Mourn

Thank you, Queen Elizabeth II, for choosing this time to pass, to die.

The world can use public mourning now, a formal ceremony. I tear up every time I look at the lines of people watching, standing, waiting, filing past your coffin.

Perhaps we should set up a coffin for all the dead, a field of coffins, doll coffins, hundreds, thousands, a million for the United States alone, and millions for the world, for all the dead from Covid-19.

And then we need more coffins, for those who died because care was delayed during the pandemic, screening for cancer, treatment for cancer or heart disease or lung disease. Let us set them up as well.

And then we need doll chairs, hundreds and thousands and millions of doll chairs, for the people with long haul Covid, to acknowledge that we don’t know if they will get well, will rise from their beds and chairs.

And white coats, hundreds and thousands and millions of white coats, some neatly on hangers, other bloody, others thrown on the floor, for the first responders, some dead, some quitting, some ill, some deciding that they can’t do medicine or fire fighting or policing any more, some stubbornly continuing in their jobs.

And job advertisements, on tiny doll computers, doll newspapers, doll signs in windows, saying help wanted, help, help, people are quitting, people are too sick to work, people have died, people are wondering why they should work in public, people are afraid and angry and hurt, help wanted.

I tear up when I watch the public mourning. I remember my mother, my father, my sister, all dead before the pandemic. I remember other dead, family and friends. I think of all the dead that I know, starting to outnumber the living that I know.

Thank you Queen Elizabeth II, for this formal and public mourning in this time of confusion and grief. Your last public service, for which I and many others, tear up and thank you.

___________________________

The photograph is from a friend’s dollhouse.

small cruse

The Ragtag Daily Prompt is cruse, which I had to look up. I thought, I don’t have any earthenware. Then I thought, yes I do, but can I find it? I did.

My sister and my maternal cousins and I had elaborate doll houses with china dolls. I think the adults were trying to stave off Barbie. We collected whatever we could find for the doll house, for 8 inch dolls that were the “kids”. The adult doll was 12 inches.

The three earthenware pieces in the back are from the late 1960s or early 1970s. I am guessing SE US or Mexican. The three in front are Native American and from after 2000, at least, we got them after 2000. Possibly at a garage or thrift sale.

I think my grandmother made that dress, because of the button detail down the front and the short sleeves. I did do lots of sewing, small quilts, dresses, mattresses for the beds we made.

Here are the live cats, wondering what I am doing.

Time marching

This is a tintype. “Tintype photography was invented in France in the 1850s by a man named Adolphe-Alexandre Martin. Tintypes saw the rise and fall of the American Civil War, and have persisted through the 20th century and into modern times.” — from here.

I do not know who this young man is, nor the year. I asked my maternal uncle before he died and he denied any knowledge of the person. He was the family historian and archivisit.

However, I have four tintypes in the box of china doll furniture clothes and accessories. My sister and I received a box of jewelry and the tintypes from my Great Aunt Esther Parr. She was my maternal grandmother’s sister and married Russel Parr. Her maiden name was White, a daughter of George White, the Congregationalist Minister who ran Anatolia College in Turkey and then moved to Greece. My sister and I divided the box of jewelry and the tintypes. There were eight so we took turns picking. We used them for dollhouse portraits, not realizing that they were real photographs. I wonder if the tintypes are from the Parr side of the family.

Last month I was missing my father on February 12. I was a month off. His birthday was today, Malcolm Kenyon Ottaway, born in 1938. I miss him now, too.

I will label more photographs, since I appear to have inherited the maternal family paper archive. There are people that I don’t know, though, and my parents are gone. My mother’s siblings have died as well. I am so glad I still have my father’s sisters.

Ask your parents about the pictures and the objects they keep, before they are gone and you lose the story. Time marches on.

For the Ragtag Daily Prompt: March.

adult doll house

When mom leaves in the car with the kids, dad gets trashed on beer and destroys the living room. Yes, there is an enormous black panther in the background. Will it eat dad? Maybe it will wait until some of the alcohol wears off. He won’t taste as good drunk.

_______________________________

For the Ragtag Daily Prompt: Tiger.

Lammily doll

Barbie has competition this Christmas.

Nickolay Lamm took measurements of the average American 19 year old female off the CDC website, made a 3D model and then dressed her like a Barbie.

The images went viral and he used crowdfunding to fund making the dolls, which will hit the stores for 24.99. Right now my QFC grocery store has a small pile of Christmas offerings, including a Barbie dressed in pink, all gussied up for breast cancer treatment fundraising. My sister, who died of breast cancer in 2012,  was hugely frustrated that most of the breast cancer money goes to treatment and not prevention, so I haven’t bought one. But the Barbie costs $19.99, so 24.99 is reasonable.

And second graders like her. A video of children at a private school responding to the doll shows them saying that she looks like a family member and that she looks real. Her hair is softer than Barbie’s too, judging by the video. I wondered why a private school was used, but perhaps it’s about permission. Or something.

It is interesting that Mr. Lamm talks about average being beautiful. “She is fit, strong and wears minimal makeup. She promotes a healthy lifestyle.” We could argue lots about Big Brother pushing everyone to be average, but I like the message that the average body is fine and can have fun and can be a doll. Barbie is impossible, everyone knows that. I cut out the article from the AARP magazine about Barbie turning 50. It contains a very interesting list of when the doll got to do different jobs. Teacher, nurse, doctor, multiracial, Army Barbie, astronaut….. It made me feel better about Barbie: her body is ludicrous but she has quietly moved into different careers over the years. It made me proud of her.

There have been other attempts to create a more realistic doll than Barbie… I have one of the Get Real Girls, the camper. She has a back pack, a sleeping bag, a camp stove, a GPS, socks and hiking boots, shorts and a t-shirt. I like her but she is still not the average American female. She’s more privileged. We had the basketball one too but apparently the evil introverted thinker and extroverted feeler blew up a lot of dolls with firecrackers one Fourth of July….. only the camper has survived. She was mine. Also the Barbie twin babies, now orphans, and quite a lot of pink furniture.

The male dolls, that is, action figures, got blown up too. If Lammily is successful, will we have a male average doll? I will bet that that takes longer. I have enjoyed the action figures such as the librarian action figure and the Sigmund Freud action figure. For his graduation from nursing school, I got my Ex a male nurse action figure. He thought the doll was ridiculously great.

And me? I want a Lammily doll for Christmas. No, really. When Demi Moore appeared very pregnant on the cover of Vanity Fair, I went to buy one. I wondered why I wanted one, until the man at the checkout spoke up: “Women shouldn’t be seen like that.”

“Like what?” I said.

“That.”

“Pregnant?”

“Yeah. They should stay inside. They shouldn’t be seen like that.”

Oh. That’s why I wanted to buy it. Images of women pregnant and a beautiful woman pregnant are evil. I still have it, that evil magazine…..

Lammily: https://lammily.com/
Mr. Lamm: http://patch.com/new-jersey/oceancity/barbie-gets-competition-bruised-and-scarred-lammily-watch
Get Real Girl: https://www.behance.net/gallery/3590013/STARTUP-GET-REAL-GIRL-ACTION-DOLL-LINE
Get Real Girl Nini: http://www.amazon.com/Get-Real-Girl-Backpacking-Adventure/sim/B0018L29NG/2

Barbie turns 50:http://assets.aarp.org/www.aarp.org_/articles/bulletin/interactive/barbie/index.html

Librarian action figure: http://mcphee.com/shop/librarian-action-figure.html

Sigmund Freud action figure: http://mcphee.com/shop/sigmund-freud-action-figure.html

male nurse action figure: http://www.amazon.com/Nurse-Action-Figure-Stethoscope-Clipboard/dp/B0006FU9ZK

first published on everything2 this morning.