There’s a giant box in the closet of my office that contains, I believe, all my My Little Pony toys from when I was little. My mother has kept them for so long because she felt too nostalgic to throw them out despite her every spring-cleaning urge telling her to toss the box in the Goodwill pile. So when my parents drove out my piano and the Bar Billiards table, they brought with them the sacred box.
"Your kids can play with them," mom suggested, helpfully.
Kevin was dubious. And after a while, so was I. Yes, these are allegedly collector’s items, but they’re in terrible condition — I loved the hell out of these ponies and it shows — and so I’m not even sure my kids would want something that’s so, well, USED. So I’m thinking it might be time to part with them myself. There’s a little girl out there somewhere, or maybe 60 little girls considering how many of these horses I have, who needs these toys more than my unborn children do or will. So although the quickest way to make me regret cutting emotional ties with something is for me to make the decision to go through with it, I do suspect it’s time to take the box out, bid its contents farewell, and give them a chance at new owners.
Of course, the goodbyes can be really drawn-out — and so, for all you ladies out there who owned or loved My Little Pony toys the way I did, I’m going to catalog them photographically.
This excited me. I regret not being a real diary-keeper when I was young; I wish I remembered better all the stories Julie made up when we did puzzles together, all the soap operas I created for my toys. So this is my way of reaching into the musty old cardboard box that is my brain and seeing what I can find that resonates. Hopefully I will recall all the little details I never put to paper, or remember what personality I ascribed to each Pony and/or why each one ended up looking the way it does. I decided to start with the very first one I found.
So naturally, this is what I got: a pony I don’t remember at all. Not even a little. And I have a great memory for stuff — I can tell you the first six ponies I ever got, in order — but I had NO IDEA what this one’s name is, when I acquired it, nothing. No clue why it is wearing legwarmers. And no great backstory for her. Even she seems sort of doleful about it, like, "Yeah, thanks a LOT. You keep me in a box for 20 years and then you act like you’ve never seen me before? NICE."
Some research online tells me her name is Sundance, and that now completely rings a bell. Apparently she came with a girl called Megan, but I have absolutely no recollection of ever owning Megan. Maybe she’s buried in the box somewhere and I will pull her out in three weeks and think, "Huh, okay. I guess." The more I look at it, the more I suspect Sundance was a bit of a goody two-shoes. I am sure all the ponies I made into boys loved her terribly, because of her pretty curly hair and her blue eyes. I clearly liked her, because her entire hindquarters are smudged with the dirt you can only build up through the adoring hands of your owner. There’s even grime on her ear. I wonder if she was an ear slut.
My bet is, she wooed everyone with her amazing dancing, since rubber ponies are so naturally graceful. Or maybe she was a snooty bitch pony. I sort of hope it was the latter, because as I was taking her picture, I noticed that time and smooshing and her cardboard prison have made her hair eerily reminisce of The Great Joan Collins:
I should probably just DECIDE that she was a husband-stealing drama queen who liked to stalk into people’s trials and drop informational bombs, or throw martinis into people’s faces.
Poor Sundance. She deserved better from my memory. It makes me wonder whether I’ll be able to dig up anything for these ponies at all. Given that my young imagination was not so refined, I’m sure I’ll have 30 entries that go, "This pony was mean. I don’t know why," and then 30 more that say, "This pony was a boy. I don’t know why."
But guess what? We’re all totally going to find out, even if it’s unreadable. Sometimes memory lane is a boring place to be, but I’m going to head down the path anyway and see where it goes.