Mrs. Cut

Mattel is selling Barbie doll heads now. Heads with no bodies. There are tags on the Barbie boxes suggesting you can change your Barbie’s head out for a new one sold seperately.

Public reaction to Barbie head sales have been mixed.

It makes perfect sense to me. When I was a child, I was obsessively styling and cutting Barbie’s hair in assembly-line fashion secretly in my bedroom. Lots of  Barbie heads. Only I wasn’t buying the doll heads; I was stealing them. I was ripping them off the doll’s bodies right in their packages and pocketing them. Hundreds of dollars worth of Barbie paraphernalia.

What a coincidence that Mattel is selling bodyless Barbie heads as my book (which details my Barbie shoplifing obsession) is about to be released.

There is a passage in the book about a porcelain Victorian bride doll that I crossed paths with over 25 years ago. The story is featured in the play, The Cut, as well. I won’t go into detail about the story, but we need a bride doll as a prop for the play. I feverishly offered to take charge of finding the prop bride doll. I will call her “Mrs. Cut”.

I looked at (one might say auditioned) every bride doll online in America to be Open Circle Theater’s Mrs Cut. Hours of google searches and digging through over 2,000 bride dolls on ebay. For a while, I considered custom making Mrs. Cut myself. Money was no object if it was the right doll. This detail for the play became an obsession.

This is just about the play, right?

I want people to take my story seriously: the book and the play. I want to be respected. Polished. Confident. The whole process of mounting the play, The Cut, seems as intense as planning for a wedding at times. Opening night, January 14 will be  a big day and I am very nervous.

Relax. Be yourself. Love who you are.

I know myself very well. My feelings about the 2011 bride doll are recycled from the 1984 bride doll from my wedding to Jessica.

However, I am fantasizing about being the bride this time: Mrs. Cut. Just like my childhood fantasies of being a cheerleader. And a teacher. One could add prom queen and bionic crime fighter to that list of girly fantasies. Such fantasies are not unlike changing your hairstyle …or your Barbie head.

Gay weddings are a touchy subject. It was a bit extreme to think about them in 1984 when I was a groom, with bride fantasies. We gays still can’t legally get married …but that hasn’t stopped some of us from having fabulous gay weddings. I don’t know if a legal marriage or a gay wedding to the man I love is going to happen in my lifetime. But dammit, I am going to seize the opportunity to emotionally enjoy Mrs. Cut!

Would I wear that dress?

She looks cheap and ghetto.

That doll is too worn. I am not THAT damaged!

I allow myself to fantasize that when Mrs. Cut comes out on the stage for her scene, it can be me: polished, confident and beautiful. With 80 guest sitting in chairs all facing “me” following my unusual journey.

I found a beautiful bride doll on ebay for $50. When the box arrived, I was non-plussed. I realized that she is just a doll (truthfully, she is kind of creepy). I snap back to reality and move on with my day. I appreciate the doll, but it is just as fufilling to be Dennis and remember how far I have come.

Mrs. Cut will go back on ebay when the show closes. I’ll start the bidding at $10.

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