Modern dolls are new to my collection, and in a way they get the short stick. My historical dolls tend to have really elaborate (sometimes even written!) stories, all sorts of detail figured out about who they are. The modern girls, not so much. I haven’t wanted to force myself to over-define them when really I just enjoy learning bits and pieces about them over time.
For instance, I thought Margo was the oldest, but she’s actually the youngest of three -she’s got an older brother and sister. I thought she was super into science, but actually I think she likes ice skating and I don’t know what else! I’m thinking maybe she’s a writer and into theater, but I can’t say for sure yet.
Margo’s father is Japanese and her mother is European-ancestry American. They lived in Japan until Margo was about five and then moved to Boston. Sometimes she’s frustrated because she doesn’t feel Japanese enough or American enough, but like she’s somewhere in between. Her siblings are both quite a bit older than her.
Margo likes ice skating but doesn’t think she’d want to make a career out of it. She also plays volleyball and is part of her school’s drama club. She loves calling the shots and being right in the middle of things, but then hits her limit and wants nothing more than to curl up with a good book at home. She’s funny and clever and in general pretty even-keeled, but that doesn’t mean she can’t ever get fired up! I don’t think she’s as ambitiously type-A as Lenore; more casually responsible, relaxed but still mindful of the proper way to do things.
And that’s all I’ve got on Margo so far! Some of that might even change, who knows! But I do know that she’s a gorgeous doll. A Jess in her former life, I lucked out winning this girl on eBay when I didn’t think a buy it now would possibly get accepted. It did! She’s even prettier than I expected. Still a few marks to get off her arms and legs, though I’ve gotten rid of most of it now and cleaned her up rather nicely. You’ll notice I braved taking a doll in public, down to the park around the corner, to take pictures. But the sun was all wrong, it was very cold out, and I had my son, so I couldn’t really get shots set up the way I wanted them. I’d say these are more just for fun, rather than putting that photography degree to any use whatsoever. But to be honest, I weirdly don’t have much interest in exploring much photography with my dolls. Weird.
Japan has popped up throughout my life, though because my husband is Korean, I’m in general much more drawn to that culture. My uncle’s family live in Japan for a while, and my brother has traveled there several times. When I was a little girl, my mom worked iwth some Japanese men who would come to our house for dinner when they visited the U.S. and I’d learned a bit of Japanese to be able to impress them. They were so impressed they sent me a real Japanese Tamagotchi, haha! I think I spent too much time reading about Japanese atrocities throughout history, and it soured me on the country. My husband is fascinated by Japan though, and he and Margo are helping me relearn all the beautiful things about Japanese culture. Not in a way that erases the bad, but that serves as a reminder that countries and history are complicated.
The kimono is so pretty I never want to take it off! I’m excited to learn more about Japan with Margo’s help. My husband has been wanting to visit for ages, so we’ll probably go within the next few years. Maybe Margo will get to sneak along!
Happy birthday, Margo! Maybe by this time next year, I’ll know more about you!