Well, I failed in my mission, but the Pink Princess has learned a hard lesson about negotiation.
Back when we all had Shawn Cassidy posters on our walls, one of my Roosevelt-era (or so) great aunts decided that toys cost too goddamn much nowadays and she wasn't going to take the bait.
In a fit of pique about those bastards charging $5 for something that was just going to get fucked up anyways, she broke out her ancient Singer and made me two dolls - an Eeyore and a standard early 20th century-looking girl doll (sans creepiness, of course. Her face is hand-embroidered so no evil little eyes). Both were made solely from materials in her rag-bag.
Eeyore was made from brown tweed (which is probably closer to the color of an actual donkey after all), and had white corduroy tummy. The best part was that his tail actually came on and off with the button. The worst part was that I immediately lost the tail, and spent the next 20 years telling people that Eeyore was sad because his tail was probably rotting somewhere in a landfill in Sunland.
The girl doll (whom I never bothered to name - despite my father's attempt to beat some girliness into me, I was never much for dolls, frills or pink things) lost her pantaloons immediately (I pulled them off to see if she was anatomically correct. Hey, cut me some slack - I was 7), although for some reason she still has all her petticoats under her gingham dress.
I lost Eeyore in my late 20's. My ex, The Devil (no, really, he is the devil), took Eeyore when we split up - not because he wanted Eeyore, but because he knew that was the one thing he could take that would really hurt me (I got him back, though. I burned his baseball cards in his driveway while he watched, horrified, from his deck. I even roasted a marshmallow over the little bonfire while I laughed. Don't even start with me about it. Looking back, I'm deeply ashamed of the way I behaved, but hell hath no fury, I guess).
So the only memento I have from an aunt that I adored (who died early in the Reagan administration, and who was one of the few bright spots in an otherwise completely miserable childhood) is that doll.
The Pink Princess wants the doll bad, and that was what she demanded in exchange for the basket.
I counter-offered with my entire collection of Bugs Bunny DVDs but she wouldn't budge.
"Sorry", I said. "You can't have her. She and I have history."
"But I want her!"
"Well, I want world peace and perky tits without having to have surgery, but that's not going to happen either."
"Then you can't have my basket."
"Fine. I'll go buy one."
I could tell from the look on her face that The Pink Princess hadn't thought of that one.
"Well, that's what you get for being inflexible" is what her mom said as I said my goodbyes after dinner and kicked at the tumbleweeds on the side of the road as I marched towards my car, empty-handed, wondering about the location of the nearest "Toys R Us".
Hey, sparkle glue and handlebar baskets are still cheap and plentiful, aren't they? 'Cause I haven't got a sewing machine.
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