My Idol and I have something in common: I am a HUUUUUUUUGE fan of Fisher Price Little People.
Sadly, I do not have any now. But, when I was growing up, I had dozens! Probably millions!
My sister and I called them “Round People.” I hate to burst My Idol's bubble with our superior and original name, but I didn’t want her to be in the dark. Yes, they could be considered little. But look closer for different identifying characteristics: They are round! (And unlike their evil nemesis and impostor wannabes—Weebils—Round People are too good to wobble. They stand up like God and factory workers in China intended.)
We would play with them for hours and hours and hours and hours and hours and days. So. Much. Fun. Of course, a good chunk of that time was spent bickering over who got which people and which accoutrements (as we all know, sharing is overrated). We came up with a system where we would lay out all the Round People and their round people sofas and beds and campers and patio furniture all neatly in rows (Princessa Virgo in her early days) and then the Choosing would begin. The Choosing could easily gobble up more time than the actual Playing. All hell would break loose if I picked the “good” mommy with the smooth face and Oakley was stuck with the crappy mommy with the chewed-on face and broken hair (Oakley and I did not have a dog who did this chewing. We had a toddler younger brother with very sharp teeth and a penchant for disturbing our playing time.).
Then, the next step in a successful Round People playing session was to name all our people. I am 43 years old. I was born in 1968. I distinctly remember naming my people Olivia and Isabel and Madeleine and Caroline, so I was waaaaaaaay trendy before my time!!! (Of course, the Universe got me back by giving me sons in real life, when I was ultra-prepared to name daughters. Hence, original names like Tall and Short now grace our family tree.)
My mom would sometimes give us these gorgeous gift boxes from Saks Fifth Avenue that maybe originally held a sweater or a pair of flannel Christmas pajamas. These boxes were THE BEST. We could stack them and cantilever them and make our Round People have the best modernist houses ever. Frank Lloyd Round would be proud.
I went on eBay and almost had a heart attack when I saw what Round People cost now.
Not to worry. I know Mom still has everything (including the school, garage, town, gas station, and airport) in her garage. It would break my heart if she gave them away.
("My Other Vice")