Sunday, October 10, 2010

My Very Own String Theory

Remember her? She showed up just about the time that the Era of Mass Surrender was in full swing and the maternity homes had waiting lists and young girls with expanding bellies were being hidden as fast as their parents could find a hole in which to stuff them. This little doll was on every little girl's Christmas list because, Glory Be, she could talk!

Just as the doll to have when I was a kid was Tiny Tears, so did Chatty Cathy become the "in" toy for the little girls of the 1960's. I was disappointed when the daughter of a family friend showed off her prized Cathy. You made the doll talk by pulling the string in her back and were rewarded with a litany of canned phrases, such as "I Love You" and others. The quality was tinny and reflective of the technology of the times and the little record inside would often get off track or  the stylus would jump or whatever and what you would get would be gobbledy-gook (another scientific term).

So here is my "string theory" with apologies to Hawking and other great minds and it is about the adoption tail wagging the mother/adoptee dog. The Chatty Cathy adoptee is happy, happy, happy and, when you pull their string, they say, "Thank you, B****mother, for not aborting me," "I am so grateful to be adopted," and "I'm special because I was chosen." Some even say "I don't need to know my biological roots because it might hurt my (adopters)." Those who refuse to parrot those phrases are ungrateful CC's with a defective recording. What naughty adoptees! The Chatty Cathy adoptees will often challenge the non-CC adoptee with other canned comments such as "I am happy and have NO adoption issues."

The Chatty Cathy Natural Moms are another breed of doll, altogether. Pull their string and their recording will deliver such gems as "I am happy that I relinquished/placed/gave up my baby so he/she could have a better life." On the same reel are the stock phrases "I made my decision and I have to live with it," "This was God's plan for me," "The people who adopted my child are the REAL parents," and "I am a hero, I am a hero, I am a hero..ooops..tape got stuck." Non-CC Nmoms are  called bitter and unable to leave the past behind them. It is postulated that they just didn't come off the assembly line with the proper attitude of meek obsequiousness to adopters and the facilitators. What baaaaad beemommies!

Unknown to the general public, they themselves are being made into "Chatty's" by the industry without them realizing they have a string trailing out of their back. Pull theirs and they say "Adoption is a warm and wonderful thing," "Those poor infertile people deserve a baby" and "What about all those dumpster babies." The churches are already marketing their own Chatty's who say "Adopt, don't abort." It comes from the big screen, the small screen, the assorted media including news media and the pulpit and it is fitted into the CC Citizen without them even knowing it.

So with a pull of a string, the Industry and those who support it have a Greek Chorus of approval for their legalized crimes of coercion, brainwashing and taking another woman's child. Then some wonderful adopter gets the child they wanted, ready-made to take on their adopters' emotional welfare.

That's great for the Chatty Cathys, but us Tiny Tears get bupkis...well, unless you call the ability to wet your pants a plus.


Just Me said...

Great post...

On a side note:
I didn't have a Chatty Cathy but my babysitter did and I used to beg her to bring it with her whenever she sat for me. I loved that dang doll... sigh

Von said...

Love it!!!One of your best posts ever!!! You really are in good form today!

Linda said...

Oooh, girlfriend!!! Like Von said, this is now one of my new favorite blog entries from you!! Love this!!!

Of course I had this doll, but I cut her hair and broke the string.

Maybe I shall invent the "Bitter Adoptee who misses her First Mom" doll?

Sayings will include, "You're not my REAL Mom", "Give me my OBC", "Ouch! You're stepping on my Primal Wound!" and "Get out of my way, Nancy Effay".

Sandy Young said...

My sister had a Chatty Cathy doll. I hated that thing!

Excellent post, Robin. Points out perfectly the rote-speak that is an inherent part of adoption today.

maybe said...

Check out this post on a feminist blog about adoption:

The original piece is about international adoptions, but there are many comments about adoption in general. What I find interesting (and disturbing) is that the standard feminist line seems to be that adoption is just another choice and there are sooooo many women who give birth but don't want to be mothers, so adoption is the answer. I suspect most of the women who buy into these ideas have never actually given birth.

maybe said...

Chatty Cathy reminds me of the "Talky Tina" episode on the old Twilight Zone series. Talky Tina had it in for dad (played by Telly Salavas) whom she taunts into madness. Super creepy episode.

The adoption Chatty Cathy's are just as creepy!

Cassi said...


I have to agree, this is one of the best posts I have seen! And yeah, definitely a "creepy" Chatty Cathy Doll.

So for those of us who came off the assembly line as a "Chatty Cathy" good beemommie, what are we now that our recordings are broken and there is not a "fix" in the world to get us to repeat those vulgar, disgusting sayings?

Robin said...

"So for those of us who came off the assembly line as a "Chatty Cathy" good beemommie, what are we now that our recordings are broken and there is not a "fix" in the world to get us to repeat those vulgar, disgusting sayings?"

What we always really were, Cassi...Mothers.