Thursday, June 26, 2008

True to Form: The Weepies

I don't mean the band, "The Weepies." I mean, The Weepies. When you get weepy.

Sometimes I have sad days. When I want it to rain, and when I want "Paint It Black" to come on the radio while it's raining, while reading "How You Die." I think it's better to embrace the melancholy, man.

Yesterday I had a bad sad day. John was very understanding as I sniffled on the bed. "I'm going to the store. Do you want anything?" I shook my head no. "Chocolate?" Safe guess, but again, I shook my head no. At this point he realized it wasn't pms. Half playful, half serious, he made another attempt. "Doll?" Another no. "Maybe Crayons" I mumbled. "Dollhouse? Well, I can't get you a dollhouse. I can get you a cardboard box, though." I brightened. Now we were talking.

It takes a very mature person to admit they want to make a dollhouse out of a cardboard box. Very, very mature. Only the insecure would say otherwise.

No, I don't have young children to tend. Why do you ask?

July's tend to start this way. I know it's not July yet, but it's hot, and it's Getting There, and July is always a tough time for me for personal reasons. It never hits the same way, which is why last night at 10:30 I was busily cutting up a cardboard box and drawing rugs and portraits for it with crayons and yelling for John to bring some tape.

My cardboard box dollhouse has two rooms downstairs - very traditional - and one large room upstairs, with fold-down stairs because I like to keep it real and it always bothered me when dollhouses didn't have stairs. Like the family was going to fly out the window to enter an upper story. The top room is a dance/modern art studio. Yes, I made a piece of modern art for the wall out of - yes - more cardboard. It all sounds quite grand, I'm sure, but really it's a cardboard box with cardboard interior walls and stairs and crayon rugs and a crayon portrait.

But of course this really is just a continuation of the Mouse House. The Mouse House was a large, sprawling, dusty cardboard mess I kept under my bed when I was little until Mom made me throw it away because it was a series of shoe boxes taped together forming separate rooms for my stuffed mouse who had a little yellow dress and bead earrings I had sewn through her mousy ears. The Mouse House was pretty scraggly and collected a lot of dust and I had passed playing with it but was reluctant to throw away my hours of cutting doors to adjoining boxes and taping "curtains" to the windows and making little matchbox tv's.

Making the cardboard "dollhouse", for me, was like "scrapbooking" is for a lot of people. I don't "scrapbook." Especially when you have to pay lots of money for little cute things to decorate your scrapbook with, which, in my opinion, negates the term "SCRAPbook."

But making things from cardboard did make me think of one children's book I used to enjoy reading, and I have no idea what the title is. It was about a girl nicknamed "Cat" who liked to ballet dance and I think she was adopted and then her parents had quadruplets and she struggled to share her newly redecorated room with squalling babies and had friends with a big family down the street and I could swear the babies' names were Tim, Ian, Seth, and Luke and that Tim died and no, I'm not making this up but I can't even find out what the title is on Google. My memory is super strange and sometimes I do remember details that vividly that I haven't read in...let's see...seventeen years. So if this book sounds familiar, let me know, because it's seriously driving me nuts that I can't remember the title.


Anonymous said...

Yikes! The things that come back to bite us in the posterior! I had no idea that I was causing childhood trauma. Mea culpa. I am really, really, really sorry....and, no, I have no idea what the book title is - it must have been a library book, because I have no memory of it....Much love, Mom

Anonymous said...

P.S. Maybe an "older" children's librarian could help you? Mom

Unknown said...

Pick of the Litter by Mary Jane Auch. I haven't read it myself, but I'm a well-practiced googler.

Unknown said...

Now, if you could tell me what children's book ("chapter book," mind you)has one eccentric character who divorced her husband because his name was Lloyd and he made her pronounce it "Yoyd" like Llama in Spanish and she wouldn't do it so they couldn't live together happily anymore, then I would really appreciate it.

Carrie said...

I'm glad Emily found it for you. Here's another site you might enjoy browsing (and feeling nostalgic about those old books)

All the old children's books you could ever imagine and then some!

Unknown said...

i LOVE your post! what a sweet, understanding husband you have. my husband has that gift as well.

AND my mom had a Mouse House! that's what she called it. it almost looked like a book shelf with a roof ontop. I haven't heared "mouse house" in years!

anyways, thanks for commenting on The Pink Potpourri and entering for a chance to win that beautiful jewelry! i update my blog every day, with a giveaway every friday!

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Bob said...

Did you know that representational artists are just people that just want to either retrieve what was lost, keep what is here or imagine a better place. Their little girls aren't any different. I'm sorry Sissy.

Elizabeth Glass-Turner said...

Actually, although I pose as artsy-fartsy...
I don't know what a representational artist is!!
Is it someone who represents things in mediums other than paint? Like cardboard?