COURTESY OF UNSPLASH
Last semester, Mint frequently featured letters from the editor, or “lettidors,” written by former Mint section editor Lauren Ellenbecker.
Fortunately, I ran into Lauren the other day and was able to ask for advice about crafting the perfect letter for readers. She revealed she sometimes got good ideas in the middle of the night.
Armed with this cryptic, albeit helpful, piece of information, I set out to write my third letter from the editor.
Unfortunately, I am about the soundest sleeper ever, so even if an idea were to whack me in the head with a stack of books in the middle of the night, I would probably sleep through it.
However, while staring at my laptop screen and contemplating my letter, I recalled a memory that should probably keep me up at night. Whether or not it is a good idea to write about … well, I’ll leave that up to you to decide.
The year was 2010. I was young and on a three-week tour of Italy with my parents. I credit this trip for fostering my love of Renaissance art and my unhealthy obsession with Italian food.
This trip also happened to be the genesis of one of my greatest fears. A fear so great I can barely speak of it. I considered writing this in third person just to distance myself from the horror.
My family went out for dinner to a nice restaurant in a hillside town. All was well. The food was delicious, the atmosphere was inviting and the drinks were freely flowing.
I got up to go to the bathroom. I entered the anteroom and was surprised to see a few porcelain dolls. I examined them closely before I stepped through the next door into the bathroom and I decided I found them quaint and charming.
The dolls were no longer quaint and charming.
There were dozens of dolls, all with chipped porcelain faces, unblinking eyes and knotted hair. They stared at me as I stared back.
Shelves lined two of the four walls. Dolls sat next to each other, gazing menacingly into the room. A set of two figures, smiling, served as guards for the sink, a cracked fixture probably older than the town itself.
Just when I thought it couldn’t get worse, I saw the garden swing. Hanging from the ceiling and daintily decorated with fake foliage was a wooden swing. Perched upon it was the queen of the lot, a girl in a pink sweater with a Mona Lisa smile. Her head was angled towards the toilet.
I closed my eyes as I used the restroom, afraid eye contact with one of the dolls might turn me into one. How else could there be so many? They were probably all little girls whose curiosity got the best of them.
I’d like to say it all ended for me there and I got turned into a doll, but I didn’t. Now I am destined to tell this story to friends who will never believe me.
Unfortunately for me, this nightmare is all too true. I found photos of the dolls on Yelp.
I hope this story will act as a warning to you: dolls are creepy.
If you ever know someone opening a restaurant, tell them to fire the interior decorator who thinks dolls are a delightful theme. Hint: they’re not. Even if they’re cute dolls.
Now that I’ve rehashed this repressed memory, I might not be able to sleep at night. But hey, maybe this will help me come up with more content.
Stay minty-fresh and doll-free.