Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Sometimes I feel like the Misfit Doll on “Rudolph.” Don’t you?

I never know where my next thought is coming from. For the past few days, I have been pondering the Misfit Doll on the Island of Misfit Toys in the 1964 TV special Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Remember her? Unlike the other Misfit Toys, she didn’t have any outer flaw. The question of why she was on the Island of Misfit Toys in the first place has puzzled viewers for decades. Finally Arthur Rankin, of Rankin-Bass (producers of Rudolph), explained that Misfit Doll’s problem was psychological in nature. In other words, she was depressed because she was unwanted.

How sad. It makes me cry just thinking about it. Really.

I want to pick Misfit Doll up and be the friend she needs. I know what it is like to be unwanted, to be lonely, to not have “any dreams left to dream.” As a writer and graphic artist searching for work, I feel the sting of doors closing. I don’t know what I would have done if Two Dogs wasn’t here.

I try to feel better by imagining a happy life for the Misfit Doll after Rudolph. After the elf dropped her from Santa’s sleigh with the umbrella, she found a good home with a little girl who took care of her so well that she was passed down to two generations (so far), and was able to be reunited with her Misfit friends for this 2009 commercial:

I felt the need to search for a doll who looked just as gentle and kind and ready to love and be loved. Unfortunately, such dolls are hard to find in big-box stores. Because it was too late to obtain a real Mistfit Doll before Christmas, I chose this pretty purple octopus from Toys R Us. I will deliver her to a toy drive soon.

In the meantime, I suggest that you love and protect the misfit side of yourself. Imagine a safe place for her, perhaps a little yellow cottage with a vegetable garden and noodle trees around it.

Enesco/CVS "beanie" version of Misfit Doll (1998)

Give her a porch to watch the sun rise and the sun set, lots of books to read, and a fluffy bed to sleep in. Above all, let her know that she is wanted unconditionally. Be kind to the vulnerable pieces of yourself – don’t deny, ignore, or try to make them more acceptable to society. That is a key to happiness.

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