Memoir Mondays: Gimme!

So on Friday I explained that I’m going to begin posting “Flash Fiction Fridays” as a way to take the blog back to what it’s supposed to be: a writer’s blog. Well this is the second feature I’m adding to aid in this endeavor.

More than anything I’ve always wanted to write fiction – speculative fiction, to be exact – but just as a child must eat her veggies before she can have candy, a good writer must spend time honing skills in a variety of areas other than just the ones she enjoys most. Thus I am reserving future Mondays (which you may recognize as the crappiest day of the week) to hone my non-fiction skills by way of writing about my own life. These posts will often come with the help of prompts like the ones shared by the Daily Post, but they may also come from whatever interesting life moments may come my way.

Future posts may be a little longer and more involved, but for today I’m going to go with a quick prompt from the Daily Post that caught my eye:

Was there a special gift or toy you wanted as a child but never received? What was it?

I like to believe that I was the kind of kid who was happy with whatever she got, but that didn’t stop me from trying to get as much as I could. Once I was old enough to understand how things really worked I would anticipate the arrival of the Sears Wish Book on our front step at the end of the summer. For the months that followed that magical catalog’s arrival I would regularly scrutinize every page, carefully considering every toy and game, and circling the stuff that I really wanted. At first I’d be very careful, circling only the things that I felt I absolutely couldn’t live without, but by the time Christmas rolled around I’d have half the catalog circled because everything seemed awesome.

Of course I never got everything that I circled, but I almost always got the stuff that I really, really wanted, and even when I didn’t I got other awesome stuff that I was more than happy with.

But there was one thing that I wanted for many years in a row that I never got. I didn’t ask for it often, because I was a strange, strange child who was actually cognizant of how expensive some things were, but I did ask for it a few times and never got it… That special toy was a dollhouse; the kind that twice as tall as the kid who gets it and comes with massive amounts of furniture and accessories.

As an adult with a child of my own, I understand why my parents probably decided not to get me one of these dollhouses. For one thing, the cost of them is outrageous, even by usual toy standards. For another thing they tend to be enormous; one such dollhouse would never have fit in my childhood bedroom, and my parents were not the kind of people to allow their living area to be overrun with kid stuff. But of course, at the time, that logic meant nothing to me, and it meant even less when my best friend and her sister got a wicked dollhouse and I had to deal with the seething jealousy.

Eventually, when I was way too old to still be pining for a dollhouse, I took matters into my own hands. My friends and I had gotten into Sailor Moon and had collected some of the dolls, and I decided that my two dolls were damn-well going to have a dollhouse. I had a closet in my bedroom that wasn’t the wardrobe type, but was actually four large shelves. I took everything out of that closet, cramming it into wherever else in my room I could, and I made that closet into a doll house. I used cardboard, craft supplies, and whatever else I could find, and constructed a dollhouse, making each shelf a different floor, and I even “built” tons of stuff for the dolls to use, like books and magazines, a TV with screens to change what was playing, and pets to make the house a home.

I won’t tell you how old I was when I built this dollhouse, but I’ll tell you that I was old enough to known damn well how childish I was being. But for a while, that homemade dollhouse made me super-happy, because I’d taken matters into my own hands and given myself something I’d been longing for for a long time, and sometimes that’s just what you’ve got to do!

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