When I was little, I loved dolls. It was the one toy that I really liked to play with because naturally, a doll was like another person or a baby who I could put into one of my weird, made-up scenarios and they could play a part. My favorite doll of all time was Raggedy Ann. One of my regrets was that I left Raggedy Ann behind when I left for LA because I had her from the time I was about three. Oh well, on to the real story.
On occasion, while living in the funeral home, we would get a call for a baby. Of course, this is really sad when it happens and I can’t imagine how it must make the parents feel. Sometimes they would die of crib death or were born with a defective heart or something that ended their little life before it even got started. But I have to be honest, they were so cute. Once they were placed in their little casket, with their little gown on, they just looked like little sleeping dolls. And I know this might seem weird, but for a little girl who loved dolls, this was tempting. I really wanted to play with them. Yeah, I know most little girls don’t want to play with dead babies, but most little girls don’t get to see them either.
Of course, I knew I couldn’t play with them; my dad wouldn’t even let me touch them. And this was one of those things that I knew I couldn’t talk about outside of the house. I couldn’t tell my friends that I wanted to play with the dead baby that was in my house. That would be a little too Wednesday Addams, don’t you think? It was one of those little secrets that I had to keep to myself…for years.
Jump to 20 years later and I’m sitting at the mechanic’s waiting for my hot rod to be fixed. There was another girl waiting for her car to be fixed. We struck up a conversation, because I’m a sociable lady. At first we were talking about our cars and then I have no idea how this came up in conversation, but one of us mentioned growing up in a funeral home. When you learn that someone else grew up in a funeral home, which is a rare occasion, it is a pleasant surprise because you know that they probably have some similar experiences. It was cool because we were around the same age, she was funny and we talked about how certain flowers like carnations and chrysanthemums always remind us of funerals, etc. I told her how we used to crawl around on our knees and pick up the petals. At this point we were having a good time, really chatting it up….and then I threw it out there…..
I said, “Did you ever see any dead babies?” Her eyes got wide and she said, “Yes! They looked like dolls.” In my head, I thought “this is cool.” I continued, “Did you ever want to play with them?” Her answer was “YES!” My answer was “ME TOO!” Then we laughed because we knew that this was a rare experience we were having 🙂
I’m aware that all of this might seem a bit creepy, but it turns out that she is the only person I have ever met that understood that. It’s not every day that you meet someone else who wanted to play with dead babies when they were little. Even my siblings didn’t. The elder sister said the babies made her sad, Kris didn’t like dolls, and that would be extra weird if John did. So, to meet someone, a random stranger who understood this was crazy. I felt an instant connection to her. And how odd is it that we just happen to be at the same mechanic on the same day at the same time, and happened to strike up a conversation that eventually led to that?
I’m sorry that we didn’t exchange numbers or anything. It was a random experience that I’ll never forget, as strange as that may seem. Sometimes you connect with people just because you share a similar experience and in an odd way I felt validated, like I’m not the only weirdo. And I feel confident that I won’t meet another person in my lifetime that I could have the same conversation with.
So, with that being said, now all of you know my creepy little secret. What creepy little secret have you been hiding? I saw a show the other day where an 11 year old girl was hiding raw bacon under her pillow… is it something like that?
I can kind of understand having cooked bacon under your pillow though….have a great day!!