The Deal with the Doll


Morgan and I drove home from Texas with this doll in the back seat.
She insisted on buckling the doll in.

When Morgan was a baby, my mother–who adored Morgan, her one and only granddaughter among many grandsons–had this doll commissioned. A photograph of Morgan was used to sculpt the doll’s porcelain face, and the doll is wearing one of Morgan’s baby dresses, plus her socks and shoes, her hair ribbon. Everything. It’s the Morgan doll.

When my mother told me about this plan, I said, oh…. That’s nice! Honestly, I thought it was a strange idea. But then it reminded me of the life-size painting of my dead brother (who died on the tractor, see how everything comes back to the tractor?!). Now we have a life-size baby Morgan. I know, I know, actually it was a very sweet thing for my mother to want to do and expressive of her love for Morgan. But. I never did think the doll’s face looked like Morgan, and it also reminded me of, like, stuffing a dead pet. Okay, it wasn’t REALLY a stuffed Morgan. But see? So many ways this weirded me out.

But I never said anything about it. Just tried to not really look at the doll whenever I was at my mother’s house.

Three years ago, my mother passed away. This summer, my dad told Morgan it was time for her to take the doll. Morgan and I have never really discussed the doll, and when she put the doll in the car and buckled her in, I thought, great, I’m glad Morgan gets to take the doll home.

You know, for her.

Then Morgan told me that she didn’t really like the doll, that it creeped her out. It was like a mini-Morgan! And she didn’t want it! It was the center of a lot of arguing and hysterical laughing on the way home from Texas. WHO had to take the doll? Morgan insisted I should have it. I insisted she should have it. The doll reminded me of the clown that was left in the field on my farm after the family of Betty Quick came to scatter her ashes by the gas well that she drilled. I imagined her family sitting around her house with what must have been Betty’s beloved clown music box. “You take the clown.” “No, YOU take the clown.” “No, YOU TAKE IT!” Nobody wanted the creepy clown, but Betty loved it so. Then they came up with the idea of leaving the clown on my farm as a tribute to Betty. Worked for them, but that creepy clown music box is still in my pasture.

That’s the way it is with the doll. My mother loved the doll. We loved my mother. But neither of us want the doll! Yet we have to keep the doll because my mother loved it and we loved my mother. And we can’t put it out in the field.

We got home and the doll ended up on the dining room table with this sign.
The doll gets around. She’s been in Morgan’s closet. My closet. Behind the shower curtain in the bathroom. At the foot of my bed. Under Morgan’s covers. And so on. The doll moves as we both try to give the doll to each other.

At least the doll has been a source of entertainment.

And you know, I think my mother would laugh.

And most likely, I’ll die before Morgan since I’m older, so I’m pretty sure I’m gonna win. Eventually. I’m not sure where the doll is right now. PROBABLY RIGHT BEHIND ME.

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Posted by Suzanne McMinn on August 12, 2013  

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26 Responses | RSS feed for comments on this post

  1. 8-12

    If I pulled back the shower curtain and that doll was looking back at me, I think I would probably wet myself! :shocked:

    Maybe you could box it up carefully and store it in an attic or basement or someplace out of sight. You’ll still have it, but you wouldn’t have to be creeped out by seeing it every day.

  2. 8-12

    Whatever you decide, please place her in a glass case. I have a “Kling” doll, which was brought from Norway in 1904. She, by the time I got her, was in sad, sad shape. Even the hand sewn clothes had to be carefully cleaned. The body is perfect, but the hair needed a lot of work. I do not like the doll. But she resides now in a glass case. I kept her partially because of her history. She originally belonged to one of the Norwegian royal family. My great, great (maybe more) grandmother was a “sempstress” for the family. When the child no longer wanted the doll, it was given to my rellie. So, someday may Morgan’s children will treasure this doll.

  3. 8-12

    Sometimes I am in a hurry and just read and don’t take it all in…wildcat, your comment woke me up and made me laugh HARD! A couple of years ago I found a doll arm on a “haunted” beach island in CT. My nephew made me promise I threw it away (anything taken off the island was spose to carry spirits of the dead) but I left it at the bottom of my bucket under some rocks and shells. Hearing a 16 yr old boy scream as he was about to go to bed that night was hysterical, I had put it under his covers. My humor is a bit twisted I think, but that was o so fun! BTW I think that doll is cute. :devil2:

  4. 8-12

    Hysterical! :lol: I am laughing as I imagine you too arguing along the road; and then sneaking around the house scaring each other with it! Too funny!

    Save it to give it to Morgan’s daughter some day. :yes:

  5. 8-12

    Don’t be so sure you’ll “win” if you die first. She might just bury the doll with you…

  6. 8-12

    Oh.My.Goodness. You have me laughing out loud!!!

  7. 8-12

    Dun dun dun dut dut dun dun – Dun dun dun dut dut dun dun –

    I always feel like somebody’s watching me…
    And I have no privacy oh o oh!
    I always feel like somebody’s watching me…
    who’s playing tricks on me?

    I always feel like somebody’s watching me!

    Dun dun dun dut dut dun dun – Dun dun dun dut dut dun dun –

  8. 8-12

    Too funny! (and I agree, the doll is creepy)

    Morgan will go to WVU right? You can have Weston plant it in her dorm room.

  9. 8-12

    Way too funny!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. 8-12

    And what happened to the clowns? Are they still at the well?

  11. 8-12

    I really understand the “creep” factor. I have a beautiful, handcrafted soft doll that my sister made to resemble my son. The face is embroidered on and his hair is his real red hair saved from his haircuts as a little boy. It is a little creepy. I have the doll stored away to give his wife someday. I agree with lattelady, you could put her away in a case, out of sight. This way she will be carefully preserved for future generations, who might really appreciate the family history.

  12. 8-12

    How about you donate the doll in the name of the farm to some charity auction? Or have a craft or recipe challenge contest like the craft ladies do on youtube and give the doll away as the prize.

  13. 8-12

    I think all of us have held on to a gift because we loved the giver more than the gift. Perhaps the previous suggestion to pack the doll away for future generations is a good idea. Out of sight but not discarded. I was fortunate that a “My Twinn” doll given to my niece many years ago was something she loved and played with often. The doll looked enough like her for her to have fun, but not so much that it made her feel uncomfortable.

  14. 8-12

    Ha, I think you have the makings of a science fiction thriller here. Now when you find it somewhere new and both of you swear you did not move it, look out. :o Kate and I have a small black rubber rat that we hide around back and forth in each other’s places or things. Can be startling at times, but I think not as creepy as your life-like doll. :D

  15. 8-12

    I would take it off the doll stand and remove all the clothes and accidentally push it off the table. Maia or the pups are hopefully wanting a new chew toy. :moo:

  16. 8-12

    LOVE the doll story! Most families have one; ours concerned a troll made of lead and weighed 13 lbs., but that was my story . . .

    Time to let the doll go. I can hear her yelling here in Bend. Put her in a box and donate her to Salvation Army or Goodwill, and make some other child/family happy. Like the troll, the doll’s creepiness exists only within your family. She WILL find happiness somewhere else, and give a lot of happiness, too. I know our troll did.

    Far better than moldering away in a box in the attic, no?

  17. 8-12

    Oh no, not in the shower…she mustn’t get wet! and Don’t feed her after midnight

  18. 8-12

    Definitely let the twins play with it…or not.

  19. 8-13

    I’m with you: there IS something creepy about that doll.

  20. 8-13

    I’m helping to produce a horror film just now. So I can’t help but think there’s a plot here — at least for a short.

    I like the glass case idea. In my plot, the doll starts out in the glass case. But then things start mysteriously dying around the farm. First it’s animals, but then people. Someone notices that the glass case is askew. There’s blood on the doll’s hands. It’s the blood of a victim.

    Now one can choose to go either 1) it really is the doll (horror), or 2) it’s the crazy mom using the doll as a patsy (mystery).

    Well, maybe it’s a little too much like “Chucky”.

    Anyway still having oddities when trying to comment. I had to visit several different threads before this one opened the comment box for me.

    OH NO! IT’S THE DOLL!!!!!

  21. 8-13

    Oh that doll is creepy!!! lol. My daughter was never one to play with dolls. At my mil’s house she had a doll that she had sitting on a chair. It was child sized, dirty, and creepy looking. Ash would cover it up ever time she went over there! Because she hated looking at it. lol. The doll found a new home once Grandma passed away. No one liked her or wanted her. lol.

    I would talk it over with Morgan and figure out what to do with the doll. Yes packing her up and saving her would be nice. But if Morgan does not like her and it creeps her out then consider finding it a new home. Or give it to the twins! Tell them the story of how it came to be and that now baby auntie Morgan is watching over them. :)

  22. 8-13

    Crazy fun – nothing like it can compare.
    Good to know other families do this kind of thing.
    There will be great stories to share with Morgan’s children down the line.

  23. 8-13

    My sister, who has just to opposite taste as me, bought me a ceramic parrot for Christmas. It was SO ugly that I wrapped it up as a prize the following year for our “Gift trade off party”. When someone opened that parrot, my sister was SO mad! So behind my back she had the owner of the ugly parrot place it back into the party the following year. Now, 10 years later, that damned parrot shows-up every Christmas! They never let me have it (even if I’ve traded for it) because they know I’ll “accidentally” break it, so someone always trades whatever they have for it just to keep the thing alive. I’m not sure how many more years I’ll have to see that thing…

  24. 8-13

    Put the doll in the shower with a knife in her hand… LOL Yeah, I know I have a sick sense of humor.

    The memories you are making with this doll is something that will stay with Morgan forever- You’re a great mom and Morgan is an amazing young woman.

    Have fun with mini-Morgan

  25. 8-14

    Good Grief!! It is like a Chuckie thing!

  26. 8-15

    Dolls and clowns are two of the creepiest things on the face of this earth. Clowns dolls? Ewww! Don’t get me started!

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