Jun 27, 2009


I wouldn't say I was one of those little girls who loved to play with dolls. I liked them well enough, but I always seemed to have more fun with toys that required lots of C batteries and ammunition for cap guns.  But I did have this one doll that my mom swore I took everywhere with me and her name was Drowsy.  

Drowsy was a baby doll made by Mattel who had gold-spun yellow hair and was dressed in a pink and polka dot sleeper. She had a plastic round pull string on her back and when you pulled it, her voice box said stuff like: "Mommy, I'm sleepy. I want another drink of water. Mommy, kiss me goodnight. I go sleep now, night, night. giggles"  Her painted plastic face easily conveyed that she was a sleepy little girl and ready to go to bed.  I loved her.

My mom told me that I chewed the thumbs off of Drowsy.  I have to suspect it was because I was a ferocious thumb sucker back in the day.  I'm ashamed to admit that I sucked my thumb until I was about eight years old or so.  My grandmother broke me of the habit pretty easily: she bribed me with dollar bills for every night that I slept without my thumb in my mouth.  Mom could never get me to stop, but Grammy knew what motivated me.

I also recall my mom telling me the story of a time when I came down with a serious case of pneumonia and had to stay at Hahnemann Hospital for a week.  I become inconsolable because I didn't have Drowsy with me because my Mom threw her away without my knowledge a few days before I went into the hospital.  I guess I must have really caused a fuss because my Dad drove to the Child World Toy Store in Shrewsbury and bought me a new Drowsy-this time with thumbs intact.  

Back in the day when EBAY was still fresh and completely amazing, I found myself online searching for toys to bid on from my childhood.  My obsession with collecting my childhood toys all stemmed from an incident when I was cleaning out a basement closet after I had moved back home to take care of my Mom:  I stepped on a Weeble.  (Trust me, you'll never forget the sharp shooting pain in the arch of your foot after stepping on a Weeble. It made quite an impression on me. )  I typed in Drowsy's name in the search box and a whole page of Drowsy dolls appeared.   But I was shocked to discover the bid prices were hundreds of dollars!  

But then Mattel did a very cool thing-they reissued a Classic Collection Drowsy back in 1984.  I was able to buy her from Amazon and really the only difference was that her pull string had been replaced with a voice box that became activated if you squeezed her tummy.  I loved her!

This brings me full circle to why I'm writing about my favorite doll from the 70's.  I was at work and my co-worker Sharon came into the office wearing this very, very bright pink dress with white polka dots.  She looked great in the dress and the first thing that came to  mind was that she reminded me of a Drowsy doll.  The day got away from me and I forgot to tell Sharon how much her dress reminded me of Drowsy.  But late in the afternoon, I decided to send the following email to her:
Hi Sharon,

This is TOTALLY meant as a compliment!  I swear.   You look so nice today and I love your dress. I keep forgetting to tell you.

But I have to let you know that the dress you're wearing reminded me of my favorite dolly when I was a little girl.  Her name was Drowsy and she had a little pull string on her back that said cute little things.  (This was hi-tech back in the ’70’s.)   It was made by Mattel.  They actually re-issued the doll and if I can remember I’m going to bring it in to work tomorrow so you can see the new version. My mom told me I ‘loved’ my doll so much that I chewed off her thumbs….not sure why I would have done that?  Any hoo, here’s a picture.  Note she looks DRUNK not DROWSY.
Sharon replied back: Very funny……….I had the same doll.  “I want a drink of water.”  “Mommy, kiss me good night.”  I had no idea they re-issued her.  I would love to see her.  I loved my doll so much too.  I only had 2 dolls growing up.  The one below and a Raggedy Ann doll that you learned to tie and buckle and button.
Then I remembered that my Aunt Barbara actually made me a Raggedy Ann doll, but my mother took it away from me when I stuck a needle into her stitched-on heart.  I'm not quite sure why I did this, but my mom did the right thing by taking away yet another one of my dolls.  I imagine she worried that I would squeeze the doll in just the right way and the pressure would make the dangerously sharp needle point out somewhere and poke my eye out.  My mom frustratingly yelled at me, "Why would you stick a sewing needle into your doll?"

I have no idea what I said to my mother back then to justify what I did to my new doll, but  I'd like to think curiosity got the best of me and I simply couldn't resist seeing what would happen if I stuck a needle into Raggedy Anne's stitched-on heart. 

My Minority Report

Sitting in front of the TV yesterday after work was a little surreal because the cause of Michael Jackson's death hit very close to home.  I actually found myself crying when CNN broke the shocking news that he had died from cardiac arrest.

As the tears spilled down my cheeks, I felt really weird about crying since I didn't have a personal connection to Michael Jackson other than being an admirer of  his music.  But after a few minutes I realized why his death was hitting me hard enough to provoke tears.  My dad died the very same way back in 1998 when I was 28 years old.  The memories of the day I got the call telling me my father had died buzzed around in my head as I listened to Wolf Blitzer on CNN.

I was prepared this morning while on our coffee break that the expected discussion about the death of Michael Jackson wasn't going to be in my favor. My views definitely placed me in the minority rather than the majority because I never thought he was a child molester.  Not even for one minute!  I didn't think he was a freak. I believe he was a great entertainer who loved children and built himself an amusement park to share with those less fortunate.  He was, from my perspective, one of the most persecuted entertainers I've ever known. I'd easily rank him up there with OJ Simpson, but for him the sequined glove fit his one hand just fine, thank you very much.

I didn't voice my opinion this morning over coffee, but rather I sat and listened to what my coworkers had to say about a man none of us ever really knew.  But I didn't pass judgement and think that their views were ignorant as they could easily of said the same about mine. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but I knew that no one wanted to hear mine so I kept my mouth shut.

Instead I sipped my hot cup of Starbucks coffee and took comfort in knowing this man has finally found peace.

Freaky Friday...

Why does it seem like there is not one person in my life right now without drama.  In no particular order:

  • My best friend Karen officially broke up with her boyfriend.
  • My co-worker Patty just found out that due to a severe plumbing problem she’s going to have to move out of her apartment and into another unit while workers tear up her floors to correct a massive leak.  Plus her poor husband nearly had an amputation earlier this week from an infection – long story. (And she’s suffering a major hangover from the Jimmy Buffet concert last night.)
  • My former work husband's mother-in-law died earlier this week and his wife’s 40th birthday is this weekend.
  • My friend Ginny's buying her first house and the closing slipped from 6/24 to 6/30 because of a misleading appraisal that nearly sunk the whole deal.
  • My lunch got cancelled today because my co-worker Jillian called in sick.  She’s the friend who has Celiac disease so no mash potatoes at Uno’s in Natick today.
  • Another co-worker of mine (she sits opposite of me) has a mother who may have a second spinal fluid leak which requires another surgery.
  • Both Spencer and I have a cracked windshields this week that needs to be fixed.
  • The company that was scheduled to do my septic tank cleaning was given the wrong address and I saw him going to my next door neighbor’s house while I was on the way to work. It’s not Perry at 5 Miami St, it’s Perry at 9 Miami Street!  ‘Doh
  • Another co-worker Michelle had her Novocain wear off mid-procedure drilling.
  • And last but not least- A trifecta of entertainers died this week:  Michael Jackson (sequined white glove), Farrah Fawcett (famous for her nipple poster) and Ed McMahon (Publisher's Clearing House will never be the same without him.)
And you're wondering if I had any good news this week?  Yea, I saw the sun for like five minutes Thursday night.