I hate Holly Hobbie. Mainly from years of my mother shoving the bonnetted, hidden-faced bitch down my throat. I suspect it was in an effort to make me a girl. I’m sure by this time in my life’s chronology my father was already pressing my mother to tell him whether or not I was a four year old lesbian or if I had a malformed, stringy dick somewhere in the ruffled girl panties they made me wear. When I wasn’t stuffing them with racquetballs and socks, I didn’t have one. At any rate, for this information, he had pressed her every year, until he finally ran off with one of his hairy-chested woman fuck buddies. Now, interestingly, my parents don’t speak. So he asks me instead.
In “better” days, I got toys like any spoiled American brat. Nothing that I wanted. Not a Stretch Armstrong. Not the Evel Knievel you’d rev up and watch zoom away on his motorcycle into a doorjamb. No Spock or Batman dolls. And definitely not the baby doll with the penis. I got dumb shit, like cardboard kitchen sets fully equipped with sponges. And Color Forms. Wait. Color Forms?
Holly Hobbie Color Forms. Damnit.
“Holly Hobbie! Show me your face!”, I’d scream to myself as I squashed her rubbery plastic cutouts with my fist onto some prairie scene with her bitch brother or lover. Whatever he was. Tommy Hobbie? Frank Hobbie? Hal Hobbie? Who knows? He was just another big hat wearing, no-faced prairie boy with no real name. Why didn’t he get a name? It must have been because he was in the shadow of Holly’s ginormous bonnet. It’s hard to get in the light when your sister slash childhood lover is hogging up all the sun.
The seventies was chock full of a weird obsession with the prairie. And brown. Everything…absolutely everything was brown with calico ugly prairie print. Gross. I guess it was something about getting back to those good ole days of when you could die from whooping cough.
And there was “The Waltons” and “Little House on the Prairie” in all their glorified wholesomeness, also brown. Holly conveyed that too, though accented with blue or pink, usually. I can just hear her voice muffled in the caverns of her hat.
“Stay a virgin. Believe in God, and consider memorizing ‘Footprints’”, she’d echo. Stuff like that.
While we were still a family, we were a military one, so we moved every year. My father got orders to go to Pensacola Florida for two years and my mother celebrated the “stability” by wallpapering my room with Holly Hobbie. Every night I laid there starring at Holly’s various profiles. I’d think to ask her questions about how something might turn out. Would I be hated forever? Would I ever get that Evel Knievel doll? But at those times, she had nothing to offer. In the dark, I could see the outline of my kitchenette set, as pristine as it was the day I got it. I was doomed to be a woman. How depressing.
My mom lost her shit on the end of her marriage. We went from a household that dusted everyday, including getting into the tiny nooks and hulls of the decorative explorer ships, Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria to a house that was filled with nothing but dog filth. Puppies smell like macaroni to me. Irish Wolfhounds. Big, giant, boiled macaroni shells.
What’d Holly have to say about this? Not much. Hiding behind her gargantuan bonnet, the cunt never had anything good to recommend while I watched my mother fall apart. Nothing but silence.
I hate Holly Hobbie. I could only wonder what silent figure my mother was listening to. Probably God.