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A Doll's Life
It was a Christmas morning the day Linda Calgary got her first doll. In the winter of 1886, little Linda pushed her wool mittens against the frosted glass case where her round and bright brown eyes admired the lovely miniature figurine of a girl who looked exactly like herself. She bore thick curls as brown as chocolate, and eyes that shone just like Linda’s as she eagerly stared at the doll. She even had a similar dress jacket on; one that was a forest green with low pockets and a fake fur trim. Linda knew that she must have this doll. They were simply too alike to not be together.
Then came the fateful Christmas morning that Linda received the exquisite doll. She saw the large rectangular box under the Christmas tree and immediately knew what it was. Linda opened this present faster than any other present she opened. Her heart jumped with glee upon looking at the doll, which was finally hers. They truly were meant to be together.
“Her name is Landi!” young Linda proclaimed to her mother and father while holding the doll above her head. “She shall have a name just like mine, but different! And we will go on lots and lots of adventures, her and I!”
And so they did go on many adventures together. Landi was just like Linda, and more. Landi was everything Linda wanted to be. She was smart, she was beautiful, she was gifted infinite grace and wisdom, and a wit that could make anyone laugh. Landi was endlessly talented and quick to learn, and always was able to go on incredible journeys around the world with the virtues she possessed. Everyone loved Landi. She was perfect. She could do anything. And with each year Linda grew up with Landi and her amazing adventures, Linda wished she could, too, be just like Landi. After all, they were pretty alike in the first place. How could it be so hard?
But one day Linda was at school, something went terribly wrong. She was twelve years old, and did not play with Landi all that much anymore. Children who went to private schools just like her did not play with toys. They read books and talked about politics, just like the grown ups did.
But even then, Landi still had left an impact on Linda’s heart that she carried with her wherever she went. She tried to act the way Landi would have. She would laugh the way Landi might have sounded, and sit at her desk the way she imagined Landi would have. Linda had the smallest hope in her heart that grew with each passing day. She hoped that, if she tried to be just like Landi hard enough, that eventually she could have the dream life that her childhood doll had lived out during their playtime dates. “Is this such a horrible thing to ask for?” Linda would assure herself.
But there came the time when Linda noticed someone who looked just like Landi. She was an absolute beauty; raven haired and slim, with such radiant eyes that Linda didn’t understand was enhanced by makeup at the time. Her face broke into perfect smiles that was shown across the country a hundred times a day in the cinema theater. Linda looked at herself. Her hair looked mousey and insignificant. Her face, how plain! And not much of a smile, either. Linda felt awful. Why wasn’t she as pretty as Landi? Why didn’t she look as good as everyone else? “I thought that this was what was supposed to happen for me,” she thought to herself. “I thought that I was supposed to be pretty already.” She cried to her mother for new clothes that would perhaps enhance her appearance more than her old ones, and after many upset pleas she was given them. The clothes looked ever so dashing on the mannequins, and Linda finally felt that she did not have to worry about her lacking of looks as she put on various gaudy hats and fancy dresses. “This is how it was supposed to be for me.” she thought contently to herself.
Linda had grown up a few more years and was well-known among her peers for her showy outfits, and many considered her to be very pretty indeed. Pretty, but shy. Linda did not have too many friends at all. She only had a few that she considered to be her friends, and even then only a couple of them knew her well enough to call themselves her best friend. Linda was fine with this for a while. But this did not last for very long, when Linda was invited to a party by one of her classmates. She did not know the girl very well, but she felt forced to go to the party. Her mother said she needed to make more friends and be more social. “You’re an absolute clam! You need to be more well rounded socially!”
Linda felt so alone at the party. She was never more embarrassed in her whole life. She knew absolutely no one at the party. None of her friends were invited, so she had no one to talk to with making small talk or feeling out of the loop. “Why must I be like this?” she moaned silently to herself as she sat in the back chair. Her thoughts went to Landi. Her own doll had more friends than her. “Why can I not have more friends like her? Why must the number of my friends be countable on my fingertips?” Later that week, Linda went to school and went around trying to make friends. Even if not all of them were nice to her, she felt that it was better than having so few friends like before. “This is how it is supposed to be.”
And one day Linda fell in love and got married to a very kind and fairly well to do man. He had a stable job and Linda’s family insisted that he could take care of her for the rest of her life. She would be living a content life with him, they told her time and time again. Linda knew this, she knew that this was destined to alkdjflkasd, but she hoped with her youthful heart that there would be a bigger journey that would happen with her and her love. “Isn’t that what happens in all the love stories?” Linda asked her husband, to which he responded with a smile and said, “Everyone’s story is different.”
Linda’s life was altered yet again with one book one day as she sat out on the patio outside of her home. She was sitting in a chair as she was reading a novel that a few of her many friends had recommended to her. It was a great novel, a wonderful story about the adventures of a teenaged girl who was smart and traveled the world. Linda was instantly reminded of the adventures she had with Landi when she was just a small child. She remembers saying to herself that she will go on these adventures. She would travel the world and meet important people. She would have solved mysteries and been talked about on newspapers. “What happened to that?” Linda wondered, her heart sinking as low as the ground with each passing page of the book. Linda wasn’t an adventurist. She was a housewife. She sat home and dusted the cabinets and gave her husband his slippers when he came home. “This was not the kind of life Landi would have had.” She thought to herself, and slowly put down the book onto the table. She stared off into the tiny neighborhood. It was small and condensed. Never destined to go anywhere. “Is this how I will be for the rest of my life?”
When Linda’s husband came home she could do nothing but run to him in absolute tears over her trailing thoughts. She felt so helpless. She cried that her life was useless and meaningless. “I suppose that I’m supposed to go through life without doing anything at all, am I?” she wailed to her husband.
Her husband stroked her hair and kissed her forehead. “Sit down,” he said softly, pulling out a chair in the kitchen. “Sit down, my dear. Your life is not useless. You have a purpose in your life. Why limit your life to the greatness that women have already achieved in stories and books? Why not invent your own greatness? I know you are capable of doing so much. I wanted to marry you so that I can see you achieve these things. I wanted to see what sort of adventures you could create for yourself. Find something to do with your life, Linda. There’s so much you can do.”
It was then that Linda knew what she wanted to do with her life. It was the perfect sort of adventure for her. It was a very hard adventure, an adventure where she would travel and meet important people. She would get to solve mysteries and be publicized in newpapers constantly. She may get in trouble, and she may get hurt, but it was for a great cause. Linda became part of the National Women’s Party in 1913, and fought alongside with other women for their right to vote. Linda was there during the picket rallies in front of the White House. Linda was there when they performed acts of civil disobedience. She was there for the passing of the woman’s suffrage amendment, and was there when women finally began winning. She was there to cheer on when the constitution finally granted women’s right to vote in the United States of America.
And this was one thing that Landi could have never done.