Hello Mary Lou!
When I was about five or six years old my favourite doll was named Mary Lou. She had real hair--long blond hair--with real barrettes. I loved dressing her up and combing her hair into different styles. That year for my birthday my mother made Mary Lou a complete wardrobe, along with her own closet from an oil-cloth-covered fruit crate and little coat hangers from bent wire. Mary Lou was probably a teenager, but this was long before Barbie and her sexy shape. Mary Lou was one of a kind.
I don't know when Mary Lou actually disappeared from my life. I got older and I guess we passed her and her extensive wardrobe to a younger girl.
But I do remember her so fondly. I see girls playing with Barbie and I think how my Mary Lou was so much better. After all she came with all my mother's focused attention and imbued love.
Waiting for my bus the other day I think I found Mary Lou again in this store window. Like me, she's thicker around the middle and her hair's shorter. But look at her smile. She's got a snazzy dress and fuzzy puppy slippers. Credence Clearwater said it: I knew Mary Lou, we'd never part, so hello Mary Lou. Goodbye heart.