew that my mother was not the most reliable person. Just because she said she would order it didn’t mean she would ever get around to actually doing it! It would be one of those cases where my birthday would arrive and she would swear she had ordered it and that it was, “all the stores fault.” I knew my mother. So after a week or two I decided that I would write a letter to Spiegel’s and order it myself. Then I could just get her to write the check and all the hard part would already be done.
It was probably another week and I still had not gotten her to write the check so I had a brainstorm. I was sure this would work! I put the letter, the one that said there was a check enclosed, in a stamped envelope and addressed it to Spiegel’s. Do you remember stamped envelopes? I then — in bold pencil, wrote on the front of the envelope C.O.D. I was sure this meant they would send the doll and make my mother pay for it when it was delivered.
The lady at Spiegel’s called my mother. I had confused her and the mailman who had delivered my letter. I think I even answered the phone when they called! I remember quickly explaining to my mother what I had done and why. I knew I shouldn’t have done it and I didn’t see the whole thing ending well.
It was one of those very rare times that she didn’t get angry. Maybe she was feeling guilty for not having ordered it for me but I sure was surprised. She told the Spiegel’s lady that she would stop by their store the next day and give them a check. And she did.
Weeks later, my doll arrived. She was everything the catalog said she would be but I have to admit I was a tiny bit disappointed that she wouldn’t dance on her own! 8 year-old little girls have high expectations!