My boss: STELLA, it’s snowing!! Me: Leaps up from desk chucking coffee all over my keyboard. I don’t know if this counts as the first snow seeing as how most of it won’t stick but it’s still pretty exciting. A blanket of bright, white snow just makes the whole world look new. I think this year especially, I’m just looking forward to it being over & we are slowly getting there. Anyway, so let’s just get right to Blogmas 😛 Not quite yet, today we are talking about something from my childhood that I recently stumbled upon at World Market of all the places. It shocked me for a minute seeing a little basket of worry dolls because they were such a deep memory that came flooding back, it was overwhelming but also delightful to recall my pocketful of worry dolls and how I
tormented my mother with them.
What are worry dolls? They are teenie little dolls made of bits of wire, paper & colorful fabric that can fit in your pocket. They originate in Guatemala & are given to mostly children to tell their worries or troubles to. You can tell them your fears, nightmares, anxieties – then put them under your pillow & the worry dolls take it from there. I was a morose child, I had a pocketful of worry dolls but not because I recall feeling particularly worried about anything, it was just my personality. I’m just a quiet, calm, perhaps melancholy person who doesn’t enjoy the company of most people but there isn’t anything wrong with me. I also went through a phase of answering the house phone as ‘city morgue’ which really freaked my mom out but I was doing it mostly to freak her out 😀
There was one event that sticks out in my mind after which I recall receiving my first pouch of worry dolls. We were going to visit my great grandmother, I was 8’ish & she was probably 80’ish. She lived in town so we saw her all of the time & were just stopping in after grocery shopping. Well, we walk in & she’s sitting at the kitchen table – she had one of those old houses where you could come in through the kitchen. So, she’s sitting there, I’m coming in behind my mom who said something to my grandmother & then my mom starts screaming. She’s dead, she’s dead! I had a bad feeling about today. Now, my mom had a bad feeling about most every day but I guess that day she was vindicated. I don’t recall being terribly upset about my recently passed grandmother, she was very old & I knew that. I was sad she was gone but for some reason my mom really thought that seeing a dead body had an impact on me. She made me sit outside on the porch until the police got there, then she had the police talk to me to see if I was OK. I told them I was but that wasn’t good enough – my mom sent me to the school counselor who then sent me to an actual child psychologist. That’s where I got my worry dolls, he told my parents there wasn’t anything wrong with me aside from being a bit anti-social. That’s when I started the ‘city morgue’ thing but mostly because I was annoyed with my mother for insisting that there must be something wrong with me when I was fine. Also, my grandmother had an open casket funeral which was infinitely more upsetting than seeing her just sitting at her kitchen table – talk about irony.
Anyway, I loved my worry dolls because they were just so freaking cute & played with them like I would other dolls. They were better than other dolls because I just put them in my pocket & could take them anywhere. Apparently, this was a problem because my parents started to think that I had so many things to worry about that I had to have my dolls with me all of the time. If I caught them looking at me when I was playing with my worry dolls, I would maintain eye contact & whisper nonsense to my dolls like some kind of voodoo. Honestly, this was a bit far but it really burned me that my parents were so worried about me. Eventually, I outgrew my worry dolls & moved onto activities that were apparently less concerning to my parents. I developed an eating disorder, funny that they missed all of those red flags but was mostly a normal adolescent.
What’s the point of this story? I think that worry dolls can be an effective tool for kids coping with some type of trauma but that parents shouldn’t look for trauma because that’s pretty traumatic for a little kid. Honestly, I think I might order myself another set, they really are adorable little dolls. Maybe if any of my siblings recall the ‘Worry Doll Years’ it will give them a little scare 🧡
The Vanishing (1988) or Spoorloos as the Dutch film I own is titled, is a psychological thriller that is just as terrifying as the goriest slasher flick. Rex & Saskia are on a trip through France when they run out of gas. They have this huge fight, there is so much build up that I almost thought that the story would be about Rex murdering Saskia. Not the case, they stop for fuel & Saskia is abducted. Rex goes on a quest to find her even making a public appeal for any information regarding her whereabouts. Eventually, a man named Raymond comes forward (the viewer has known that he is the kidnapper for some time) & reveals himself as having been the one who abducted Saskia. Rex agrees to go somewhere with Raymond so that he can find Saskia but ends up becoming the victim of a second abduction. Missing persons cases terrify & fascinate me, in this case, Rex was scared of not knowing but it makes you wonder if the knowing is just as bad. I think that this one has or is being remade but this film is fantastic.