Friday, October 28, 2011

January 24th, 2011

What a day! I knew something was up the minute Beast'sbelle walked into the room this morning, grinning like the Cheshire Cat and holding something behind her.

"Guess who just showed up?" she asked, barely able to contain her excitement.

My stomach felt queasy. Who indeed? I'd only been nervously keeping track of the days for the last week. Why else did she think I was wearing one of my favorite dresses? Was she really going to do this to me?

Beast'sbelle pulled a fancy Disney store box out from behind her back, keeping the see-through front facing away from me. "Belle," she said, "I'd like you to meet Robby."

"Robby?" I asked quizzically. "Look, I know I don't know everything about the movie, but I'm pretty sure that wasn't his name."

"He didn't have a name in the movie," Beast'sbelle explained patiently. "But you can't just call him 'Hey you!' all the time! I decided to name him after the actor that played his character in the movie: Robby Benson." Without another word, she turned the box around and I caught my first glimpse of "Robby".

I looked at him. He looked at me. He didn't say anything...I think he was wondering when on earth Beast'sbelle would take him out of that ridiculous box.

"It'll take me just a minute to get him out of this box," Beast'sbelle explained.

Famous last words. Those twist ties are a nightmare. I watched for the next 10 minutes as Beast'sbelle wrestled with the box and all of the ties and threads that kept Robby bound. Finally, he was free. Beast'sbelle brought him over to me and set him on the dresser beside me.

Once again, we stared at one another, saying nothing. Beast'sbelle looked on eagerly, as if she was waiting for some great romantic reunion. Fat chance, I thought to myself. I don't even know this guy! But I knew that Beast'sbelle wouldn't leave us alone until something happened.

"Nice to meet you," I said politely, holding out my hand.

He nodded. "Likewise, I'm sure," he replied nervously, taking my offered hand and hesitating. He started to bring it to his lips (my goodness, he had big lips for a boy doll!) like he was going to kiss it, then faltered and gave it a clumsy shake instead.

It was enough. With a happy sigh, Beast'sbelle said, "Well, I'll give you two some time to get acquainted. Holler if you need anything!" And with that, she was gone.

I let out a little sigh of relief. Was it my imagination, or had he let one out too? I glanced over at him nonchalantly. He wasn't exactly much of a looker. In fact, that was rather an understatement. Whoever had sculpted his face mold had obviously never seen the movie. I mean, I'm no expert on Beauty and the Beast, but this guy looked like the prince with a bee sting...or something. And my, he was short! I was nearly as tall as he was. Then I had to chuckle at the irony. The story we came from was all about looking past appearances, and here I was critically evaluating his looks!

He lifted a brow inquisitively. "Is something funny?" he asked politely.

My laughter died in my throat. I felt myself turning red. ", just...uh..." I forced a cough. I shrugged my shoulders apologetically. "Frog in my throat," I explained simply. Whew, escaped that one!

He nodded, but looked hurt. I felt ashamed of my earlier thoughts. This was no doubt just as hard for him as it was for me. There was no need to criticize his looks, even if I only did so inwardly. Some Belle I turned out to be!

We stood there in awkward silence, neither one knowing what to say or where to look. I was pretty sure this was not what "love at first sight" felt like. I wished I could sink into one of the dresser drawers and escape. He wasn't even trying to be remotely entertaining. Maybe he was just shy, but it was incredibly uncomfortable. And I wasn't good at small talk.

"Knock, knock...anybody home?" a familiar male voice called out. Thank you!!! I thought with relief. Eugene and Rapunzel's heads peeked over the edge of the dresser.

"Hi guys," I said with enthusiasm. "Come on up!"

Within moments they had joined us. "We thought we heard a new voice," Rapunzel smiled warmly. "I'm Rapunzel, and this is Eugene."

"I'm Robby," Robby smiled back. He seemed so much more at ease. Maybe I was the problem!

Eugene strode over and gave Robby a firm handshake. "Nice to meet you. It's good to have another guy around here." He leaned closer and said in a mock whisper, "We're kind of outnumbered, if you didn't notice!"

I was amazed at Eugene. Could this be the same guy who was so suspicious of me at our first meeting? Now, I wanted to hug him. He was my hero!

Robby laughed. He had a nice laugh, I decided. Warm and inviting, the type that made you want to join right in. The last of his tension seemed to melt away. Soon he and Eugene were swapping stories of their adventures in the Disney Store and the horrors of boxes and twist ties.

"So, what do you think?" Rapunzel whispered in my ear.

"I don't know..." I hedged. "It's too soon, and there are too many expectations. I wish I'd just had the chance to meet him without all of this perfect couple nonsense hanging over us."

Rapunzel patted my hand sympathetically. "Give it some time...maybe he'll grow on you."

"I kind of hope he does, because I'm probably stuck with him whether I like it or not." I linked arms with her. "I'm just so glad you guys came up...we were dying up here!"

She giggled. "Yeah, Eugene could tell. It was his idea to come up and save the day."

"Well, tell him I owe him one!" I said seriously.

"He's kinda cute," Rapunzel said thoughtfully.

"Who, Eugene or Robby?' I teased.

"Well, Eugene's adorable, of course, but I happened to be talking about Robby," she shot back with a grin.

"I guess, at certain angles," I said skeptically.

"Belle!" Rapunzel gasped in shock.

"I'm sorry! It's not like he's ugly or anything, but you have to admit he doesn't look much like the Prince from Beauty and the Beast. But even if he did, you know there's more to a person than that." I gazed off across the room. "If I ever settle down with someone, he'd have to be even more beautiful on the inside than on the outside. And that just takes time to find out."

"You've got nothing but time," Rapunzel pointed out.

I nodded. "Let's just hope it's worth the effort."

We turned our attention back to the guys. As Robby and Eugene talked, I watched him carefully. Really, his profile was almost handsome...and somewhat closer to the original Prince's face than when you looked at him head on.

Eugene and Rapunzel stayed for a couple of hours. During that time, I found out (through Eugene's helpful small talk) that Robby likes reading and wants to try hiking and exploring, now that he's free of his box. He's not really familiar with our movie or Rapunzel's, and he's not really into singing and dancing.

Hmmm, that could be promising.

I'll keep you guys posted on our progress...if there is any. :}


MyLittleMegara said...

*sigh* It's so nice to reread this, knowing how it "ends" for you guys. Just one question- has Beast'sBelle ever put Robby in the Beast jacket and mask that he came with? I noticed it in his box. :)

MyLittleMegara said...

Just yesterday I walked into a thrift store and found a Beast doll exactly like Robby! His name is Adam, and he doesn't have shoes but he still has his Beast costume. He's still adjusting to his new surroundings. I found some other dolls too, including a fairly new ballerina Belle and a beautiful 1998 Holiday Belle (sans shoes.) I immediately thought of you. :)

Meg's blog is STILL in the works- although she's written a large stack of posts- we're hoping to get that done by the end of the month. :)

beastsbelle said...

Sounds like you rescued some great dolls! I hope they're all adjusting well. :)


beastsbelle said...

Whoops, missed your first comment! ;)

Lol, yes, I enjoy rereading these posts now that I know the ending. It was much more stressful living through it. ;)

I don't know that Beast'sbelle has ever had Robby wear his Beast costume. He's not really into dressing up or anything, so I could see him not being into wearing a big plastic mask that covers his whole face. ;)