You may already know this, but I collect dolls.
What you may not know is that, although I have three grown children, and the oldest has found the love of his life, I have no grandchildren, and according to my children, I will not have any for years yet, if any at all.
This saddens me. Because I am old. And I have serious health issues. And I probably don’t have years yet to wait.
But, as with the majority of the bad things in my life, my imagination creates solutions even when there are not real problems.
My imaginary granddaughter is an entirely imaginary little girl that lives in my head. She is merely a voice. She talks to me and I talk to her. I project her personality onto Ariel, my largest doll. (I bought her from the internet, from a professional restorer of collectible dolls. She is meant to be as realistic and poseable as possible though her ankle joints don’t work. So, she’s easy to almost see as a real child. Though my mother gave me some porcelain dolls that look slightly more alive… though not poseable.)
The thing that makes Ariel the usual repository for my imaginary granddaughter is that Mona Lisa smile of hers. Sometimes it is a subtle smile. Sometimes it is a pout. And sometimes she looks like she is about to cry. Of course, that’s all in my stupid head.
I constantly listen as my imaginary granddaughter tells me what I am doing wrong, how I should do things better, and how I should be happy when I follow her advice and make a good choice in life. She tends to be very prudish and conservative when she tells me what to think. But the things she tells me are usually the things I need to hear. She keeps me on the right path.
And I know what you are probably thinking. She’s my Jiminy Cricket to my own Pinocchio. She’s my conscience, and I’m her wooden-headed, lying boy. Well, I guess that can work too.
By telling you about this secret mental problem I have, I am demonstrating more of what I call naked thinking. As a nudist, I am showing you more than merely what’s under my underwear. I am showing you some of the crazy gears, wind-up springs, and clockworks of my goofy old mind. You can’t really get more naked than that.
If you are old, forgetful, and retired like Mickey, you may have the same problem Mickey does with remembering what day it is. But he has a solution. At the end of the week, he simply has two Fritterdays. They take the “Fri” from Friday, and the “turday” out of Saturday…. But wait just a gol’ danged minute. We have to get the “turd’ out of there because nobody likes those. And we do that by changing the “u” to an “e” which means we also add a “t” to it to change the long “I” sound to a short “I” sound because “fritter” can mean wasting something, especially time, because that’s what you do when you don’t even know what-the-heck day it is. Fritterday! Fun times for the hopelessly forgetful.
And it is fun to be retired and not have anything to do… but put eye drops in each eye three times a day from three different colored-coded bottles so you don’t go blind from glaucoma… and pick up the package for the Princess at the Post Office because the doorbell is broken and nobody hears the package-delivery guy when he knocks… and go to CVS for more bottles of eye drops because they finally filled the prescription three days after the doctor phoned it in… and the Medicare paperwork needs to be filled in at the pharmacy… and you get 4 free Covid 19 test kits just because you are old… and… phooey! It is hard to make a run-on sentence like that fun. And the grammar-check program hates it in a mixture of blue and red squiggly underlines.
But you found things you didn’t even know you had lost, like paper doll clothes that had fallen off the paper dolls because the little white foldable tabs don’t stay folded and need to be given a little dab of glue. And the rubber bands you use for your ponytail because haircuts give you psoriasis sores and you don’t cut your hair anymore because of them, but they are all back in the same sack again because you found them scattered on the floor while you were cleaning in order to find the lost package-claim slip that you mislaid… apparently under the bed… the one you needed to claim the Princess’s package which contained… a white stuffed tiger toy all the way from a game company in Japan… because it matched the stuffed tigers she had as a child and she won it by playing an online game. Boy, howdy! Another sentence or two the grammar checker hates!
Annette Funicello from the cutout paper doll on the back of a 1960’s Cheerios box looks good in the cowboy getup… err… cowgirl getup you found under the corner of the bookcase. You have liked her since you were a boy. You once had a yearning to see a picture of her naked, but that never panned out. She was a Disney star and not allowed to even think bad thoughts, let alone pose for any nude photos. She was in the Mickey Mouse Club, not the Playboy Magazine Bunny Club. Darn it!
But the mind still works, and you’re still not blind, and you enjoy enraging the grammar-check program, and you cleaned your room without meaning to. You even wrote most of this messy blog post in second-person point-of-view without realizing you were doing it.
Hang-dang! A Fritterday! And there’s probably another one coming tomorrow.
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