In 4th grade, my mother got me a fake Cabbage Patch Kid. I didn’t want it. I didn’t want a doll. She made me take it to show and tell. I begged her not to. I wanted to take my new Space Shuttle picture. She said no, take the doll. I walked to the bus stop with the damn thing under my arm. The other kids were relentless. I was called fag and spit at. Someone said they were going to steal the doll. I sarcastically said “Oh no, please don’t do that.” No one stole it from me. I was stuck with my dolly.
It was too big to fit in my desk. I had to keep it out in plain view of everyone. The teasing never let up. I got up for show and tell. I said “This is my doll. I hate it.” I threw it down and walked away. The teacher made me pick it up and go back to my desk. The rest of the school year I was greeted with taunts of “Verne plays with dolls.” None of the boys would play with me after that.
The new school year started. The first thing I heard was “Hey Verne, where’s your baby doll?” 5th grade was not off to a great start.