Growing up, there wasn’t a lot of money, and I grew up in a proto-feminist environment where most “girly-girl” dolls were unofficially banned. That said, I did have a couple of Madame Alexander dolls that I adored. These were considered acceptable because of the literary aspect of them. This is not my actual doll. The dolls were lost a long time ago. I also had a “Lucinda” doll, who looked a lot like me. I remember how nice they smelled when they first came out of their boxes: a little like a new car smell.
I often made clothes for them from patterns, as my mom taught me how to sew with a sewing machine (as well as cook with real pots and pans) when I was about six. When I was ten I ran a sewing machine needle through my finger making a dress for them. Because I hated the doctor so much, I told my parents but showed no pain or reaction because I wanted them to think I was fine. Of course I had to get a tetanus shot.
Come to thing of it, this was the same year that I found the tip of my dad’s thumb in the backyard near his table saw. He had cut it off – my mom rushed home from the ER to let us know that the doctors might be able to re-attach it if we got it back quickly enough. We had a mad dash to find it. I found it – screamed “I found it!” – and my mom rushed it back in ice. Turned out it was too small to reattach. He had one thumb shorter than the other after that.
I still have a little round white scar on the tip of my right index finger from the sewing machine needle.