Possibly the silliest purchase I've ever made on eBay arrived today. I blame David Puterbaugh and his rousing endorsement of Toy Story 3. While Jim was here, we watched the first two Toy Story movies on DVD, then Jim, Tim, Tom, and I saw the new one in the theater. And YES, David, I DID need the Kleenex I took with me at your suggestion, and I wasn't the only one. One of the themes of the movie is what happens to toys when their children grow up.
For years, I've mourned the disappearance of my wooden push puppet lion. He was one of my favorite toys, and if our toys remember us, he knows I didn't lose him, discard him, or give him away. I'm sure he was stolen, and I know who the probable culprit was. I've never been able to find another resembling his craftsmanship and appearance, and I'll never settle for anything less.
Along with my lion, other toys vanished along the way. I probably don't remember most of them, but I do remember my Dolls of the World.
Dolls of the World were sold for 99 cents each with the purchase of Arco gasoline. There were twelve in all, and my mother collected six of them for me. They weren't really to play with; they were for display. Even at that, not a whole lot of skill and craft went into them. They were basic plastic dolls--the kind often used for crafting--with hair too fine to brush, only movable at the arms and neck, and their clothes were cheaply made and not removable. Still, I liked the six I had. I learned about the countries they were from and took good care of them. Once they even helped me when I started in a new school. I took them for show and tell, and they were such a hit that my teacher took me to all the other classes in my grade so I could share them, a bizarre experience for a shy girl who normally did everything she could to avoid attention.
I know the dolls were on my bookshelves when I went away to college, but I suppose at some point, I was persuaded to let them go. After seeing Toy Story, I dreamed about them, which caused me to look them up online and on eBay. Not all of the dolls I found look like the ones I had, so maybe there were different versions for different years or regions. But I found England's and Spain's dolls that were identical to mine, and they were practically free, so I bought them.
In honor of Marika's birthday, and the child who remains within us no matter how many birthdays we have, I decided to resurrect Hump Day Happy for this week. (Marika is the only one who ever expressed regret that it vanished as surely as my push puppet lion.) Anyone who wants to give me a page number between 1 and 611, and another number between 1 and 25, can get an item from the happiness book to celebrate Marika's special day with her. (I don't advise picking 8/11, because I think Marika's chosen it a couple of times, and it never changes.) Meanwhile, Marika, let's pretend that whatever number you pick, it includes dancing naked men.