Staying with my dad and stepmom is always interesting. They have a lot of silly stories to tell, and I always come away with some fantastically ridiculous quotes. (Please read all of these with a spectacularly awful East Texas drawl.)
Dad: I didn’t say nothing. I thought a few things, but I managed not to let any of ‘em out my mouth.
Stepmom (to Dad): Next, you’ll be wearing my Spanx. Nothin’s safe in my closet now.
Dad (to me): Well, you ain’t husband huntin’ today, are ya?
And those are just from this morning.
Their house is also quite interesting, as my stepmom likes to decorate every room with a theme. The kitchen is covered in chickens; the den is a Parisian café. The guest bedrooms include the garden room, the lighthouse room, and my favorite, the rose room.
It’s not that I’m nuts over the fabulous rose-print bedspread, but most people tend to sleep in the garden room since it’s adjacent to the bathroom. So while the bed in the garden room is lumpy from overuse, the generally underused rose room bed is super comfy. The garden room is also home to a rather lifelike sleeping-baby doll that creeps me the fuck out.
Among my list of quirky quirks, I am frightened by dolls. I haven’t always been this way; I had baby dolls, Barbies, and porcelain dolls growing up. But then at a slumber party in sixth-grade, I was introduced to those Chucky movies…and my relationship with my dolls was never the same.
The older I get, the more irrational this particular fear becomes. The more lifelike the doll, the more it freaks me out. (It’s not just dolls, either; thanks, Doctor Who, for that additional fear of mannequins. Medical mannequins are even worse.) There’s just something not right about dolls. With their shrunken humanoid faces and wholesome expressions, and tiny clothes. I expect them to come alive when I’m not looking and plot my demise (like the toys in Toy Story, only more sinister). I don’t like being left alone with them.
This also ties in with my taxidermy phobia, but that’s another post entirely.
In general, my stepmom’s doll collection is not that threatening. The porcelain dolls are too unassuming and unrealistic to worry me much; if they did come to life I could totally take them. They’d be too hindered by their dainty dresses and frilly sleeves to do much more than invite me to (probably poisoned) tea, while I in my not-husband-hunting clothes could easily run to safety.
But that sleeping-baby doll—it’s up to something.
It’s just too innocent, with its sweet little face and gently closed eye lids ready to blink open the second I turn my back. It’s also filled with that bean-bag pellet material, so it’s both heavy and pliable like a real baby. Jonathan Coulton’s “Creepy Doll” starts running through my head the instant I see it. I can’t sleep with it in the room.
But in the rose room, the creepy sleeping doll would have to crawl up to and figure out how to open the door not once, but TWICE if it really wanted to get to me. So I sleep in the rose room, where I am not only comfy in my big soft bed, but safe.
And then last night, I get ready to go to sleep in the rose room and discover this, waiting for me in the middle of the bed:
It’s got a shifty-eyed bunny friend. My days are numbered.