Welcome from the Ugly Shire!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Ugly Dolls

Ugly Dolls. Just the title brings a smile to the face. My first encounter with an Ugly Doll was at a local grocery store. As I often do, I began to wander as my partner went through the checkstand. I scanned for eye-candy. Pottery from Russia, lovely but too busy. I could only tolerate one piece of it in my kitchen. Carved wood ships in the traditional faded red, white, and blue. Possible Father's Day gift? Little interest for me. Mine is dead. And besides, he was an Air Force guy. Mug. All manner of mugs. Nothing pretty. Nothing funky. Nothing classy. Nothing comfortable. Bad mugs all around. Maybe I'll wait outside.

But WAIT. What is this? I reached into a bucket to retrieve....something. Could I believe my eyes? It was brown. We can say that for sure. And softish, like fleece. It had great, round, saucer eyes, a straight, black line of a mouth that spanned most of his face, and a pair of downward facing teeth. A pair of ears stuck out like half-dollar pancakes. His arms were low, way too low, and his feet were too tiny. He was odd. Very odd. He was ugly. He was perfect. I squeezed him. My heart melted. It was love.

Chuckanucka was his name, and he was an Uglydoll. As excited as could be, I thrust him at my partner. Look, I said. Can you believe this? Isn't he wonderful?
Ok, it wasn't love at first sight for Chuck and my partner. However, the money was plopped down, Chuck came home. My partner is now more than on board the Ugly Train. More than.

And so began a relationship with a doll that has grown into a passion. I don't know how many people stop with just one Uglydoll. But that certainly was not to be for us. The care, adoption, and admiration of Uglies is a major part of our lives. We plan, we play, we watch ebay auctions, we read about them, chat on forums, study their history and variations, set them up for photo shoots, take them for rides in the car or on the bike, and enjoy the heck out of ourselves doing it.

I was never one for traditional dolls. In fact, you could say I loathed them. In my childhood, stuffed animals ruled. When I was told I was too old for toys, I never agreed. Stop playing? Why?

As a young adult, my toys moved with me, slept with me, traveled with me. I was devastated to discover most of them were stolen while I was away. It seemed nothing could replace my trolls, action figures, and other great companions. Replacing them with the toys of the day held zero appeal for me. My heart was broken and did not heal for many years. Until Chuck. He gathered up the pieces, and together we got my groove back.

Chuck is now part of a growing Ugly Family. In the photo, Chuck is in the upper left corner, top shelf. Big Chuck, as we call him, is a 2 foot Tall relative of his in the bottom right corner. Isn't he wonderful?

He's waiting for me in there right now.

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