Dolls Cannot Choose


“Dolls cannot choose; they can only be chosen.” – Rumer Godden

As a child, I never played with dolls. This isn’t me bragging about how masculine I am. I imagine if my sisters were closer to my age, and they had dolls, I might have dabbled. The closest thing I had to dolls was electric football men. (Unless you’re old as Betty White’s hymen, you’ll need to Google that.) I painted those tiny men and added jersey numbers. Nothing I did to them honed any skills useful in my adult life. Women, conversely, often play with dolls and confuse flesh with plastic when they begin dating.

If you have ever told your man to never wear something around you, yes, I’m talking about you.

I react much like plastic Ken responds when the child scolds him. If I have a piece of clothing, hairstyle, or accessory that I like, I’ll wear it. In fact, if the doll-player remarks, this counter-motivates me. For example, I own a pair of quite comfortable and dare-I-say fashionable pair of jeans which happen to be coral. While not pink, coral is admittedly unusual. If I’m instructed by my master to never wear such, not only will I wear those jeans, I may cuff the bottoms and add penny loafers.

Like doll owners, I remark about others. The difference is, I have the decency to do so behind the doll’s back. I don’t approach Jeremy Up-Do with my wire brush and level his rooster mane. Nope. I simply point and chuckle. Do I go up to Carl Capris and spray paint his awful calves? No. I don’t remove Theodore Thick-Frames’ glasses and stomp on them. I don’t grab Freddie First-Finger-Ring and say, “Bad boy!” I make my remark–usually inside my head while staring down a beer bottle–and return to my hockey playoffs.

So, what’s a man to do if his woman is treating him like her doll? The obvious strategy would be to treat her like his Barbie. The unwise man may respond by saying something to the tune of “Hey, Lunch-Lady-Arms, how about a jacket?” The problem is, while that is a clever retort, few women have skin as thick as men, so this often results in expensive trips to the therapist and pharmacy. Age has sedated many men to point where they simply ignore such comments. This sets a dangerous precedent, as these zombie-men often return home to find curious vacancies in their closets. Hidden cameras clearly show the doll owners stuffing garbage bags with clothing destined for the Salvation Army. Sad.

Let’s role play.

“Honey, please don’t wear those jeans with the holes in them to the birthday party.”


“Because my friends will be there. Oh, and can you trim up that beard? It’s getting unruly.”


“Yes, and I think you should wear black Pumas. No Hawaiian shirts allowed.”

“Anything else?”

“I’m not crazy about that cologne you’ve been wearing. It reminds me of my dentist.”


“One more thing: Can you avoid telling your pedophilia jokes tonight? Some of my friends have young daughters.”

“Now you’ve crossed the line, woman! I’m taking my unfashionable self and tasteless jokes somewhere they’ll be appreciated: the pub. Mistreat your toys, and they’re taken away. Good day, you woman-child!”

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About the author

Author of humorous essays about relationships and lifestyles.