On Christmas morning I ran into the kitchen where Daddy had put up a balsam tree. And there stood my new bride doll! I could see her, dressed all in white, under the tree.
I reached for her, being careful not to crush her satin gown. But when I picked her up her body felt soft, and crumpled over just like my old baby doll used to. Looking closer, I saw she had on a baby’s bonnet, not a bridal veil, and her long, white dress was just a nightgown.
Her face had painted lips, and spots of rouge on her cheeks, but it was plump and round, and her eyes didn’t close. Then I saw where her arm had been sewn back on and I flung her into the corner and ran back to bed, crying so hard I couldn’t stop.
Daddy came in. “Sugar, we told you Santy prob’ly couldn’t bring you a bride doll.” When I kept crying, he left.
After a while Mama came in. “You need to be grateful for what you have, honey. The Bible tells us to think about others, not ourselves. That’s especially so right now, when people are even worse off than us in this war. They’re hungry an’ dying. Sometimes we just have to ‘make do,’ make the best of things. You’ll understand better when you’re older.”
I hated hearing that. Anyway, I had a feeling it was not Santa Claus’s fault but my parents’, because I knew that Mama, not Santa, had fixed up my old doll. Might there really be no Santa Claus after all, like mean ole Eb was always telling me?
Something was missing, I could see. My face and blonde hair were too pale against all the glitter. I needed some lipstick. I wasn’t allowed to wear it to play dress-up, but I knew it would add just the right touch.
I took off my high heels because I had to get the lipstick off Mama’s dressing table. Choosing the color was hard, but finally I applied a thick coat of ‘Cherries In The Snow,’ then smacked my lips together.
That was better. Back in the closet I put on the shoes again and, holding on to the mirror, took a good look at myself. Oh, yes. The lipstick matched the red shoes, and the tiara matched my necklace. I was gorgeous.
When Hannah Montana sang ‘… you ain’t seen nothin’ yet … Aw Yeah! …’ I pursed big lips and blew myself a kiss, just like she would have done.