Who would’ve thought I was a child in love with a sex symbol? In all fairness, I didn’t know Betty Boop was considered an “object of sexuality”. The Betty Boop I adored was an antique wooden doll. This doll, or maybe it was simply hearing my mother talk of this doll, linked me to the little girl my mother once was.
My mother kept the cracked and chipped wooden Betty swaddled in the protective layer of a towel and tucked in her bottom drawer of clothes. I often opened the drawer and carefully removed Betty. I’d cradle her and think of the story my mother had told me many, many times…the story of how Betty Boop became her very first ( and possibly her only) doll.
My mother had lost her own mother when she was about two and a half. At the age of five my mother became quite ill with pneumonia. Her next door neighbors were Dr. and Mrs. Horsley. Mrs. Horsley nursed my mother back to health. My mother recalls her spoon feeding her bread dipped in warm sweet milk. During this time, Mrs. Horsley gave her the Betty Boop doll. My mother, in turn, took superb care of Betty Boop. My mother is now seventy-eight which makes this doll seventy-three. I wonder if Mrs. Horsley ever had any idea of the incredible timeless value of her gifting that doll to my mother.
Anyway, I have always secretly looked at Betty Boop commercial items without ever purchasing anything until this year. I bought myself a Christmas ornament. A week later a friend gave me a different Betty Boop ornament. Now, I want a coffee cup…No, I am not turning into a Betty Boop collector! Still, Betty Boop warms my heart.
In case you’re wondering, Betty Boop is still safe. She is tucked away at my sister’s house. My mom had four daughters and wasn’t sure which one to hand Betty over to. I thought it was an easy decision, though two of my sisters didn’t agree. Only one of us four sisters had daughters, so this is where Betty now resides…that is, until this sister decides which of her three daughters will receive Betty.