Bye-Bye Betty Bride
When I was born my maternal grandmother started a porcelain doll collection for me. Every year on my birthday and Christmas I would receive a new doll. When I was four years old I still had a bad thumb-sucking habit. I used to rub something silky, like the edging of a blanket, between my fingers and suck my thumb. I’d been known to reach up my paternal grandma’s skirt at church and grab on to her slip and suck my thumb. I had a habit that needed to be broken. I don’t remember how far into the “let’s break Jenny of her thumb-sucking habit” process we were when my aunt came up with an idea. My aunt told me that if I stopped sucking my thumb she would buy me a porcelain doll. I don’t recall whether or not I had seen the particular doll that I wanted before the offer was made or if she took me to the store afterwards to pick out my “goal doll”. All I remember is that before I had completely broken the habit I already had a specific bride doll in mind. I think that it was on display in a Hallmark store and little 4-year-old me thought that she was so pretty. I remember lying in my bed at night thinking, “I could suck my thumb and no one would see me!” and then my mom would call from downstairs, “Get that thumb out of your mouth!” (How did she know?!) I knew that I was going to have to do this honestly if I wanted to get my doll. I successfully quit sucking my thumb and the doll became mine. I named her Betty… Betty the Bride (I know, I’m so creative, right?! Don’t be jealous of my sweet, sweet naming skills.).
After years passed by I realized that Betty wasn’t as pretty as I thought she was. She was, in fact, pretty creepy. She looked like she could be the main character in a thriller about a doll that was possessed. Still, I kept her and had no plans of ever getting rid of her…4 year old me would’ve been so sad. I’d had her so long that despite her creepiness, she never gave me any nightmares 🙂
Now, I’m going to show you the only picture I have of Betty and I while I was child and I’m going to need you to focus. Remember, this is about Betty. It’s not about the Grand Ole Opry hair-do that is trying to eat my face or the giant red bow embellishing it, nor is it about the Pepto Bismal pink bedroom walls. It’s all about me holding Betty.
Have you regained your composure? Good, we can move on.
Last Saturday my mom
was all like, “Hey, get over here and clean all of your crap out of my attic! Mmkay?!” asked me if I could help her clean out her attic. My mom is a thrower-outer and I’m a hoarder of memories saver. When we came across darling old Betty in a box my mom asked if I was still going to keep that ugly creepy doll. Naturally I told her “yes!”. We were going to move her into a different box and my mom picked her up horizontally with one hand under her head to hand her to me. Then we heard a crack…Betty’s face popped off!
While no tears were shed and I knew that it gave me a reason to part with her, I was still mildly upset that my mom broke her. She said that she barely touched her and naturally I responded with, “You don’t pick a doll up by the porcelain! You should’ve grabbed her torso!” (duh!) and my mom apologized although she mostly found it funny. I knew that I was going to get rid of Betty. There was no point, despite the sentiment, to attempt to glue her back together just to stick her back into storage. So I did what any
weird sane person would do and took a bunch photos so that I could preserve my memory of Betty the Bride.
My mom clearly snapped her neck on purpose, what with her hands as hot as the blazing surface of the sun and her crazy herculean kung fu grip, she could’ve done it subconsciously with very little effort. I was certain that she was the one to blame.
When I was looking through the photos that I’d taken of Betty I noticed something. I came across Betty in a box with another doll while my mom wasn’t even in the attic. I snapped a picture of her lying in the box and then moved on to other things. If you look closely (okay, you don’t even need to look that closely) at the photo you can see a white crack on the right side of Betty’s face (left in the photo). I didn’t notice it when I had seen her in the box, but I noticed it in the picture. Betty’s face had already snapped off at some point while in storage. Whether it was from age, heat, or other boxes carelessly being stacked on top…her face was broken before my mom ever touched her.
Well. I guess I owe my mom an apology.
Mom, I’m sorry that I accused you of ruthlessly killing Betty in cold porcelain. I know that you didn’t do it
right then and I hope that you can forgive me.
To be honest, I’m a little glad that I can get rid of her without any guilt or regret (Betty, not my mom ;)).
Goodbye, Betty! You were dearly loved and you will be dearly missed. Thank you for inspiring me to stop sucking my thumb (I tried it again in Middle School just for kicks and hated it!). Thank you for watching over me all of those years with your eerie, blinkless stare. Your memory will now live on in the blogosphere forever.
Do you have an ugly or creepy item from your childhood that you can’t part with?
Tell me in the comments!
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