Plinky Prompt

Rag doll characters Raggedy Ann and Raggedy An...

Rag doll characters Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy, illustrated by Johnny Gruelle, 1920 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • Was there a toy or thing you always wanted as a child, during the holidays or on your birthday, but never received? Tell us about it. See all answers
  • I Missed Out
  • I had numerous dolls and stuffed animals, different toys that my parents would bring back for me from their travels, or from their trips to the local toy stores for my birthday or Christmas. I did not have, the one common, apple-pie, doll that seemed like everyone had and I missed. Raggedy Ann. I was never interested in Raggedy Andy, that seemed like an afterthought to me, was this her brother, boy friend, best friend? It didn’t matter.
    Raggedy Ann was the floppy doll that always smiled that I coveted. I must have been in the in-between stages of it being very popular and not at all. I would have liked to wake up in the morning next to my new best friend with her always cheerful smile to start my day. That would have been a very nice way to wake up, to ease myself out of sleep and prepare for my young child’s day. But, don’t tempt me now, I am the type of person who would order Annie even at my old age and my collection is getting too big. “You can’t ALWAYS get what you want…”

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Mellow Yellow Monday

Ducklings

Ducklings (Photo credit: eatswords)

When I was a little girl, my favorite “second” mom, mother of my best friend Brian bought each of us a soft, little duckling stuffed animals every year. I loved them dearly. Lotti bought these right before Easter at the little 5 and 10 store that was right near our old, red brick apartment building. Once we were teenagers, long after we stopped thinking about these soothing, sweet creatures, I looked for them again. For many years, I tried to find them, for their angelic smiles, for their thoughtful, deep, dark eyes, and the softness of their fake, faux fur which I stroked lovingly with my little girl fingers.

Hugs

Hug Steve

Image by basykes via Flickr

At 55 I finally figured out why I still love stuffed animals so much. I know, I’m no brain trust; it took me this long to figure it out. Sometimes I even shock myself; it’s pathetic. I like the comfort of sleeping with a stuffed animal friend for the feeling of a hug, warmth, soft comfort. These days I have been sleeping with my arm around Zippy, the monkey; he was popular in the fifties and sixties and I just ordered a new one. He resembles closely my monkey friend that my dad bought me when I was two, from Lamston’s department store named Nokey (I couldn’t pronounce monkey at the time) who still lives in my bedroom and sits on a special shelf of honor. Nokey has had a face lift, an entire body lift and went to the best plastic surgeon in Europe, alas, he barely clings to life. As my entire family knows I want to be buried with Nokey, cremated together, whatever they have to do to keep us together. He wears a onesie that both my children wore when they were infants; at first I thought that was charming until my older sister cracked up and cackled like a witch and said it looks like an ad for elderly “underwear. “Now it doesn’t look AS charming as before, I have to admit. I hate it when she is right!

I remember almost eleven years ago I was in the supermarket shortly after my father died. I couldn’t move, I felt stuck, leaning on my carriage, holding on and crying quietly. I so wanted someone, anyone to ask if I was okay but they didn’t. They probably thought I was a crazy person and didn’t want to bother with me. All I remembered was that I wanted a hug, a gentle hug to know that someone was there for me, a concerned stranger, the assistant manager, anyone. People walked by me but no one stopped. I felt so incredibly alone and let’s face it, I was. Eventually the tears dried up, and slowly I dragged my swollen feet in uncomfortable black snow boots out of there. I honestly didn’t think I had the life left in me to go one step after the other to exit the cheery Christmas decorated grocery store, but I did. I had no choice.

I have a love/hate relationship with the holidays since my father died on New Year’s Eve, I have lived with that for eleven years and I know I will always live with it. There are some things that don’t change, some years are a little better, some years it’s worse, there is no way of telling. My parents’ wedding anniversary was/is January 1, st. I knew he wouldn’t die on their anniversary, he just wouldn’t. Christmas, like any personal holiday will always be known to me, as before he died, and after. That’s how those things work; I envy my husband who is lucky not to have lost a parent yet, truly and undeniably lucky.

I have a friend who is going through a particularly rough time right now. She is in the middle of some major decisions and while her attitude is positive she faces tough times ahead. I see her face from afar and all I want to do is wrap my arms around her and hug her. That’s my way though, of dealing with sadness and stress, I don’t know if it is hers. All I can do is offer. Do you need a hug? If so, I’m here.

To all my friends and family, if you need a hug, I am always here. If you need a virtual hug, I will send it to you.

Hug therapy, you, me. For free.

Mama Can’t Hide

Pumpkin Spice Latte
Logo of Target, US-based retail chain

Image via Wikipedia

Stuffed Animals

Even when I need a time out from my teenagers or husband or just some alone time, I take the car keys, hop into my car and go. However, there’s no real mystery involved. Everyone in my family knows that if I need to get away, I will end up at Target. I have no true hiding place, they assume that I will be there and they are absolutely right. What is it about Target that makes me feel so good?

I can disappear in many different aisles, I can look at every toothpaste and deodorant that one can buy and there are hundreds of choices. I can look for inexpensive clothing or books, art supplies or Halloween candy. I can pretend I have a five-year old and look at stuffed animals even though I am always tempted to buy one for myself. I can buy trash magazines or just read them while I am waiting on-line. I can even have a cup of Starbucks coffee. Who could ask for more than that? In our Target store there is a Starbucks mini-store; I’m not convinced that the coffee is just as strong as the original Starbucks but it is reassuring to me that it’s there and available. At Starbucks I can also get my latest passion which is the Pumpkin Spice (skim) Latte, limited edition of course.

When I walk through the aisles I see things that I can’t imagine I have lived without before. The new Swifter combo package? A must have. Shampoo and conditioner as a value pack? We all need to wash our hair and it MUST be less costly if they are packaged together!  I buy birthday cards in advance and usually misplace them right before a birthday card is needed so I go back and buy some more.

I disappear in the arts and craft section buying pens and sketch notepads.  I love pens and flashlights and Raisinettes. There are some things you need to keep with you in case of an emergency. Rasinettes are my safety item.

While I may not be able to hide from my family, it’s still fun to be away and close enough just in case they need me.

Something I Wish I Hadn’t Thrown Away (Plinky)

Tiger on my way

Image by gynti_46 via Flickr

  • Something I Wish I Hadn’t Thrown Away
  • I Knew It Then; I Know It Now
  • It’s embarrassing after all these years but I still regret throwing away a (barely) stuffed animal named Tigre (pronounced Tie-gree.) I remember that he was bright orange with black stripes, a tiger with honor and kindness. I felt protected by this sewn-up, bedraggled stuffed animal but I was going to college and had to give some stuff away. This was a mistake, I knew it then as I pushed his frail, falling apart body down the incinerator shoot. I regret it still. I can picture him perfectly but I do regret getting rid of him since he comforted me in my childhood. Sometimes, I would use his body as a pillow when I couldn’t sleep. When I was a child, stuffed animals and dolls were very important to me, they were like family. I’ve very sentimental about stuffed animals and still love them. I still have Nokey, my monkey, the one stuffed animal I would save if there was a fire. My dad bought me Nokey ( I couldn’t pronounce Monkey) from Lamstons for my birthday when I turned two. When I die, Nokey will be buried with me. I’m not going anywhere without him.

The Worst Flight I've Taken

_ People _

My husband and I and our two-year old son were flying home from a vacation in Oregon headed home to Boston, Massachusetts. Normally, we are the loving, sweet family but on this trip we were the couple to HATE. I wish I was kidding but I am afraid I am not. There are always people who roll their eyes, make nasty comments or try to change seats when there is a baby crying; we were the couple with the child that you wanted to stay far away from. I promise you, we tried EVERYTHING possible to stop our wailing, crying and screaming son and show you the quiet, tranquil, Buddha baby that he usually was.”Yeah, right” I’m sure you muttered under your breath. I know, you hated us; you even hated our poor innocent child. Frankly, I don’t blame you. Just remember, we tried so HARD; we walked our son up and down the corridors, we tried pacifiers, bottles, new diapers, toys, anything and everything to, well, put it bluntly, shut him up. I know you, fellow passengers, felt angry and bad but honestly, we felt worse. We didn’t want to inflict this pain on anyone, including our precious boy.
My husband and I (now that the precious child is 18 and graduating) still make faces when there are screaming children aboard, but we always remember the plane ride when we were the family to HATE, the couple from hell, and We try to have a little more patience and understanding.

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20 ( Illness- Free) Random Things About Me

Jelly Doughnuts

Image by JMRosenfeld via Flickr

1)  I hate spam in my folder and if it reaches above 10 or 15 I HAVE to delete it. I won’t wait the month they promise to automatically delete it. I don’t trust them, plus I’m a little OCD.

2) Need to love my dinner on Sundays. An old family tradition dating back to when I was a child.

3) Still love and own (and may purchase more) stuffed animals or as I call them “friends.” And, I’m not embarrased about it.

4) I have been known to put either grape jelly or strawberry jam on pizza. Happily. It started with dry pizza in college, it has continued. Don’t judge, try it.

5) I am happy for 3 seasons of the year. Winter? Not so much.

6) I have NO sense of direction but can remember every word from a fight with my husband that happened 25 years ago. (My husband hates this.)

7)  I love jelly doughnuts:  I always pick raspberry jelly instead of strawberry jelly at Dunkin’Donuts. Made that mistake once, won’t make that mistake again.

8) I don’t care about my age but I always care about my birthday. I used to think it should be a National Holiday…..and why isn’t it?

9) If there was a fire and my family and dog were safe and I could pick one item to save it would be Nokey, my frail, old stuffed animal that my Dad bought me when I was two. Nokey (from not knowing how to say Monkey, will be 52 on my/our birthday) in October.

10) My favorite cake is a cake that is chocolate with layers of raspberry jam and chocolate cream. An Americanized version of the Austrian Sacher Torte.

11) My husband is an absolute sweetheart who makes me a cup of coffee every morning; he makes a mean gazpacho too.

12) I sometimes worry about things before they happen, called anticipatory anxiety.

13) I don’t get people who get “high” on exercising. Never has happened, never will. I guess I’d have to exercise more to find out. LOL. So not happening.

14) The cicadas singing their songs at night in the summer comforts me. I imagine them having conversations with each other as I try to fall asleep.

15) I used to throw up in the bushes before day camp every day when I was little.  Did my parents think this was normal behavior?

16) Old friends are not “always” there. Some are, some aren’t. There is no guarantee. New friends are a special gift.

17) Chris Rock changed the way I think about my hair. I had my natural brown color glaze to hide the fake highlights he said everyone in his audience had.

18) Love Arnold Palmer lite iced tea and lemonade mix.

19) I used to have a crush on John Denver and before that, Bobby Sherman. In my fantasy we sang on stage, together.

20) Did I mention how much I love jelly doughnuts?

The Door Between Madness And Sun (Fiction)

No matter what people tell you, once you have the label you’re stuck with it. You can’t ever lose it. I see it on my parents’ wrinkled faces and a few of my old friends from grade school.  It’s attached to you like one of those mechanic bracelets or anklets they use for drug and alcohol addiction, except it’s invisible. You’ll always be the family with the daughter who committed suicide, or the brother whose sister died when she was five or the husband whose wife had a stroke at 35. It’s a well-known fact although people say it in supposedly hushed voices. There’s nothing hushed about it, whether they speak it or shout it or think it. That’s forever and for that I am sorry. Really.

My name is Lindsay and I’m 18 years old. I had been best friends with Kaitlyn for many years when we were younger, we grew up together you could say.  Things changed a lot when we both started high school and we just grew apart. I guess if I am honest I grew apart from her.  Kaitlyn didn’t know what to do, she used to kind of hang around me but we had nothing to say to each other anymore. I felt bad about it but mostly I just wanted to forget the past and move on to the future. If she couldn’t handle it, it really wasn’t my fault. She couldn’t figure out that I had grown up and changed and I didn’t want to explain it to her, that seemed so lame.  I started liking cooler kids that were different, but she just didn’t get it and wouldn’t leave me alone.  I heard her tell people I was weird.  I heard her tell everyone I was a freak; not a really nice thing to say about an old friend.

Kaitlyn knew I had tried drugs and alcohol a few times but I never went into details with her, it was none of her business. I was a senior now and wanted to feel free and grown-up; I deserved it. I started to steal things and someone would ask about all these new items, I lied and told people they were presents. Well, in a way they were, they were presents from me to me. I couldn’t deal with all the questions and my old friends couldn’t handle it. I had moved on but they hadn’t and that was fine with me.

After awhile people looked the other way when I was around and I was glad.  Once at a school talent show I threw my pack of cigarettes across the room just for attention; people literally freaked out. So I flirted with guys and played around; big deal. All my old friends were just so immature. People talked about my drug use; I admit I used cocaine, pot, pills and yeah, I tried acid but only once.  If I hadn’t gotten so wrecked that one time and had to call one of my old friends to pick me up at a party one night because I couldn’t find my car, no one would never have known. But, of course the little snitch that picked me up told that story to anyone and everyone she knew.  Bitch.

I know my  parents were worried but really, I was fine. They even called the police on me, imagine calling the police on your own daughter.  I told them that I was just a normal teenager doing teenage things but they would cry and scream and yell at me all the time. It got so bad that I learned how to tune them out and when they yelled I couldn’t even hear them anymore; I became numb. Numb felt good because it didn’t feel like anything.

The night I did it, I watched Kaitlyn go to sleep in the big queen bed we used to share on sleepovers. She lay in her room with while outside the snow and sleet pounded to the ground. She had curled up in her bed, I remember she used to be scared of storms and wind.  She still slept in her old room that she never bothered to update with posters or good make-up;  she liked things just the way they were. It was like we were still seven years old, her pink room filled with old stuffed animals and those fuzzy pink heart pillows; she could never throw anything away.

I saw my dad calling Kaitlyn’s mom, her mom picked up the phone and started to cry. I never thought that would happen. That morning at 6am I saw Katie’s mom walk quietly to Katie’s room, it was like looking at her walk in slow motion. She tiptoed into Katie’s room and sit on her bed for a long time.  I saw the shadow of her mother peering from the dark room before Kaitlyn even sat up. Her mom’s body was outlined against the blazing orange hall light as if she had been outlined in a crime scene. Katie started to stir and was surprised when her mother was sitting next to her, she was confused. “Katie, honey,” her mother said ” I have really bad news” and I saw Kaitlyn’s whole body freeze with fear. I knew she was thinking about her father, her brother in college, her grandmother and grandfather. She didn’t even think about me for one second. So when her mom said ” it’s about Lindsay” she had no idea what was going on. Katie’s mom continued” ” I just got a call from Lindsay’s dad and Lindsay……..Lindsay is dead, honey. She committed suicide, I am so sorry.”

Kaitlyn was absolutely still for a few minutes, she didn’t move and then she started shrieking and screaming “No, No, No” over and over again. My dad’s terse message didn’t help you know, he could have been gentler.  How was Katie supposed to react? He just said that he had seen me take some drugs that I was nervous and mad and I had been crying.  He thought I was asleep but I wasn’t, it was time, long overdue and I had to get out. I had been in so much pain that I had to go, had to get rid of all those bad feelings that would never leave me alone, so I did it.

All Kaitlyn had to do is ask the question in her eyes, because she could not find the words, and her mother answered slowly “she hung herself.”

I watched Kaitlyn, crying,  laying on her bed.  I didn’t think she would care that much; we hadn’t been friends in years. I saw her stare at the ceiling and she rocked herself back and forth like she would do, when she was little and when she was really scared. I saw the morning light, the early sun, creep into her room and stop on her face; she was very, very pale. She had put on the friendship bracelet which we made for each other years ago. I’m sorry,  I didn’t know what to do, honest, it felt like the best way out. For me. I had to go. I really did love you, I just hated myself.

I slipped out of her room and disappeared into the night air. It was snowing and was very cold, but I felt nothing and that was good.