Saturday, September 08, 2007
When I Was A Young Girl....
I hope I don’t step on any toes with this post, but there is something that has been bothering me so I thought I would see what you think. There was a little human interest story on our local news the other evening. A stay-at-home Dad has opened a new business named for his twelve year old daughter. It is a spa for young girls. For now, the father said, they are just doing the “outward” things, but he plans to do things to nurture the inner being as well. He doesn’t want the focus to be only on appearance. They plan to offer classes (I’m not sure what those will be – but I am still not happy.)
They showed the inside of this beautifully decorated spa filled with little girls getting manicures and pedicures. They all said how much they loved it. They were all so excited to have this great place – and I felt so sad.
I was born in 1946 which didn’t seem like such a ridiculously ancient number at one time. I grew up in the fifties, and when I was twelve years old I was still playing with dolls. My sister is four years younger than I am so perhaps that explains it. Or perhaps I was just very immature. I just know I loved being a little girl.
I was thinking back last night about the things I loved to do when I was a little girl. We played with our dolls for hours on end. My Mom, who is an excellent seamstress, made incredible wardrobes for them. We had Tiny Tears dolls that looked so much like real babies. We also had Ginny Dolls – that was before Barbie made her voluptuous appearance. She sewed tiny little dresses for them as well.
We also played with paper dolls. In addition to all the clothes they came with, we used to cut things out of old catalogs to furnish their homes and accessorize their wardrobes. They were great fun until their cardboard necks got bent and then we were ready for someone new.
We lived in a small sub-division (we called it a development back then) and there was always someone there to play with. One day one of our girlfriends came over with a bunch of beautiful old gowns her mother had given her. We played dress-up with those gowns for weeks.
We rode our bikes all over the neighborhood, swam in little wading pools and swung on the swings my Dad made for us until we were dizzy. We pretended to be the characters we saw in the movies and made up stories that continued day after long summer day.
We were blissfully unaware that we weren’t as thin as models, that we probably didn’t have the latest fashions or that we didn’t have the most alluring “do”. Of course all of those things eventually did become important, but not for a long time.
I felt sad watching those little girls because childhood is so brief, and we can never go back once those years have passed. I hope it was just one of those atypical things the news likes to report. I hope little girls are still allowed to be little girls.
The closing shot of the news story was of the owner’s little girl spinning around in one of the spa chairs. That, I thought, is more like it.