Monday, June 2, 2014

Killer Dolls

I cleaned the bathroom this morning. I tossed the old shower curtain liner, and excitedly got out the new one. The smell of new vinyl curtains always remind me of a new doll. I am transported to Christmas 1960 when I got my favorite doll, Whimsey. That plastic smell usually permeates the house, and for a while I’m thinking of all the dolls from my childhood - Chatty Cathy (She said dumb stuff and had teeth, which I found creepy.), Poor Pitiful Pearl (seriously... a doll you had to feel sorry for.), Betsy Wetsy (OMG... a doll that peed. We never bonded.), Madame Alexander Kitten (She was a baby doll that supposedly looked real. We took her around the neighborhood to see if we could fool anyone with our “new” baby sister. Nobody bought it.), and various Trolls. I loved that smell. As I hung the new liner, I kept waiting to be transported back to my childhood. Sniff, sniff, SNIFF. Nothing. It had no smell whatsoever. Weird. I got the packaging out of the garbage, just to see which one of us was crazy. It turns out this liner is made from something called PEVA, by our crafty friends in China. I looked online to see what PEVA is. It is a non-toxic material, unlike vinyl. According to the article, vinyl shower curtains leach off a toxic smell for the first month. They also have a bunch of other chemical-related bad things in their content. Great. My whole life I’ve loved the New Doll smell. It figures. I never seem to embrace anything that is healthy (I’m talking to you, tofu and brown rice). If I love something, chances are pretty good it is fattening or deadly. So looking back on all my dolls, I probably only nuzzled a couple of them. The other ones, not so much. But hey, I guess I didn’t need to get all that close. Chatty Cathy could sit there smiling with those perfect little white teeth, all the while leeching toxins into my bedroom. I didn’t even need to get close enough to pull her string, to suffer the effects of her vinylness. When she said “I love you!” or “Let’s play!”, she really meant “I’m trying to kill you”. Oh well, healthy stuff hadn’t been invented yet when I was little. We were dumb, and we liked it that way. Sniff, sniff...

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