Winter evenings were the perfect time to get my box full of paper dolls out and play with them. It was fun dressing them in their many different outfits and pretend they were real. I would make them go on picnics and fine places in cities. The possibilities that my imagination came up with were endless and I spent many happy hours thus occupied.
One evening cousins Emma and Esther came to play. I had my paper dolls spread out and was in quite another era when they came. They oohed and aahed about my lovely dolls and then we spent all evening playing with them. It was even more fun than usual, until it was time for them to go home. They helped me put my dolls away and then Mom said. "Mary Ann, why don't you divide the paper dolls and send some of them home with Emma and Esther?"
I looked at Mom, horrified at the very thought of having to part with some of my paper dolls. I loved each one and was sure I needed all of them to be able to play with them properly.
Mom was serious about sharing. I agonized over each doll but finally I chose half of them to send home with them, and gently put my half in my dresser drawer.
I have no idea if Emma and Esther played with their paper dolls but I could no longer enjoy mine. When ever I got the box out to play with them I missed the ones that were no longer there and so I would just put them away again.
I found my half of the dolls last week. They are still as pretty as when I used to play with them and after all these years I still miss the six I gave away.