The Catt Box
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Primitive Goth Girl Doll!
Sometimes a person can experience a situation that totally
changes their life. They can have an 'awakening' of the spirit...something that
is profound and moving.
This was not the case with InkuBeth.
She was originally named Elizabeth, but since she loved dressing in clothing as black as ink, she named herself InkuBeth.
She had been a bitter little goth girl, having never experienced a warm happy Christmas as a child.
This made her quite angry and cynical towards other families and their celebrations of the holidays.
Down deep inside herself, InkuBeth loathed Christmas. She didn't enjoy seeing all the happy, beaming faces during the holiday season. She didn't believe that anyone was really THAT happy. Surely they were all faking it....just like she herself had done all those years during her childhood.
School was a nightmare, having to stand up in front of the class and tell about her holiday. Other kids would tell of all the wonderful foods they ate, and the gifts they received, sitting on Santa's lap.........InkuBeth didn't want to admit that she was terrified of Santa and voided on his lap on several occasions.
Through the years, InkuBeth faked it and pretended to
have had happy holidays when talking to friends. After a while, she began to
just avoid Christmas and all discussions of it entirely.
Eventually she married InkuBeau. He liked dressing in black, too. They were a perfect match for each other.
InkuBeth learned that she would have to spend Christmas with InkuBeau's family.
Nothing in her life prepared her for what she was about to see when she arrived at their extremely festive home.
It was like a moment right out of Currier and Ives.....or is
it Currier and Lies....? .....you know, like whenever you see the
perfect-looking families hugging, kissing, being affectionate, smiling...I mean,
really looking at each other and smiling...like any minute they were all gonna
break out and do a Crest commercial or something.
....didn't you ever wonder if they were 'faking it'?...no one can be that happy.
InkuBeth's family had faked it all the time...but they still didn't hug and kiss and act "all affectionate", even in front of other people.
InkuBeth just had a real hard time believing that people were really living like they were in a sitcom.
Such was the case with InkuBeau's family.
You should have seen these people...they wore ecru bulky knit sweaters that Perfect-Mother had knitted. They even had an Irish Setter dog named Perfect-Lady.
When InkuBeth entered the house, InkuBeau's family stopped in
their tracks and became politely silent. They took-in the appearance of InkuBeth,
while blinking innocently.
It was at that moment that they were convinced that Satan was a lady!
She stood about 27 inches in the doorway. She was wearing her best black goth outfit. The upper part of her dress was made of heavily embroidered lace.
The skirt part of the dress was made of fine satin and underneath her dress was a double layer tulle slip.
The sleeves each had four button closures, and the buttons were real bone skulls.
The frightened children took a step back.
A black rose flower adorned the black bow of the lower bodice section of her dress.
As InkuBeth took a step closer, the Perfect-Family observed her Patent Leather Mary Jane shoes with the tiny metal spiders on her bows.
Their eyes followed upwards and noticed InkuBeth's spider-web black stockings on her legs. The children grasped their parent's hands and the Perfect-Parents assured them that they were safe and that InkuBeth probably wouldn't hurt them.
InkuBeth took InkuBeau by the hand and held onto him very
tightly. She was about to enter a world that was completely unknown to her.
This was the first time InkuBeth met InkuBeau's family.
She was scared.....uncertain, and a tad bit cynical.
The entire house was decorated...including the dog's bowl.
(InkuBeth rolled her eyes)
There were boughs of holly and pine cones everywhere. All of the decorations, when possible, were made by hand....this was not a store bought sort of family.
The smell of crisp pine was emitting from the enormous Christmas tree in the living room, and it filled the house.
Heavy coats were scattered about and little mounds of soggy mittens were on the huge hearth to dry by the fire.
As InkuBeth's long black 'real human' hair moved from the front of her dress the Perfect-Family could see her pendant. It was of a pentagram and an inverted cross.
Being sort-of Catholic, the entire family 'crossed themselves' and recited a mental prayer for her soul, and for their tainted eyes.
Perfect-Mother was the first to break the silence and offer to take InkuBeth's purse. When Perfect-Mother reached for the purse she gasped, withdrew her arm immediately, and shrank back.
The small black velvet purse had a heavy chain with stars for a shoulder strap. But the most frightening thing was the red ceramic devil head bead that had been stitched onto the front of the purse.
InkuBeth gave a small smile without showing her teeth. InkuBeau then stepped up and hugged his mother. This was the cue that the family was waiting for. It let them know that everything was going to be alright.
InkuBeth could feel the tension melt away from the family.
Suddenly, laughter filled the house and joyful children scurried everywhere.
The kids excitedly surrounded InkuBeth and tried to tell her
of their adventures in the snow that morning, but their frozen chins and mouths
made it a struggle, and she could see the concerted effort it took just to
Adults would reach for the children, giving them big bear hugs and smoothing the hair from their eyes....the boys wore those bowl hair-cuts.
InkuBeth hated 'the bowl hair cut' and snickered under her breath.
Anyway, the kids had just come in from sledding (as this took
place in New England and they actually got snow up there) and all the cheeks of
the children were rosy and Perfect-Mother would give a hearty laugh as she
smeared Vaseline on the children's cheeks to help with the cold and the chaffing
from the winter sun and wind.....she would call it bear grease......and
everyone would laugh and hug...... for no reason whatsoever!....
Who does that?
The girls, being Perfect-Mother, Perfect-Mary, and Perfect-Leu,
were all wearing dark blue leotards with Penny Loafer shoes, with real
pennies in them, of course.
They also wore plaid skirts and white blouses with a green or red sweater tied strategically around their necks. And they were wearing the special Christmas jewelry that was given to them years before...jewelry that would be carefully taken from the cotton lined gift box that it came in....the name tag still tucked away underneath the cotton...a treasured memento.
(bow your head for the memory)
And Perfect-Steve, InkuBeau's younger brother, second child
born to the Perfect-Parent's five children, was holding the mistle-toe, luring
each person under the door way for a brotherly kiss, and the laughter and
teasing would abound.
InkuBeth could feel a gag rising in her throat, but she held back.... for the moment.
Her mind was racing with sarcastic sayings. She was mentally screaming.
She was stunned. She couldn't believe her eyes.
And to add to this unbelievable scene, Perfect-Mother had something wonderful in the kitchen baking and giving a pleasant aroma throughout the house.
Perfect-Father found himself in "his" chair, with a child or two on his lap....a slow and satisfied grin adorned his proud face as his heart burst with love that only a grandfather could describe....
(said in a soft spoken voice......)
Perfect-Leu scampered over to the piano to belt out a
Christmas song that she had been working on tirelessly, to surprise everyone,
and now was the time to do it.... she had practiced in secret for so long..
(shhhhh....gotta surprise the family).
And in unison, the family joined in with the Christmas carol and the music swelled and filled the house with joy.
The fire from the Granite stone fireplace crackled and danced .....casting it's warm amber glow onto the shiny, greased faces of the children as their faces and tiny mouths stretched to form the words and they bellowed as loudly as the adults.
Perfect-Lady , the family dog, was be on the hearth, panting
and looking around with excitement, giving a bark or two, and then at least half
of the singing group began to laugh and exclaim that she "wanted to sing,
InkuBeth could NOT believe all the 'hoke and corn' in this family.
And little Perfect-Tim toke out the sleigh bells and rang them to the beat of the song.
Perfect-Mother, still singing as she entered the kitchen and then returning, was proudly rounding the corner with a gleaming Christmas tray of tiny glasses of Egg Nog for everyone....they sang, not breaking their stride, as they "one by one" lifted their glass from the tray and winked at mom for her efforts.....what a wonderful mom she was ....no one could multi-task like Perfect-Mother!
(at this moment, who knew how much Xanax would be in this woman's future?....but that's another story....)
InkuBeth didn't like Egg Nog, so she simply and politely
asked for some coffee.
The entire room grew silent and everyone looked at her like she was insane.
"Coffee? We don't drink coffee. Coffee isn't good for you. I could fix you some warm milk, instead."
.....Perfect-Mother smiled, tilted her head, blinked, and felt rather sorry for InkuBeth.
InkuBeth's right eye began to twitch.
The song resumed and then it ended and the joyous laughter
wound down as Perfect-Father took out the worn Christmas book that the family
had owned for generations, and he begin to read, that's right, he was going to
read ......The Night Before Christmas.....
Everyone seemed to know what to do. They immediately sat down on the floor around Perfect-Father. They were all snuggling up to each other in excitement, drawing ever closer to Perfect-Father's crossed legs and heavy hand-knit socks on his feet.
They would look up at him in awe and squeeze-in even closer. Everyone wanted to be closer to the matriarch of the family....the all-knowing, all wise, gentle, loving Perfect-Father.....
And as he started his reciting....Perfect-Leu and
Perfect-Mother tip-toed quietly around the room silently lighting the tall green
candles. They were smiling and winking softly as they stepped over the amazed
children, who were hanging on Perfect-Father's every word....
No one wanted to break the magic spell.....you could nearly smell the sugar plums dancing in the children's heads. And then there was the anticipation of when Perfect-Father got to the part of the poem where Santa descended onto the roof of the house.....then everyone, right on cue, pounded their feet and hands on the floor, mimicking the reindeer on the roof....what joyous laughter rang out!
The thrill of everyone participating made a knot of excitement in their throats.
This nearly scared the fire out of InkuBeth...it was like a moment out of The Rocky Horror Picture Show....
InkuBeth rolled her eyes and thought to herself, "Are these folks for real?"
Then things got quiet again as Perfect-Father continued the
story, still grinning from satisfaction of another year's rendition of
'reindeer' having been performed.
How he loved that part....
And soon, when things quieted down once more, the only sound you heard was Perfect-Lady panting, the fire crackling, and the soft, deliberate words of Perfect-Father bringing to life the adored poem of old....
The children and the excited adults listened intently once more...faces beaming and rosy cheeks glistening by the amber fire light. Their eyes twinkling with suppressed excitement and anticipation of the next delightful word uttered by the irrepressible Perfect-Father.....
Had this family not been so sincere and naive and honest in
their efforts, they would have seen all the 'eye-rolling' of InkuBeth. She was
feeling a real 'gag-fest' coming on.
No one lives this way.........no one.
InkuBeth wanted to scream out in laughter. She just knew
that any minute they would all start laughing and then tell her they were just
But these people weren't giving up......they kept on being all 'happy' and stuff.
And then, quietly, Perfect-Leu and Perfect-Mother sat down
together on the love seat and pulled up the red cable knit afghan that
Perfect-Mother made two years ago...and they'd snuggled up close
together....mother and daughter....love and be loved.
They looked at each other adoringly...winking and smiling softly, not making any sound, so as not to disturb the moment for everyone else.
InkuBeth couldn't stand it.......she was about to lose her
At this point of the evening she was just glazed over and staring, and thinking to herself....
Is this a dream?
Am I really here?
What is wrong with these people?
Do they not know about the real world?
Do they think everyone does this?
Were these people the family that was used on all those holiday Hallmark cards?
The smell of love was everywhere....the
candles, the fire with the hickory wood.... the fresh baked "whatever"
in the kitchen...cooling on the table...waiting for us .....a special
surprise....and the gifts...oh, the gifts!
They were placed under the huge tree that was felled from their own vast estate surrounding that 120 year old home.....with the deep stone windows and a wreath hung in every window....old barns and snow....a horse in the field....an old wagon....it was like a painting.
What a special day that always proved to be.....riding
on the huge antique sleigh that belonged to the family...bells ringing, the
horse snorting...yes, it was horse drawn....and Perfect-Lady would be
chasing the sleigh.....the children would be laughing and their plaid thermoses
would be held with mittened hands...a dark brown blanket would be covering the
laps of everyone.....and their laughter would make a gentle puff of a cloud of
warm breath against the cold air.....
Off to get the tree!
And the tree was picked out by the children...Perfect-Mary
and Perfect-Tim. And all of the decorations were hand made, of course....and it
was a big deal the night that special "child-picked" tree was
erected...you can be sure of that.
And the gifts were hand wrapped by the children....(at least the gifts that they were supposed to know about)...and the gift wrapping had been made by them, too.
Oh yes, Perfect-Mother saved her brown paper bags from the grocery store and the children stenciled them, finger painted them, and made the bows...
What a happy, special time that was...the excitement...the joy...
(InkuBeth lightly gags)
The gifts were placed under the tree with care....special
ones out in front...hand made tags with crooked 'I love yous' scrawled on them.
And all during the reciting of the poem by Perfect-Father, little stolen glances found their way to the tree. That's where the rest of the night's surprises awaited them.....the night of magic held out so much hope....
More Christmas carols would be sung....
The special baked goods from Perfect-Mother's kitchen would fill their bellies....
There would be the gifts and laughter....
The jokes and gentle teasing....
The touched hearts and special moments...
And each person would have the floor as they opened their gift and read aloud the thoughtful tag that someone had penned...
There would be the joy and anticipation as the wrapping paper was ripped excitedly, and exclamations would abound as their dream gifts came true.
At that moment InkuBeau had to reach for the hand of InkuBeth to keep her from reaching her fingerless velvet-gloved hand towards her black velvet choker. There was a small razor blade charm on the choker and he KNEW InkuBeth was about to flay a vein right then and there.....
InkuBeau looked into InkuBeth's ice blue eyes and winked at
her. She made a small smile with her black lips. She somehow knew that
everything would be alright.
InkuBeth was on a roll....that made the second time she smiled in one day.
She must have been starting to soften.
She must have been starting to believe that people really CAN be sincere in their efforts to live like this.
But let's not start making pastel dresses just yet.
No one can change THAT much just because of a 'Christmas morning moment'.
InkuBeth had finally learned that love, warmth, and the true
meaning of Christmas meant tolerating the Perfect Family.
Live and let live, right?
Copyright © November 30, 2003 Cathy Palmer-Scruggs / Catt Alexander
Another super special thanks to eBay seller imosh for the 'pentagram / inverted cross' pendant, razor blade charm, chain for the purse, and tiny spiders on the shoes.
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My dolls are not for everyone, they are my art. If you are offended, I suggest you hit the back button. It will not do you any good to write me 'hate mail'.
In spite of the dolls I create and the stories I write, I do not use recreational drugs, I don't smoke cigarettes, and I don't even drink alcoholic beverages.. I out-grew a lot of things a long time ago.