When I was about eleven or twelve, all the girls in my class had 'best friends', apart from me and one other girl. So, the other girls set us up on a 'best friend date'. I was supposed to go over to H's house and there we would play. That way we too would become best friends and all the girls in the class were properly set up.
Off I went to H's house to play. But horror of horrors, she wanted me to play with dolls! Barbie dolls! How was I supposed to know how to play with dolls? I never did at home. I played with my brother's lego or his racing set. I read books and I knitted. But most of all I played outside with other neighbourhood children. We roamed the neighbourhood, we played Jail ball, Hide and Seek, Potato in the Pan, Softball, we climbed trees, raced shopping carts, fell in ditches, off bike racks or cycled somewhere. I certainly never played with dolls!
There was however one very important member in our household. It wasn't a doll but a teddy bear. And without this teddy bear I couldn't sleep. My father has turned the car around on one occasion to go get it. We bought a replacement bear that itched. But usually I just made sure I had it with me. And I still have it. It's very battered and bruised and definitely needs to see a doctor, but he's still here. Sitting on my bedside table in his little pink and orange bikini I knitted him.
By the way, me and H never hit it off...
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