Friday, October 28, 2011

Tess's Tidbits: A New Collaborator (A Former Post From "Jane Austen and Unicorns")

As you can tell from the title, we have a new team member here on the blog. Here's how it all happened.

We've all been going crazy since Mama started her Craigslist Barbies last week. She did 20 of them, and had no place to put them. She finally found a spot...our room! Now, I consider myself a pretty patient person overall, but 20 Barbie dolls sitting in your room with you is just a little too much! It's a good thing Maggie was back in her spot on the shelf, or she would have been booting Barbies off of the dresser each time Mama's back was turned.

Barbies, Barbies everywhere!!!

While I could tolerate things a little better than my friend, it was still pretty overwhelming. So I went over to Maggie's shelf to see if she wanted to do a blog post. She thought that was a good idea, so we made our way out to the computer, which is in the dining room. You could imagine our surprise when we saw this:

Mama's newest Belle doll, typing on the computer. And not just typing anything...typing a BLOG POST...on OUR BLOG!!

As you might guess, Maggie just about hit the roof. By the way, she's not as mean as she sounds, but she's really vocal and really opinionated. It can be a bad combination sometimes.

"What are you doing?" she protested angrily. "You can't just put a post on our blog without asking us! That's OUR blog!"

Belle had a kind of "deer in the headlights" look for a minute. Then her cheeks turned red and she stubbornly set her jaw. I wasn't sure if she'd run away or argue right back.

"I wasn't going to post it!" she insisted defensively. "Not until I'd checked with you two first."

Maggie opened her mouth to continue her argument, but I put a hand on her shoulder. "Give her a chance," I encouraged. "I'm sure there's a reasonable explanation."

Maggie muttered under her breath, but nodded reluctantly. She and I climbed up the chair.

"Let's just see what you've got here," Maggie said gruffly.

Belle moved aside and climbed up to sit on the desk next to the keyboard. As she did, Maggie took her spot, kicking down Mama's "think pink" bubble wrap that had helped Belle reach the computer.

"So, can you explain why you started typing a post without asking us first?" I asked her. I had to admit, I was bothered by this, too.

Belle looked down at her hands as she twisted them together nervously. All her spunk from a few minutes before melted away. She looked tiny and vulnerable.

"I don't know..." she began, sighing. "I'm just...sometimes's just that..."

"Spit it out," Maggie grumbled impatiently.

I nudged her from behind.

"Ow," she complained quietly.

Belle tried again. "It's just been so hard since beast'sbelle took me out of my box."

Maggie and I exchanged an odd look. "Beast'sbelle?"

"Well, there's no way I'm going to call her 'Mama' like you girls do!" Belle said. "It would just be too weird."

"It's not a problem," I reassured her. "It's just kind of funny hearing you call her that, since you're kind of the original."

"Arrgh!" Belle blurted out. Maggie and I both jumped.

"That's just what I was typing about!" Belle continued in frustration. "Do you realize the expectations others have for you when you're a doll modeled after a movie character? It's more pressure than I can handle. I'm no more the original than beast'sbelle is!"

"Ohkaayy..." Maggie drew the word out. "Chill out, all right? We didn't mean anything by it." Then she looked at her gravely. "You still haven't explained why you were typing on our blog without permission."

Belle nodded slowly, the frustration draining away. "I've just been trying to cope with all of the changes, and I haven't had anyone to talk to. I thought that maybe if I could type out what I was feeling, it would help."

"When did you learn to type?" I asked her curiously.

"At the Disney Store. Well, I didn't exactly learn, I just watched the cashiers at the counter. That was part of my problem. When I came out, your blog was open to a new post page, and I was afraid I'd mess something up if I tried to go somewhere else."

"And yet, you had no problem with typing something and possibly messing things up..." Maggie began.

Belle looked embarrassed. I jumped in before Maggie could continue. "Just a second, Belle, okay? Maggie and I need to talk about this."

Belle nodded forlornly.

I pulled Maggie aside. "What do you think?" I whispered. "We could let her post just this once."

"If we let her post, then everyone else will hear about it, and then everbody will want a turn. This is special because it's something the two of us are doing, Tess. It won't be as fun if we're constantly having to fit in lots of extra posts."

"We let Katie do a post," I reminded her.

"That was different," Maggie said immediately. "She's your cousin...not to mention the fact that she actually asked us before she started typing."

"I know she didn't do things exactly the way she should have," I agreed slowly, "but...I feel kind of sorry for her. I think she's lonely. This could give her something to do and give her a way to express herself. I understand that need, don't you?"

Maggie was quiet for a minute. "She is good," she finally admitted grudgingly. "I was really impressed with her writing." There was another pause as she thought it over. She sighed. "All right, I guess we can do it on a trial basis."

I grinned. "Thanks, Maggie. You're the best!"

"Whatever!" she said, but she was grinning back.

We turned to Belle again. "We've decided to let you post on our blog every once in a while."

"On a trial basis," Maggie interjected quickly.

Belle was so excited she clapped her hands. "Thank you so much! You won't regret it, I promise!"

So, that's how Belle became a part of our blog. It's kind of funny, because we don't usually associate too much with Mama's Beauty and the Beast dolls. Not that we're snobby or anything...they're just kind of in a different world. It's hard to explain.

Belle won't write as regularly as Maggie and I, just every once in a while when she needs to get things off her chest. We'll be posting her first post right after this one. Let us know what you think of our newest author (but don't be too hard on her, or Maggie might kick her off before she gets a real chance). :)

The new blog team

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