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Blogathon for Tricia, Hour Eleven Point Five: The Story of Jenny

January 9th, 2010 (03:40 pm)

So for hour eleven, geekjul delighted me by asking whatever happened to my best friend Jenny the Purse Doll, who befriended me in a jewelry store once and begged to come home with me, and who thereby convinced my friends and family alike that I was totally deranged. Accordingly I went a-posting, or a-preparing for a-posting, anyway.

Unfortunately, a-preparing took *way* the hell longer than it should have. In fact, I nearly gave up, shoved poor geekjul off to hour twelve, and made a post about how fucking much I hate not having Photoshop anymore. I have a cell phone camera and it does not take good pictures and I have Paint.NET but we only got it two days ago and I don't know how to do very much with it. I just spent 45 minutes fighting with these pictures and they're *still* shit.

So this post is late. But! That is not for lack of effort on my part!


So! As noted, months and months ago, I found my best friend Jenny the Purse Doll in the So Good jewelry shop at Downtown Crossing. Basically, she popped her head out of a bargain bin and told me she was my best friend and she was coming home with me. This met with some resistance on the part of λ, who thought Jenny was a.) ugly and b.) clutter. Then I posted about Jenny to LJ, and most of LJ reaffirmed that Jenny was a.) ugly and b.) clutter. At that point I basically thumbed my nose at LJ and hugged Jenny close, murmuring soothing words to her until everyone left us alone.

Unfortunately, the fact of the matter is that I am *not* very good at keeping anything, even my best friends, from becoming clutter around this house. And so, after some deliberation, I hung Jenny the Purse Doll on the wall. (SHE HAS A HANDLE, YOU GUYS. I'LL THANK YOU NOT TO ACCUSE ME OF STRANGLING MY FRIENDS.) I thought she could watch out over our living room, rather like a beneficent angel pouring kindness and beauty down upon us each day:

And there she stayed, lo, these many moons. Being an angel. Not clutter.

However, when geekjul posted asking about whatever had happened to Jenny, I started to feel bad. Looking at her hanging on the wall of our apartment each day, I began to get the sense that she was lonely. If so, 'twere a cruel fate for a best friend to meet. So I decided that maybe Jenny needed some friends.

First I thought I would introduce her to the Virgin Mary:

This seemed in keeping with the angelic-spirits theme. I had colored this picture of Teenage Pregnancy Mary* awhile back, and it had been hanging on a different wall. Well, there was no sense in that. Why shouldn't Mary and Jenny be friends?

Well, I'm not sure. But I have to confess, they didn't quite take to one another. Jenny, I must confess, is rather a prim and proper lass, perhaps given a tad much to airs and affectations. Not that this makes her any less of a lovely person, mind you. But she and Mary just didn't seem to click, somehow. I think Jenny didn't much like Mary's gentle "I am the holy mother of God" aura. Or her ragged clothes. Meanwhile, Mary is kind of occupied with being pregnant and trying to deal with divinity flashes every time the baby kicks.

So I thought I would find Jenny another friend. I looked around a bit, and eventually settled on Renny the Rainbow Wombat.

Now, I love Renny the Rainbow Wombat. I don't see how anybody could NOT love Renny the Rainbow Wombat. He's a RAINBOW WOMBAT! What's not to love!

But Jenny regarded him -- though not with hostility -- nevertheless with distinct... puzzlement. "Are you on drugs?" she wanted to know.

Renny snuffled at her, friendly-like. Mary smiled a rapt, divine smile at him.

Jenny, puzzling this through, eventually processed that Renny's flamboyant color was no fault of his own, but was in fact an artistic choice by yours truly. Suspicious, she turned to me. "Are *you* on drugs?" she wanted to know.

That's gratitude for you.

But, you know, poor Jenny. (Bright as a penny?) (Her equal *would* be hard to find...) She's been hanging on the wall, alone, for an awful long time. And, after all, she's not a coloring page. There's probably a reason why Mary and Renny were getting along so well (Renny wants to be a part of the manger scene now to welcome Jesus, by the way; I think this is maybe in some obscure bit of apocrypha, the rainbow wombat at the birth of the Christ child, so there's no need to laugh). What Jenny needed was a fine, solid, three-dimensional friend.

Cue Herbie the Elf.

Jenny was overjoyed.

"Oh, my God, I know you from TV! Oh, you're so lovely. Will you play with me? I want to play! Oh, I love your hair! Can I brush it? Can I wear your hat? Tell me abvout Rudolph! Will you stay here and be my friend forever? Oh, I love you I love you I love you!

Said Herbie:


Jenny became concerned.

"Oh, Herbie," she cried, "what's wrong? Are you sad? I have a ruffle! You can use my ruffle for a handkerchief! Are you tired? Do you need a nap? There's lots of room for you to lie down! Oh, please say you're not sad!"

Said Herbie:

"::sniff sniff::"

I came over and regarded the two of them. "Herbie, honey, what's wrong?" I asked.

The sniffles turned into a howl. "I muh-muh-muh-miss my snuh-snuh-snuh-snuh-SNOWFLAKES!"

We have snowflake ornaments on our tree.

"Oh, sweetie," I said. I started to explain that we are taking the tree down this weekend and then he will have to go back into the box, but he kept wailing:

"Muh-muh-my SNOWFLAKES and muh-muh-my KITTIEEEEES..."

λ's great-grandmother, Lord knows how many decades ago, stitched some absolutely adorable stuffed-kitten Christmas tree ornaments, which have been handed down through the generations to us. And apparently they and Herbie have grown very close.

"I'm s-s-sorry, Jenny," he sobbed. "My place is on the tree." He blinked away tears hopefully: "Maybe you can come hang on the tree too?"

Jenny bit her lip. "But I don't want to go in a box," she said, her voice quivering.

"But I need my kitties," he said, starting to cry again.

Oh brother.

What to do? I was in a quandary. Jenny was clearly terribly lonely, and yet I'd not found her a single viable companion. What could I do? Carry her around with me every day? That had been my original intent, of course, and yet I'd found quickly that she has a tendency to unravel (much like Herbie). I *had* to leave her at home, and even hanging on the wall seemed a better fate than consigning her to clutter. And yet... and yet...

A sudden squealing from the other room interrupted my reverie. It sounded like Alvin and the Chipmunks routed through a tinny 1920s phonograph.


"Who's that?" Jenny said, pretending not to be wiping away a tear. Carefully, I removed Herbie from the purse and placed him back on the tree (the cats began purring and rubbing up against him in an ecstasy of welcome), keeping my ears pricked.


And all of a sudden I knew:

The Cabbage Patch Minis.

They swarmed into the room, hopping and skipping and squeeing for joy. Because -- and I'm ashamed to admit this -- they had become clutter, sometime in the last six months or so. They had been lined up neatly holding hands for a long time, but then the cats knocked them down and played with them a bit and somehow they never got straightened up again. They'd been in a jumble on the shelf for months.

Now they had a friend.

Now Jenny had friends. Dozens of friends. Way more than will ever fit in the purse at one go. I'll have to rotate them in and out.

Or get a new best friend purse.

Do you think So Good still sells them?

*Not to be flip. Mary was actually a pregnant teenager. It's one of the things I liked about that coloring page.

This is the hour eleven post of my blogathon for my aunt Tricia, who is dying of end-stage ovarian cancer and whose family is being hit with a whole lot of bills that they can't afford alone as a result. Donations can be made at the link given above. A number of topics are still unclaimed and can be bought for $5 or more.


Posted by: mmaster (mmaster)
Posted at: January 9th, 2010 09:37 pm (UTC)

(Renny wants to be a part of the manger scene now to welcome Jesus, by the way; I think this is maybe in some obscure bit of apocrypha, the rainbow wombat at the birth of the Christ child, so there's no need to laugh).

Ok, I got distracted from reading the post, since this line reminded me of something:

Wombat Divine is a book by (moderately famous, at least hereabouts) children's author Mem Fox.

In it, all the Australian animals are putting on a nativity play, and the main character, a wombat, desperately wishes to join in, but he's too short for one role, too heavy for another, etc. Eventually he plays baby Jesus and falls asleep in the manger.


Posted by: Julie (geekjul)
Posted at: January 10th, 2010 12:04 am (UTC)

At first I didn't know whether to cheer or run screaming. I mean, that is a horrible thing and you have it cheerfully DISPLAYED on your WALL. But then, it is your wall, and not mine, and clearly you are having fun with Jenny. I will say that I like her better with friends, it makes much more sense as a holder of things for her to have things in her.

My husband is also a collector of weird shit (and comics), so much so that we established him a room in the house to hold it all. There is all sorts of weird shit in the back bedroom, for example, a large Ed Grimly doll. So I shant stand in judgement of your love for Jenny. Huzzah!

(PS Did you get my donation? I used the fancy Paypal button that I don't entirely trust...)

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