Wednesday, June 22, 2011

More Artifacts: the "Ominous Trunk"


I haven't given up cooking, by the way. I've been obsessed with cake. I've said that I am not a particularly good baker, and if I had needed to prove that to myself, the last several weeks of  non-success would have done it. It is a trifle demoralizing. I think the nature of my difficulty has to do with the fact that baking is not something you can tinker with while it's cooking. Unlike say, stir-fry, where you can turn the heat up or down, smell it and taste it, and add stuff to make improvements as you go along, once you mix up a cake batter, you're locked in. You put it in the oven and cross your fingers. There is only so much slightly unfortunate cake I can feel good about foisting off onto my relatives.

So I'll show you my toys instead.

This trunk used to have a heap of defunct fountain pens and mechanical pencils in it. The disintegrating pens and things were thrown away eventually, but I kept the trunk to put my barbie doll in.

I think I got the doll for Christmas? Or something? I'm pretty sure I was in seventh grade. It was quite a thing, in our family, to have something so overtly normal. I was really a bit to old to begin playing with things like that, now that I think about it, but I didn't care. In my mind, I had finally acquired the acme of prepubescent feminine social signifiers.


I didn't realize how much paraphernalia I had accumulated for this doll until Mom sent me the trunk. I had carefully saved all her accessories, from the  the weensy coathangers, to the little rhinestone necklace she had on when she came out of the of the package. I even saved her shoes!

Damn those are some sexy shoes. I would love to have some twizzler-colored pumps like that.

What really surprised me was the number of things I had made. I remembered the tiny patchwork quilt, but not the obligatory wedding dress that I sewed metallic teal beads on, or the little matching bouquet I made out of tiny bits of nylon knit.

The funny thing is that having it here made me remember the one or two things that didn't survive- there was a pair of white chunky heels, one of which I think split in half, and there was a dress I made out of an old polyester men's shirt. The dress had spaghetti straps, and a tiny navy and white stripe in the material.

 I had forgotten most of the rest of this stuff too, but here it all is. I'm amazed that I sewed most of these things by hand. These aren't the first things I ever made, but they are certainly some of the earliest survivals.

I've been sewing for 25 years.

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