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Real pockets and widespread confusion
galadriel doll
Previously on The Secret Life of Dolls: I tried to get the more contentious Shelfians to Play Nice, but Anna threw the d6 under the bed, and then... UPS came.

"Oh my GOD, look at YOUUUUUU. You are just PRECIOUS, LOOK AT YOU."

Her hair was kind of weird--gelled, separated ringlets that I was tempted to brush out, but you know how that is: you ain't ever gettin' that back the way it was. And unlike Tonner Edward's original shellacked coiffure, it looked reasonably good. She had very soft bootcut corduroy pants, with "REAL POCKETS! YOU HAVE REAL POCKETS! And belt loops holy shit," a fleece-lined hoodie (which of course she couldn't use the hood of, because of the giant ringlets), and a wee little embroidered peasant blouse with a green tank top underneath. Her socks and shoes were bagged separately ("THEY LACE UP, OH THAT IS JUST PRECIOUS"), because it's like Tonner knows we want the fun of putting tiny clothes on dolls. That's basically why we collect dolls, you know: a sickness of love for tiny things.

And then she fell over.

 "I'm sorry, they made me kind of weird," she said while I was helping her get her jacket on. (She was already starting to shiver a little, even though it was--at that point--June.) "I mean, they gave me high-heeled feet but flat sneakers. And my legs keep twisting around to the side? I'm not sure what's up with that."

"So... clumsiness was pretty much installed at the factory."

 She laughed. "Yeah, pretty much. Is that okay? I mean, if you need to send me back or whatever--"

"No, no! Absolutely not!" I said. "You are PRECIOUS."

 She blushed. "Well, thank you."

Reader, you will forgive me for checking both the invoice and the label on her box at that point. Considering that I didn't remember her outfit from anywhere in the movie, either, I was starting to have my suspicions. But nope, there it was:

By the time I got her upstairs, everyone knew she was coming. Probably because they'd heard me go all clappy-squee. The Shelf is a family, certainly, but it's also getting to be more of a village than a single-family home, if you get what I'm saying, so a new arrival is not as big a deal now as it used to be. There were a few groans of "Oh, not again" that I hoped New Bella didn't hear. The Littlest Edward had scampered up to The Littlest Bella's beddrawer to get a better view, but he had more of a curious look on his face than anything. By and large, everyone went back to their own business, leaving Galadriel to glide over and do the welcome-wagon ritual at my desk by herself.

 "I can't go through this again," she said, stricken.

"Gladdy, she's right here, she can hear you--"

 Bella discreetly averted her eyes, albeit with visible concern.

 "Not another one, not another--accident--"

"It's fine, it's fine--it's gonna be different this time, I'll take care of everything--just--do your thing."

 She sighed fretfully. "Welcome, then, young human. I am the Lady of Lórien --"

 By this time, Bella had re-verted her eyes and gotten a good look; her face lit up. "Oh! Is it really you--!"

 "Yes. By definition, I am really me," said Galadriel (perhaps experience had predisposed her to be cranky).

 "The Lady of the Golden Wood! It's such an honor to meet you."

 Galadriel gave me a look that plainly said, I don't know what's going on here, but I don't understand it and it frightens me.

"Wait--you've read Lord of the Rings? I thought you just read stuff like... Austen and... the Brontës and... stuff."

 "Well, yeah, but then I kept reading." She looked up eagerly at me: "Who else lives here?"

I looked across the room: Lizzie had dragged Anna back to the circle, so the D&D game hadn't quite broken up yet, and Bella had thrown me for such a loop that I was feeling reckless. "Well! I tell you what! Let's go find out!"

And of course, who should we run into on the way across the room but Eowyn and Faramir One, bringing Windfola back from his exercise in the living room. They both wore curious looks at first--neither of them had any idea who this new doll was, or why I would have gotten her. And then I said--knowing, even as I said it, what reaction I was going to get--"Oh, hey! Eowyn, Faramir--this is... this is Bella."

  Faramir glanced over at Eowyn, who was in the strange position of being one of three dolls who had read Twilight, and the only doll who had read further into the series than that. As such, she... knew things. I wasn't sure how much she knew, but I did know that she'd read far enough into Eclipse to try to kick the book across the room (and only stub her toes for her trouble). As such, Eowyn did not have a whole lot of patience for Bellae. She narrowed her eyes.

 "It's such an honor to meet you," said Bella, clinging to the tried and true.

 Eowyn gave me a side-eye that Gladdy would have been proud of.

"Give her a chance!" I whispered. Faramir extended his hand with automatic chivalry, but, judging by the squint of his eyes, he seemed to be doing complicated arithmetic in his head ( [Eowyn likes Little Edward] x [because she likes those books x (which nearly ruined everything) ] =  [so she doesn't like Little Bella because Little Edward likes Little Bella + (also Little Bella is kind of annoying) - (but she's a really good cook) ] but Eowyn never liked Tall Edward and... but... so... Tall Bella... carry the two...) "I don't know what's going on either, but it might be good!"

 "Your horse... he's really beautiful...?" Bella offered tentatively. "One of the Mearas?"

 Eowyn beamed.

"Okay, great, yeah, civil unrest avoided, that's great, so, hey, we'll talk to you guys later--" I hustled Bella off (gently) to the D&D circle. Best to get the worst of it over with, I figured. "Heyyyyyyy guyyyyyys! New kid in town! Tonner Bella! I know you'll all make her feel welcome! ALL OF YOU."

I am sorry to report that Faramir Two (who had lived through Eowyn's Twihard phase and the toll it had taken on his brother-self) rolled his eyes. Anna took one look at Bella Motherfucking Swan and puckered her lips viciously; Elizabeth looked over, saw that, and rolled her eyes. Then Anna started mutely vibrating with hate where she sat. Lizzie nervously began to stroke Anna's hair, which would have been easier if it hadn't been bristling. The Littlest Edward did climb down from the dresser and come forward to offer Bella his hand, though somewhat shyly. I wondered then if Tonner Bella's Outrageous Flavor was overpowering him, given that she was two and a half times larger than his own Bella and must have been throwing off one hell of a tastyblood aura. But he seemed to be holding up fine--

 "Have you ever killed anyone?" asked Lyra. Always dependable, our Lyra.

 Bella looked down at the dice and the half-filled character sheets. "Well, no--I've never played before."

 "No, I mean really killed someone. Everyone else here has. You en't a coward, are you?"

 Bella looked around at the others. "S'up," said Legolas with a little salute. Then she looked up at me (looked back at Legolas, realized who he was, and gave an incredulous little shake of her head) in confusion.

"I'm sure she'll be plenty happy to kill people when the time rolls around," I said quickly.

   She reached out then to pet Pan (who was sniffing around at her shoes), much to Lyra's horror and indignation: "You don't go touching people's daemons like that!" 

So Bella shrank back, afraid to say or do anything else, and watched the others pull the game back together. The Littlest Edward kept glancing over at her, but whatever he was thinking, he kept it to himself. Then Iorek trundled over, perhaps in some ursine sense of chivalry, and nose-butted Bella in the shin.


He then rolled over obligingly, his little plush legs lazily pedaling the air while Bella rubbed his belly and tried to keep a straight face.

 "Iorek! En't you got dignity anymore!"

 "I DO," he said, unshaken. "I ALSO HAVE TUMMY RUBS."

By that time, the gang had gone around the circle and gotten to Tonner Edward's turn; Edward, of course, had abandoned the game, never having wanted to play it in the first place, and they were now short a player.

 A nasty grin crept across Anna's face. "You can play the orc."

 "He's only half an orc but he's pretty stupid and a cockroach is chewing on him right now," Lyra added helpfully. "It's a three-foot cockroach."

 "Sure, okay," said Bella, laughing. "Gotta get my start killing things somewhere, I guess."

And so that was how Tonner Edward discovered her, finally lured back when he began to hear the thoughts of the other dolls, catching glimpses of her through their eyes: smiling, brushing her dark curls back over her shoulder, laughing as she rolled a die across the floor. I turned around to see him clutching at the door, and a second later, she turned around as well; he stared at me as if I had stabbed him in the heart--the look of a man who had not fully seen the garden of Eden until the gates slammed shut in his face.

(Secret Life read-through; fan community; TV Tropes page); the brand-new Cleolinda Industries tip jar)

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And Iorek tummy rubs! Hee!

Edited at 2010-12-04 04:14 pm (UTC)

You have given her the personality a lot of teenagers wished on Bella because, hey, it's an idealised version of themselves. THANK YOU!

You know, that's the thing that always mystified me--Book!Bella is so clearly a wish-fulfillment self-insert. But who in the world would want to think of themselves as the person described in the books? Always whining and complaining and refusing to learn people's names and jerking her best guy friend around and then talking about what a terrible person she is and then continuing to jerk him around anyway? Which is also a horrible way to treat the guy she claims she loves instead? She says her mother's her best friend, but then she refuses to answer her emails. She has all the boys asking her out--and then complains about it. She has no friends at school, but she seems to actively SCORN anyone who tries. Who actually wants to be that person? I don't know. Maybe the statement there is, "This character is like you on a really bad day, but she gets everything she wants anyway." All the wish fulfillment and none of the bother of being a tolerable human being!

So basically, I went through and said, "What would Bella as written do? Okay, have the doll do the opposite." And suddenly, she has a bearable personality. It's kind of amazing, how dependably that worked.

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I love her!! So much that I'm not sure I want Tonner Edward anywhere around her.

Also, I ALSO HAVE TUMMY RUBS made me laugh so hard that husband asked what was going on and got it read to him. With voices.

Too funny - I just did the SAME THING!

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Tonner Bella is well-adjusted, friendly and funny! And can do self-deprecating without being all "SEE MY GAPING ABSENCE OF ANY KIND OF SELF-WORTH" about it!

I'm glad Galadriel and Eowyn started being nice to her, I hope the rest of the Shelfians follow suit.

I thought it was adorable how you were describing her and her awesome clothes... and then she fell over. Literal lol at that point.

And oddly enough... I think I might ... kinda sorta ... like this Bella. :o


Bella...you made Bella tolerable! I luffs her already!

Oh and if you DO wanna get the stiffness out of the ringlets you need to do this...

Get the smallest doll brush you find, if you have a Barbie Brush even better, Carefully wrap the ringlet (gotta do them individually) around your finger or a pencil and carefully brush, it takes a shat ton of time to do it thou

Well, I've had her a while (in secret), and her hair was starting to get a little frizzy, with some of the curls separating. So I actually did hunt down a My Little Pony comb yesterday, and a little spray bottle of water, to see what I could do. Interestingly, the curl was just as stiff afterward as it was before--just a little bit straight. So yeah, the finger/pencil idea sounds good.

TUMMY RUBS. Oh my lord in heaven, I cackled.

Bella Swan with an actual personality?

oh your icon is PERFECT for this post

Huh. This Bella doll looks more like Sarah Jessica Parker than like Bella. Still, let's hope that Tonnerward doesn't get so mopey that he can't be of any use to her.

Yay! Vibro-Anna!

I wonder why Tonnerward is so upset. It's not like he's even struck out yet.

Because it's all easy to be self-sacrificing and punish himself when there's nothing there he really, REALLY wants. And he really, REALLY wants Bella. But he'll have to punish himself by not having her. :-(


BWAHAHA. Iorek, I love you. I always have, but now more than ever.

Tonner Bella seems to have a... an interesting personality? *intrigued*

oh and her entrance....

i admit i was expecting it, but i still burst out laughing at seeing the shot of Tonner Bella falling over.

Yep, I do believe I'm going to like Tonner Bella.

And wow, you did it. You made versions of Edward and Bella that are actually *likable*! Madame, I want to shake your hand.

Hee, thanks. I have gotten a ridiculous amount of enjoyment out of doing things people said I wouldn't be able to do.

and speaking of the littlest bella....

i re-read her "entrance" scene. *thanks for the very useful link page)

and while the littlest Bella has grown on me a little, mainly because of her acceptance of the littlest Edward and her talk with her little cactus, and her snarky-yet endearing obsession over her own cooking....

so far, for me, Tonner Bella > x10000 than thelittlestBella, in terms of initial reaction to being there.

I love her! I wonder how TLB will react. I think she is going to think that Tonner Bella is going to want her man.

I like this Bella! She's not the Bellaesque Bella the Littlest Bella is. It might also work that Tonner Edward is worse in his own way. Counteracting by extreme opposites? I makes me impatient to know how this can develop in the end.

Also, like everyone else, I ALSO HAVE TUMMY RUBS.

Your icon is part of the first scene of Dr. Who i ever saw. It was impossible to resist after that.:)