It's My Time for Michelle Paper Dolls

It’s time for me to get the Michelle Obama paper dolls. I’ve been waiting 45 years to get to the top of the seniority list to put paper clothes on a First Lady and, by god, I think this might be my year.

When I was really small, my dad used to go on trips for work and bring us back stuff. One time he brought my sister Pam a Chinese doll that was made of fabric and was stuffed solid and covered in layer after layer of beautiful, colorful Chinese silky and satiny fabrics. I thought he had gone to China.

He was a machinist and actually went to Louisville, Kentucky. (My first clue should have been what he brought my sister Reenie - a scarf with horses and the word KENTUCKY all over it.) I had no idea what my father did for a living and where he went on those trips. He either fixed machines or was a foreign diplomat. Whatever. He always found a gift shop and we got presents.

One trip, he brought home Jackie Kennedy and Caroline Kennedy paper dolls. They were ginormous, about the size of an American Girl doll, to better see the detail in Jackie’s sparkly black hair.

I was at the start of a 30-year-long Jackie Kennedy phase and was so enamored of her, I think I popped a vein when I saw that big black-haired head come out of the bag. Then I saw the giant Caroline come out right after her and I knew right away: Pam was going to get Jackie and I was getting stupid Caroline.

Caroline Kennedy was my age, so the paper doll was Caroline as a 5-year-old, with those Peter Pan collars and pleated skirts, white gloves, smocked Easter dress, and a little pedal-pusher-sun-top for romping around the Hyannis Port lawn on Sunday afternoons.

Jackie came with a rainbow variety of nubby suits with big buttons and matching pillbox hats, a white sparkly gown, and - if I recall - a horseback riding outfit with a riding crop.

I, of course, acted very happy with my Caroline paper doll. But I added this to my list of reasons why I was jealous of Pam, who also was the only one in our family who was allowed to grow her hair long.

But now that we’re all grown up and I’m old enough to go to Kentucky or China or wherever to buy my own First Family paper dolls, I think I need to buy a Michelle Obama paper doll.

I’ll dress her in the sleeveless dresses with the wide belts, the ruffly inaugural gown, the campaign trail black and beige mix and match outfits, and pearls.

Somebody else can have Malia and Sasha with their empire-waisted dresses, bows, matching coats, soccer uniforms and pedal pushers.

Maybe Pam would want them.

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