Monday, October 09, 2006

downward facing spiral

Over the weekend The Hater and I went to see a movie. While in line waiting to purchase the tickets we noticed a young girl standing next to the ticket window with a group of pepole. She was maybe 11 or 12 years old and was sucking her thumb while holding a baby doll that was draped in a baby blanket.

We were disturbed.

Upon further thought, I asked The Hater what disturbed him more:
A. the pre-teen sucking her thumb to the hilt
B. the pre-teen holding a plastic baby
C. the pre-teen making sure the plastic baby was draped in a blanket
D. the pre-teen holding said baby and sucking her thumb to the hilt at the same time
His answer was D. But he was also disturbed that nobody had reinforced that thumb-sucking was something she should have quit doing ten years ago.

I was distubed that she was not only holding the doll, but she was also rocking back and forth with it, patting its back, and keeping the blanket over its shoulders. Why would a pre-teen carry a doll to the movies anyway? This doll appeared to be a well-loved treasure, not something new that you'd think she was proud to take out and display to the masses at the mall. And why was she coddling it?

We obviously didn't stop her and ask her these questions. We didn't even ask the adults with her. But we asked each other.

We wondered if she felt loved. We wondered if she thought that if she had a baby, someone would have to love her and depend on her. We wondered if the people who failed to teach her not to suck her thumb had picked up the slack and taught her, instead, that she was loved. That she could be successful. That the future was hers, and there would be time for babies later.

But we didn't actually ask them. Instead we stood back and made our own assumptions, painted our own story to justify the scene that truly disturbed us. We stood back and wondered if our visions really illustrated a torrential cycle ... or one of the many random pre-teen phases ... or something that had no deeper meaning at all.


Vol Abroad said...

Hmmm... well, at least it wasn't a real baby.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps being so close to the events the parents do not see the signs as you did. Obviously something is out of kilter here, but it may be something more than the parents can handle without help.

Sadly there are numerous persons who suck their thumbs after childhood, others eat or drink too much. All of us are human, some of us just show it more than others.

JILFIMBOLFO said... let's see......a pre-teenager (or possibly a real teenager), coupled with unusual behavior.......and this seemed strange to you..??

LV7 said...

I would've guessed it was the parents saying "if you're gonna act like a baby.. fine. here's your doll, you have to hold her and be a baby for the rest of the day." :)

Anonymous said...

Maybe the kid has a developmental delay? Just because she didn't have any obvious physical problems doesn't mean that everything else was ok.

genderist said...

I find it hard to believe that of all the posts I've written in the past couple of months, this is the one that's gotten comments.

Vol Abroad said...

goes to show you, you never can tell

bill said...

This is not a comment

It gets comments because its an edgy topic with disturbing possibilities. Which is why certain broadcast networks do so well.

That was not a comment

Personally, I agree with Anonymous. If I had to make a guess as to why, that'd be it.

Could have been worse. Could have been a George Bush (Pull the cord and hear Cheney speak!) doll.