When I was in second grade, I would constantly get in trouble.
Not for talking in class.
Not for passing notes.
Not for any of the usual misdemeanors perpetrated by second graders.
I got in trouble for having a messy desk.
Not the outside – the inside.
And the reason my desk was always chaos on the inside?
Not the ones you got in the store. I had plenty of those, but they stayed at home where they belonged.
I had figured out how to make my own paper doll and was obsessed with making paper clothes for her.
My desk constantly overflowed with my creations.
No sooner was I forced to clear out my desk, than it would fill up again with a new doll and her clothing.
I didn’t even really “play” with the doll and clothes.
I simply kept making new clothes for her to try on.
After that, I graduated from making paper dolls to simply drawing figures of girls, teens, women and dressing them as I saw fit.
Pages and pages of these drawings. About three to a row, nine to a side of paper.
I’d choose a body type, and that was what I would work with until the next time.
And when I hit high school, I made paper dolls for Peggy, Kay and Natalie (and of course myself) – my “gang” in American civics class (or whatever the fuck it was called).
Clearly, I should have been a fashion designer or some sort.
My first job was in a fat ladies’ clothing store.
Well, actually, my first job was making commercials for this fat ladies’ clothing store and they paid me in clothes.
My fascination with clothes continues (as my stuffed closet will attest).
I no longer draw pages of female figures to clothe.
Now I make my Willendorables – shrinky-dink fat ladies, based on the Venus of Willendorf, dressed as characters generally thought to only be thin.
And of course, my Dikke Dame (fat lady) dolls.
I note that my obsession started right about the time I realized that I could not wear the same clothes as the other girls in my class – my choices were limited to the “chubby” section.
Would I have been as obsessed if I had as many clothing choices as my not-fat peers?
We’ll never know.