Monday, July 26, 2010

You Can Take the Girl Out of the Glasgow Scottie Band...

Ben Ashby had a Rainbow Brite doll for sell and he didn't even know it.

Ben, a former student who owns CHANDLERclark, a website company specializing in vintage and folk art collectibles, is a pretty phenomenal young man - interesting, creative, self-aware, and artsy (but not in a pretentious, "I'm so cool because I study existentialism and stack trashcans on one another and proceed to title it 'the secret to life,'" sort of way). Nonetheless, he has an inescapably noticeable, and rather unfortunate, flaw...Ben is not a child of the 80s. He probably had no idea what I was talking about when I discussed the way in which Lindsey, all on her own, so arrogantly criticized Kristi Melton's Axl Rose impersonation. Ben wasn't familiar with Debbie Gibson. His mother probably has no pictures of a 3rd grade Ben, sporting a rat-tail or mullet, tucked away in dust-covered photo albums. Therefore, when I posted a comment, equal parts classy and creative, under the picture of previously-mentioned doll (if I'm not mistaken, it was something along the lines of "love me some Rainbow Brite"), he initially responded with confusion, and then with this: (sorry, embedding is not possible; you'll have to copy and paste). YouTube had allowed him his only possible access to my childhood world - a world filled with multi-colored ponies, Care Bear stares, Nanny's green and white leg warmers, and Smurfette's narcissism.

You know you're getting old when you start saying, fairly often, "they just don't make 'em like they used to." It does not matter if talking about cartoons or clothes (I'm convinced that a pair of decently-fitting jeans no longer actually exist), the undergirding belief is simply: "things used to be better." [Related grammar issue: Never mind that "they" and "them or 'em" are nondescript space fillers, most grammarians now agree that ending a sentence with a preposition is occasionally okay. While there is no set "rule," basically one should just stick with the "would normal people talk like that?" policy. Ex. "What did you step on?" works (as opposed to: "On what did you step?"); "where is it located at?" does not - "at" is completely unnecessary].

SO, this is me being old. Last night I pilfered through Mom's attic, looking for some of my favorite toys from childhood. While I did not find the coveted Rainbow Brite doll that I loved so dearly, I did round up some of my other playmates and time wasters. The 80s were a glorious era.
Bet you can't guess which one Leigh Ann probably dressed and which one I worked on.
The forerunner to "Juicy" pants. Left to right: The Cabbage Patch doll that could go in the bathtub (ironically, she had big dirt spots on her face); Belinda, my first Cabbage Patch doll, is wearing one of the dresses that a local woman made for my and Leigh's dolls; Abagail, my My Child; and Sabina...guess what her stomach felt like.
Care Bear Cousin and Baby Minnie. Minnie was what I used to hold when Mom would pop the stys I often got around my eyes. Ahh, good times.
Tickles and Giggles. This is arguably the scariest doll ever made. I loved her.
Grover was always my favorite Sesame Street character. "Otis Lee, got no hair, but he don't care, good ole Otis Lee" (we would often substitute "Curtis Lee," convinced we were incredibly witty).
Even though I often called home about 9:30, asking Mom or Dad to come pick me up from friends' houses, I was rather fond of my overnight bag.
The "Princess of Power" herself, She-Ra.
We always took really good care of our toys.
Strawberry Shortcake and her naked friends.

And, finally, one of our favorite toys, best displayed not with still photography, but with a demonstration...


  1. Liza, I loved this post. I guess Mr. Ashby was deprived as a child because all of these toys laid disheveled in our giant toy box. This brings back so many memories of me and sister playing together. of course her Barbies looked significantly more put together than mine.
    And you're right, they just don't make things like they used to. I now have the urge to watch cartoons...

  2. Coming soon: Jackie Turner, Youtube sensation. Mark my words.

  3. I am so glad that someone else had the She-Ra set. My dad said the worst Christmas that Santa ever had was putting "that damn She-Ra castle together" only to realize that he put it together backwards. My favorite doll was the green one whose head spun around. Scary? Definately, but cool anyway.

    And Mrs. Jackie, smooth moves! I can't wait to see if you pass these wonderful skills to Isabella!

  4. You always have the best ideas for your blog entries. This one discussing and showing pictures of your time-wasters brought back such precious memories. You did not always like the same things other little girls liked such as cute little baby dolls with angelic faces. Rather you were drawn to dolls like the hideous one with the wild (free-wind) red hair and saucer sized eyes. Barbies were really not your thing either. I guess it was hard for you to compete with Leigh Ann when dressing and grooming your blond bomb shell.

    But the video was the most ridiculous thing I have ever seen. I enlarged it to full screeen and watched it for the second time. It has caused me to laugh out loud and at the same time to feel sorry for the others who have viewed it as well. I bet Adrienne will be so embarrassed and ashamed. The "smooth" moves, as Kristi remarked were all the craze in 1969-1970. Just picture the twirling with me wearing a very short kilt.

    Andy, don't you dare put this on You Tube.

  5. this was just precious, such sweet memories. Every year on Christmas night we would all go to Mamas and Papas for our Christmas meal and you, Leigh, and Lindsey always brought your new loved family additon, doll, care bear, or whatever Santa brought that year. I can still see you all sitting on the couch holding them.
    And yes the video is priceless.

  6. Alexus - Maybe one day, we will come to grips with the inferiority complex our stylish sisters gave us. Or, we can just continue to ignore it and sit around and watch the Smurfs and My Little Ponies all day.

    Andy - YouTube sensation and strong "can this XYZ get more votes than a condiment?" facebook contender.

    Kristi - HA! I'm picturing Jerry sitting around putting together a She-ra castle and it is making me giggle. Bet he would do it for Miss Raylee in a heartbeat though!:) Oh, and the head spinning villian was one of my favorites, too. We probably shouldn't psychoanalyze this too deeply:)

    We had such a fun time with you all this weekend!

    Mom - Thank you for such a thoughtful message. Your video really steals the show:).
    I appreciate you popping those stys, bragging on my barbies even though they looked much tackier than Leigh's, and for always supporting my unconventional taste in equally tacky dolls and stuffed animals.

    Carolyn - I'm so glad you typed that! I love thinking back on those Christmas nights. We were always so proud to wear our favorite new item of clothing and bring our new favorite toy.

  7. To quote my dear friend, Will McGrath: "Oh, the pageantry!!"

    I really, REALLY think this should go on YouTube. Jackie's video is the cutest thing ever. I just LOVED it!!

    And something about the fact that you pick the wacky dolls, Liza, makes me love you all the more : ) Probably because it makes sense now why you like wacky me!!

  8. C - I really want to use "wackety wack" in my response, but can't think of an appropriate way.
    Because there are lots of "appropriate" ways to use that phrase.

    You are the perfect amount of wacky:) Love ya.