In thinking about the anniversary of Raggedy Ann and about dolls in general I had to wonder "What is a Doll, Really?"
According to Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, a doll is defined as: a model of a human (often a baby), a humanoid (like Bert and Ernie), an animal or a fictional character (like a Troll or a Smurf), usually made of cloth or plastic. Sometimes, intended as keepsakes or collections for older children and adults, it could be made in wood, porcelain, bisque, celluloid or wax. Some dolls are intended as toys for children, usually girls, to play with. Others are for decoration or have some cultural significance, possibly for use in some ceremony or ritual, or as a physical representation of a deity. Archaeological evidence places dolls as foremost candidate for oldest known toy, having been found in Egyptian tombs which date to as early as 2000 BC.
While I think all of that may be the physical representation of what a doll is, the definition is sorely lacking and misses the point entirely. Dolls are much, much more to those of us who loved them as little girls and who still love them as grown-up girls.
They are and were our first BEST friend. They are and were the keeper of all our hopes, dreams, and secrets. We would tell them things we would not tell anyone else. They shared our joys and our sorrows. They were cherished items that if destroyed would break our hearts. We learned and practiced our social skills from our tea parties.
They were our first forums for they listened to our fears, gave us advice, and offered silent counsel. They helped us to think for ourselves, and provided us with a sounding board to bounce our ideas off of. They were what we held if we cried ourselves to sleep at night. They were the first to hear about our sorrows and dry our tears. They offered us counsel, albeit not always wise counsel. If we were angry and mad they bore the full brunt of it, sometimes losing limbs in the process.
No matter what we did to them they ALWAYS stood by us. They ALWAYS remained faithful, loving, and hopeful. They were our first and biggest fan club. Always rooting us on from their perch on our bed, shelf, floor, or where ever they lay. They were usually the first thing we saw in the morning and the last thing we saw at night. For us, at the time, our dollie was everything.
So, while the description in the encyclopedia is correct as to what a doll really is, they are much, much more to us. For all of us that loved them as little girls and continue to love them as grown-up girls, our dolls are priceless and cannot be defined.
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