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All Things Ariel

What would I give if I could live out of
these Disney waters?

What would I pay to spend the day Ariel free?

Yes, Ariel Mania has descended upon our household, and no piece of
plastic crap is safe from us if it’s got the red-headed
teenager on it.

I must be totally honest here –when
the movie came out, I loved it. And I read the original Hans
Christian Anderson story, and loved it first. So yes, I was bummed
that the little mermaid didn’t die in the end, like she does
in the book, or that walking wasn’t like stepping on knives
– the price she paid for those shapely legs – but I
forgave Disney because I loved the whole doting daddy angle.

Now, though, I watch the movie and think the following things, in
no particular order:

1) What is she doing off on her own at night? She’s fifteen
years old – doesn’t she have a curfew?

2) How can she possibly be in love with a guy she’s only seen
from a distance – and think he’s worth leaving her
whole family and giving up her whole existence?

3) What makes her think she will get to know this guy well enough
in three days to be ready to marry him? Marriage is a life-long
commitment, young lady!

4) Marriage? She’s only FIFTEEN!!!!

5) Why is it that she’s expected to give up everything
– her family, her neighborhood, her very genetic make-up, for
heaven’s sake – to be with the guy, and the guy gives
up nada – not even the stupid (nontalking) dog?

6) I’d like to see those purple scallop-covered boobs after
she’s had a few kids. Bet they won’t be so perky then.

But my daughters think none of these things – Cora’s
never even seen the movie – so I leave them to their

Thanks to Maddie’s recent birthday, there’s enough
Ariel crap in our house to open a mermaid freakin’ museum. I
brought it on myself – I told everyone that’s what
she’s into, and they dutifully bought presents in that theme.
But it doesn’t mean I have to like it.

We’ve got an Ariel Barbie. A mini Ariel with teeny tiny
shoes, and the purple bra, the mermaid bottom, and a wedding dress,
all of which are inexplicably made of rubber so I feel as if
I’m dressing some sort of adult party doll every time I try
to cram that little fish into a dress. It doesn’t help that
curious Cora pulled the hair off of the tiny doll, so it now comes
off at the drop of a hat, making her disturbingly like a fish in
the middle of chemo or something.

Then there are the Ariel sunglasses. The Ariel flip-flops –
studded with sequins. An Ariel cup, an Ariel beach chair, beach
ball, water ball, and goggles, all for the pool. An Ariel bath toy,
for when we can’t quite make it to the pool. And of course,
the piece de resistance, an Ariel dress-up dress.

Maddie received the dress the night of her birthday, along with
another key present – an iPod karaoke microphone and machine.
More on that in another blog. But she immediately had to put on the
dress, hop on a stool to reach the microphone on the stand, and
croon out a couple rounds of “Part of That World”. She
looked like a miniature Tallulah Bankhead, and I kept expecting her
to take a long drag of a candy cigarette and stare regretfully at
the ceiling, lost in cabaret thought.

I decorated Maddie’s cake with all the principal Little
Mermaid characters, and Maddie promptly sucked the icing off them
and began role-playing. She received a little Sir Topham Hatt toy
for her Thomas the Train set, and he’s frequently drafted to
play the role of daddy Triton. I’m not sure how he feels
about that, but I can’t help him out here.

I want Maddie to get what she wants for her birthday, because Lord
knows I won’t be buying her any of that stuff otherwise. I
don’t want her to be the weird kid with all educational toys.

But if I have to hear that song one more time, I’m gonna stab
myself with a trident.


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