CHAPTER 20: DOLL RIDES AND RELIGION

Sometime that summer I got into yet another discussion with Funnychick about mind-altering drugs. She had mentioned about some medical procedure where she said something about having “scored” a shot of morphine, as if this was some big, fun thing to be proud of. I tried to tell her that it’s not right to desire these drugs, even if they do make you feel good. And the very fact they make you feel good, I explained, is what makes it wrong. My church teaches that we should not covet things like this, and actually I think most all churches do the same thing. As a grown adult, she should know that, I said. But she couldn’t grasp it. “You’re NUTS!” she said. I had never seen her like that. I think she knew I was right, but didn’t know what to say.

We had talked about drugs before, when she told me about the times she and her husband had smoked pot. That bag of marijuana was still out in the garage, she said, and she would have “no problem” smoking it again, raving about how relaxed it made her feel. I told her it’s not good to want to use drugs to relax. I talked to her about hobbies, mentioning some of the things I do to relax and unwind. I didn’t need drugs and neither should she, I said. Especially as a mother, she should know better than that. I talked to her about my dolls, describing how comforting it was to sit and gaze at their faces. For years I had collected Barbie-sized fashion dolls, mostly vintage ones from the 60s, but in the past year I had become interested in Magic Attic, 18” dolls similar to the popular American Girl line, only all vinyl and more slender. Designed by doll artist Robert Tonner, I felt these dolls had beautiful faces. They were discontinued now, but you could still buy them from doll shows and eBay. (I much preferred the older ones mostly from the 90s, as the newer ones from 2003-4 were made by a different company and much poorer quality before they were discontinued.)

“I can sit and look at my dolls, fuss with their hair, change their clothes, and all my troubles disappear,” I told Funnychick. I mentioned that I often held one on my lap while watching TV or sitting out in the yard, and that sometimes I even take one for a car ride. “It’s a fun, relaxing, and healthy hobby. Much better than smoking pot,” I said.

Well, Funnychick picked up on that line about me taking a doll for a car ride, and laughed hysterically. She said very rude things, thanking me for making her day so that she could ridicule me.

When I mentioned about the car ride, I wasn’t even thinking anyone could find fault with it, but I should have known. I should have remembered who I was talking to. So then I had to defend myself some more, saying how there is nothing wrong with this, that it’s not like I’m some mentally-challenged buffoon who thinks her dolls are real, and I’m like, “goo-goo-ga-ga let’s go for a ride, dolly!” I said that sometimes if my husband and I go for a long ride, I’ll hold one on my lap because it gives me a chance to sit and gaze at her face, and it’s comforting and fun. At home, if I was in “dolly mode” as I called it, holding one on my lap and not wanting to put her down, sometimes I’d take her in the car if we went off to run an errand or something. I did NOT carry them into the store with me, even though I would sometimes like to, I added. But this was just a fun hobby, nice and wholesome, and I loved it. I really was trying to talk to her one-on-one, as a friend. But she wouldn’t accept it. She continued to ridicule.

I remember when I first told her about my dolls months ago and she made fun. I said what a popular hobby it was, that there are tons of doll groups on the Internet, and doll clubs across the world, as well as vintage doll and toy shows that attract throngs of people. I asked her what she would do if she saw a woman in a store buy a copy of Barbie Bazaar, a very popular magazine among collectors. Would she laugh in her face or what? Funnychick replied that she wouldn’t laugh at her face, but that she would probably snicker after the woman was out of sight. All I could think was, “Sheesh.”

The doll jabs were tame compared to what she said about me and my choice of religion, though. I mentioned that I had caught her and Fuschia months ago talking about how I wear a “kick me sign on my back”. Well, she brought this up again, and had no qualms about letting me know exactly what she thought. I don’t have my post that she replied to, but I must have been saying something about how she does her best to try and make me appear like an idiot or something. On August 6, this is what she said to me:

“I don’t have to make you “appear” to be anything. You do all the fancy footwork yourself. I did note that it seems that you carry a big “KICK ME” sign on your back. And that your choice of religion seems to be able to fit that perfectly. It’d be like me *joining* a church that believes that people with blue eyes go directly to hell. (Psst: I have blue eyes). I’m sorry that I have offended you by knowing more about your scripture than you do. Maybe I can either “play dumb” or maybe you can read your Word of Wisdom…that way you don’t have to feel bad about being ignorant on your religion. Immature? You think we’re immature? Dear God, lady, you are the one who drives their dolls around in the car and secretly wants to take them in stores and cart them around. Please…that’s immature or sheer lunacy. With you, it’s a mixture of both.”

I lit into her like crazy, furious that she would be so presumptuous as to assume anything about me and my religion. That was about as rude as you could get, I said. She had no idea how or why I joined the church I did, and I did the best I could under my circumstances, which is all anybody could do! And then she gloated about knowing more about my religion than I do, as if that made her “better” than me. I never tried to push my religion on anybody, and I didn’t know why she was trying to trip me up and make me look like a fool. I would never do that to a person! And the doll remark topped it all off, with her saying it was immature or “sheer lunacy” for me to hold a doll on my lap in the car. I could have mentioned that in one of my doll groups and nobody would have batted an eyelash. But Funnychick had to tear me apart for it. I wished I had never mentioned it. I only did so because I was trying to point out that she didn’t need to smoke pot to relax, that there are other fun, wholesome, healthy things to help us unwind and forget our problems. Why did she have to be this way? What was WRONG with her??? I hated her so much. Any respect I had was lost after this post. And what bothered me the most was that nobody, I mean NOBODY, said a word about this, except for Sammy, who told me if I wanted to take a doll into a store with me, I should. They were all still nice and friendly to Funnychick as if nothing happened at all.

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