Saturday, May 20, 2006

Tiny Tears

Do you remember those dolls? They drank out of a bottle, cried real tears and peed themselves?

Like any other 5 year old girl, I wanted one. I begged my mum to buy me one but because money was tight in our house, I always had to make do with just your average cheapo doll.

Until Christmas arrived.

I was ecstatic when I woke up on Christmas morning to find that Father Christmas had brought me a Tiny Tears! I'd written to him specifically asking for one, and when Mum took me to see him at the Co-op on Stratford Broadway, I'd asked for one too, but I hadn't really believed I'd get one. But I did. And I was probably the happiest little girl in my street.

Winter passed and with spring came the kind of warm days that made playing in the front garden possible. My friend Gill -- who lived further down the street -- used to come down and we'd play together.

One day we were playing with my Tiny Tears. I knew Gill was jealous of her but until then I hadn't realised just how jealous. Or maybe it was more a matter of being too young to truly understand the extent of jealousy, and for Gill, too young to understand that you sometimes have to keep your feelings under control.

Anyhow, Gill wanted to be in charge of Tiny Tears and I didn't want to let her (mean cow that I was), so she grabbed her head and pulled it off! Yepp. She beheaded my doll!

Now I don't know about you but to me, a headless Tiny Tears just isn't good enough. And to make matters worse, I couldn't put the bloody thing back on again, either! And neither could Mum. Or Dad. TT was well and truly dead!

My friendship with Gill wasn't too healthy during my period of grieving, but it didn't last too long. TT was just a doll, after all.

Gill and I are still friends today, even though we both left England as teenagers and have led very different lives. Although I think it's that understanding of how the cultures we've lived in have affected us that's one of the foundations of our friendship today.

Rest in peace, Tiny Tears.



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