Several weeks ago I was reading Angry Chicken, when I stumbled upon this post of Amy's. The rush of memories that struck me when I saw her Mandy photos nearly knocked me off my chair. I hadn't thought about my Jenny doll for years, and the instant aching I had for her was almost painful. As a kid I wasn't really into dolls. I was strongly discouraged from acquiring Barbies (and truth be told that was okay with me), and baby dolls didn't hold my interest at all. But when Fisher Price came out with their "My Friend" line in 1979 it was a perfect fit. In my mind the girls were just like me, and it was so much fun to dress them in their cute, cute outfits. I don't know too much about the American Girl Dolls, but I think they appeal to much the same sensibility. Not babies, not Barbies, just regular girls.
Jenny was given to me for Christmas, I think I was 10. I wanted her for what felt like forever and was completely wound up with the possibility of actually getting her. I remember my mom asking me if I was sure I wanted Jenny, not Mandy, as my curly blond hair and green eyes were more Mandy-ish. But Jenny was the one for me. I loved the way she looked with her straight dark hair and big brown eyes. We came to my grandparents' house for Christmas Eve, as was the tradition every year, for dinner and exchanging gifts from family. My grandmother always lined up our presents (for me, my brother, and our cousins Jubal and Tristan) on the built in knotty pine bench in the basement party room. I remember racing downstairs and inspecting my packages for one that might be Jenny. It was torture to wait through the entire evening to finally open our gifts, but my patience was duly rewarded. I was over-the-moon when I opened my Jenny with extra outfits to boot! I remember spending a long time dressing her, switching the pieces around, and showing my grandmother all the combinations. I've loved her ever since.
So when I saw Amy's post I immediately called my mom to ask where she might be. My parents have been dutifully cleaning things out of the basement lately and driving them out to Catlin, where I attended Kindergarten through High School, to donate to the Catlin Gabel Rummage Sale (Go Blue Team!). I was certain she was gone. And when my mom's knowledge of her whereabouts was uncertain, it was like the kiss of death. I didn't ask again. I didn't want my parents to feel bad. They are so great about saving the important things. But, lo and behold, she was found! Not a shoe missing; tights, hats, dresses, shirts, every piece just as it should be. I almost cried, and left Eric to fend for himself with a house full of kids (ours and others) while I ran Operation Bring Jenny Home. The extraction and ensuing rescue were a resounding success! Many thanks to Amy for making it all happen in the first place.