This is David John Anderton. I got him when I was about 8 years old. I might have been 9. I remember saving my allowance for a long time, and I remember really wanting a Preemie, because I wanted a baby, and I knew the ones with long hair and pet dogs and ponies were NOT babies. I lived in Key West at the time, and I can’t remember the name of the department store where we went often. An entire aisle was reserved for Cabbage Patch Kids. My friend Kathy Bruening had something like 8 or 9 of them, an assortment of Preemies and older ones, AND she had a pony or two. At that age I knew better than to wish I had as much as her; I knew her dad was a chief in the Navy and made more than my dad, who was only a first class. E-5, I think is the designation. So Dad parsed out to me a weekly allowance that I stowed away in a special place to accrue. I knew this Cabbage Patch doll was going to mean a lot.
I wanted an all-out Preemie, one with no hair whatsoever. I remember as we passed through that aisle I saw the one I wanted with the perfectly bald head. However, when I finally saved enough money to afford one, the money was already burning a serious hole in my pocket, and my parents took me to the department store. I could have waited, I suppose, but I did not want to take the chance of all of the dolls being sold out forever. I hoped and prayed that my Preemie Cabbage Patch was still there.
Alas, he was not. I wanted a brown-eyed boy because I had brown eyes. But all those were sold out, and not a lot of Preemies had been stocked that day. So, I pretty much had my choice of the coiffed, full-grown dolls or the Aryan Preemies. I knew I still wanted a Preemie. I was 5 pounds, 4 ounces when I was born, and I wanted someone little like me, so that’s what I got.
He’s still in good condition. I mean, he’s 23 years old, and he’s moved several times, and I’m sure Frank got a hold of him a few times while we were growing up. In fact, David John was best friends with my brother’s teddy bear, Allen. I hope Frank still has Allen.
The first time I changed David’s diaper, the fastening tape got stuck on the plastic of the diaper, so I ripped the diaper, and I couldn’t replace the tape, and Frank was out of diapers by that time. (My parents potty-trained early.) And I wasn’t about to ask my parents to buy diapers for my UNALIVE doll. So David doesn’t have a diaper.
I TRIMMED MY NON-DEAD doll’s hair regularly. The hair is made out of regular braided yarn, so I would unbraid the yarn and brush it, and if the yarn frayed, I would trim off the strays and give him a nice, clean cut. I’d shape his hair to make it stand straight up, and I would cut it straight across to make it look like a military cut.
He went to sleep with me, and I’d give him kisses good night. From my bedroom window, we watched the neighborhood: kids playing, cars pulling in and out of the parking lot. We got to watch that one hurricane back in 1985? Something like that.
He came with me to BYU. I figured I would need the company and someone to talk to. And having him around would be closest thing to co-ed living I’d experience at that time. Are you believing any of this paragraph? I did NOT still talk to my doll when I was 18 years old. But he did still have sentimental value. Of course I took him along, because it was like having a part of home with me 2,000 miles away from my family and best friends.
If I could still fit into my clothes from 23 years ago, I’d probably still have them. Some may say keeping David isn’t all that practical. I disagree: he sure holds a lot of memories. And, he sure does make a great profile pic.
For the past few years, he was in storage. Then Mom sent him to me a little while back. I can’t even think of throwing him away.