When I was a little girl I got a doll every year for Christmas and my Birthday until I was probably twelve years old. I loved my dolls. So when I was about seven or so I saw an ad in the back of one of my mama’s magazines for 100 dolls and I just had to have them.I guess Christmas time makes me think about what I always got for Christmas as a child and it made me think of my dolls and my 100 dolls I bought for $1.99. Here is the story:
The ad read, 100 Little Dolls for only $1.99. I was barely old enough to read when I first saw this ad. It showed little dolls from all over the world wearing costumes from their native countries. This was in the early 70’s and I was just a little kid and I didn’t think about anything but how I wanted those dolls. I had to have the 100 dolls for $1.99.
Every time I would pick up a magazine I would quickly flip to the back and hold my breath until I saw the ” Doll Ad”. Whew, it was still there. I begged and begged my mother to order me the dolls. She said it could not be possible that you could order 100 dolls for only $1.99. It was just too good to be true. I begged and begged until she agreed that we would order them. She said well if anything came at all maybe it would be worth $1.99.
We addressed the envelope and put $2.00 inside. We also taped two quarters for the postage onto a piece of cardboard and put it inside the envelope. My mama looked a little skeptical that postage for 100 dolls could only be fifty cents but we did it. It said to allow four to six weeks for delivery.
The minute we put the envelope in the mail I started dreaming of the dolls. How I would dress them? where would I put them? What in the world would I name all of them? I had to make room for all of these dolls coming in the mail in a few weeks.
I ask my mama what would they be wearing? would they have different outfits for each country? My mama and I speculated and wondered and dreamed. Mama said I should just forget about them for awhile because they wouldn’t be here for several weeks. Ha, no chance that I could forget about them for a second, that just wasn’t going to happen.
After about four weeks I started waiting for the mailman every day. School was out for the summer so I could watch for the mailman who arrived every day at around 11:00 AM. If our mailman had a large package that was too big to fit in our mailbox he would blow the horn and we would go out and get it. So I waited to hear him blow the horn to let us know he had a large package full of beautiful dolls.
One day as I was waiting at my post by the front door, the mailman pulled up and I saw him put a largish yellow envelope into the box. It was not much bigger than a regular sized envelope. Well that can’t be it I thought.
I went down to the mailbox and got the envelope. It had my name on it. Surely there was no way this could be dolls. Maybe it was something explaining about when the dolls would arrive. I ran to the house to show my mama. We tore open the envelope and a bunch of tiny, hard, plastic dolls fell out. They were all pink. They were barely an inch tall. They were sort of like the hard plastic cowboy and Indian figures that my little brother played with.
This is what they looked like. Not a great picture but you get the idea.
I looked at my mama in disbelief and she looked at me the same way. I cannot tell you the disappointment I felt. For weeks I had imagined my dolls and all the things I would do with them and how I would dress them. It was devastating to this little girl. How could someone put such false advertisement in a magazine? My mama didn’t even say ” I tried to tell you”.
My mama and I counted the dolls and there wasn’t even 100. Not that I wanted 100 of those dreadful things anyway. Many many of them were duplicates. I was so angry I wanted to throw them away but mama carefully picked them up and put them in a little basket. She said that I might want to play with them one day.
As my mama and I put the dolls away we looked at each other and started laughing. My mama knew I was close to tears and she was trying to keep that from happening. We laughed and laughed imagining this crazy story we would tell the rest of my family. Especially my two older teenage sisters who had made fun of me for ordering the dolls. You see this was the great thing about my sweet mama she could find the humor in anything and make me feel better.
I never did play with those dolls and I have no idea what happened to them. I recently searched the internet for an ad about them and actually found some of the dolls for sale!!! That’s where the picture above came from. Vintage they are now called. You can buy five or six of them for $6.95. Wow how inflation has changed things.
A good lesson I suppose, and one that I will never forget. Do I still love dolls? Ahhhh no. I actually find them a little creepy.
Anyway I hope you enjoyed reading.
Love your day your way