While we were in NYC, my homegurl purchased a Middleton Doll from FAO Schwarz. She had the doll out of the box and on her hip before the cashier swiped my debit card. I wanted to tuck my girl and her doll back into the box, keeping the two from ever leaving girlhood. Her doll days are numbered, and I cry every time I count how few are left.
We trucked Magnolia (fondly named after the cupcake bakery) up and down the streets of Manhattan. Droves of women approached and said things like: "Is that a real baby? I thought that was a real baby. Where'd you get that baby? I want a baby like that." They touched, squeezed, and cooed all over her doll, and I was reminded that a love for babies, real or not, is universal.
Out of all of Magnolia's admirers, Miss V., a sales associate in Bloomingdale's preteen department, was her biggest fan. She caught my homegurl and Magnolia on her doll radar, and we scanned Miss V., from head to toe as she marched over to where we were standing. She was wearing white Easy Spirits with tan pantyhose, a black polyester suit with a pressed, white-collared blouse. Her hair was as silver as the name badge she had neatly pinned to her lapel. Her face was wrinkly, and her eyelids hung heavy above her bluish eyes. Her breath brushed our bangs as she began speaking:
"What an adorable baby. I thought that was a real baby. Get a load of that baby. By golly, that's just a doll. Can I hold her?"
My homegurl graciously handed over the doll, and Miss V. pulled the doll to her chest, rocking her back and forth. We watched her, taking in another look at that woman: no make-up, no earrings, clean finger nails. She spoke again: "What's her name?"
"Magnolia." We answered, looking at Miss V's lips this time.
And that's when we noticed the full mustache and beard that was covering her upper lip and lower chin. The coarse white and gray hair blended into her pale skin, but heaven's to Betsy, her facial hair was thicker than a Coir Fiber doormat. Bless her heart, I wanted to say something to sweet Miss V. ,offer a complimentary wax, trim, or bleach (This beauty school drop-out can handle facial hair removal.)
We didn't offer her any help. Instead, while we were in the Bloomingdale's elevator, we talked trash on Miss V. (behind her back). It wasn't nice and I've since repented, telling my homegurl that when we have a friend, and that friend has a booger hanging from her nose, or a piece of broccoli stuck between her teeth, or muffin crumbs scattered on her face, or lipstick smeared on her teeth: It's our job to tell her. That's what friends are for.
We're sorry, Miss V.!
P.S. If you want to duplicate Miss V's facial hair look, just take the old hair from your dirty hair brush and Scotch Tape it to your face.