Tuesday, April 18, 2017

New pony day

I'm pretty much out of Pony Room on my bookshelves (I need to slow down on Pony) but I did buy one more. Another one of the "rainbow curl" ponies, except her hair doesn't have much of a curl any more. I don't really care - it's really nice and soft (some of the old Pony hair gets kind of dry and frizzy. Now I sort of wish I had become an engineer; I could see researching what happens to older plastic materials and it seems some batches or colors kept better than others.

Anyway, this was sort of an impulse purchase but I'm glad I bought her.

She's like the apotheosis of early-80s style, as I remember it: like a Lisa Frank sticker come to life:

You can see her hair there.

Here's more of a body shot, and you can see why I wanted her: clef and musical staff are her cutie mark:

Her name is, oddly, Streaky, which, for someone who is a child of the 1970s, has some....unfortunate connotations (NB: video that will start playing)

(And yes, that white part of her mane is the infamous "fading pink" - it was originally pale pink. It happens, and she was a fair enough price. And I don't really CARE about condition; I'm not buying these as an investment)

Automatic headcanon: she is a sister (or perhaps cousin, seeing as she is a unicorn and Stripes is an earth pony) to Stripes, another rainbow-curl pony. (Stripes is the one I am now calling Maybelle because her cutie mark looks like Mabel Pines' usual sweater design). So I neeeeeeded her.

And anyway, she's pretty and she makes me happy.

I have a couple working hypotheses about my attraction to these.

1. (probably not the Occam's-Razor-friendly one, but I actually think it's more likely): I am trying to regain/relive some of my lost childhood. Or make up for things I missed during my childhood, whether it was not having money to spend frivolously on toys (I had a v., v. small allowance and sometimes the more frivolous of purchases were a bit frowned upon by the parental units). And also, as miserable as it actually was, childhood looks increasingly attractive the farther away you get from it. And maybe I'm trying to somehow let my inner eight year old go back and relive a childhood she never had, or letting my inner 10 year old do it again and do it the right way this time. I don't know.

(Then again: based on yet another "mean girls" story I read the other day: apparently in some circles, second grade is seen as "old" for still being interested in playing with dolls. I don't know if that means I was incredibly immature - I was still playing with dolls and animal toys, at least secretly, at 12 or so, and second grade would be like seven years old - or if kids today have gotten incredibly and needlessly sophisticated at a young age. I know to me the thought of giving up all my animal toys and dolls at eight would be unthinkable. Though maybe that suggests that the "mean girls" or "popular girls" world is really a very small and sad place - I enjoyed the fantasy worlds I made up even to a fairly late age, and I think "pretending" with toy ponies is more fun and perhaps more satisfying than experimenting with makeup and hair to try to attract the gaze of the boys. I mean....eight year old boys, from what I remember, are more into dirt-clod wars than they were in paying attention to the girls. Well, some of them paid attention to me because I was willing to join in the dirt-clod wars, but....)

2. They're just simple and pretty and I need something uncomplicated in my life that makes me happy. (That's a more simple, and therefore more Occam's Razor- friendly hypothesis)

But yeah. How sad to feel forced to pack away one's toys at 8 in the interest of being "grown up" and "dressing sexy" (honestly, an eight year old should not know what "sexy" is, IMHO. Beautiful, yes (I thought my mom was beautiful when I was eight, I thought the neighbor girl who babysat me was beautiful). Pretty, yes. Maybe even cute. But not "sexy.") I wonder how much of the sadness in our culture can be attributed to kids growing up faster than they need to? They have their entire 20s and 30s (and even 40s and 50s now, in our culture) to worry about whether they look "sexy." When they're kids, they should be more concerned, I think, with "Is this shirt my favorite color" or, my old bugbear: "How much trouble am I going to get into if I play in the mud in these clothes?"

Maybe, even as miserable as my childhood was in some ways (mainly because of my peers), maybe....maybe I grew up in more of a golden era to be a child. I didn't know where babies came from until I was 10, I believed in a literal Santa Claus until I was like eight, I still made doll clothes in my early teens, my parents seemed to think letting me stay a kid for as long as I wanted to was a desirable thing, and I had no interest in growing up very fast.

I did have my "first crush" at 10 but even that was incredibly innocent - I think we maybe held hands once and that was it. And we really only saw each other at school. I don't think my parents even knew I had a crush on him....

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