Hannah Banana

Minneapolis, Minnesota circa 1965

Hannah and David were my constant and forever playmates. We played together so much we were given the nickname, “The Three Stooges.” So much of our life was restricted, so we learned to be wildly creative with anything; playacting books, songs, stories and mimicking grownups. Hannah (who was sometimes called Hannah Banana) and I campaigned with every grownup to own real Barbies and not the flat chested Skipper which had been deemed appropriate for little girls. Finally, when my oldest brother Eb got married, his wife presented us with a real, live, voluptuous Barbie. Our joy was great.

With the new Barbie, Hannah and I expanded our dollhouse. We used shoes for cars, Kleenex boxes for beds, plumbing washers for jewelry boxes and cardboard cartons for rooms. Hannah had another doll that was a knock-off Barbie and slightly different. We called her Christie and she had a haughty look on her face. Christie had been our stand in Barbie for a long time. Now that we had been given a real Barbie, we blackballed Christie for her bratty behavior.

We made “triangle” dresses for our dolls, using a method Rashida Aunty had taught us—folding a cloth over, cutting a hole for the neck and sewing the seams on the side.  The dresses looked like a triangle when the dolls were not inside them. Since we did not have spools of thread, we pulled threads from our single allotted towel to sew with. The result was that all the dresses looked the same and we ended up with threadbare towels.

But Hannah was so creative that she even found a live pet for our penthouse. She caught a fat, overfed fly and removed its wings. Then the fly was allowed to freely roam around our Barbie house. Hannah declared proudly, “Look! My Barbie has a cat!” I was amazed at her ingenuity and whenever we played Barbie we obtained a fresh cat. Eventually David presented Barbie with her very own Rottweiler, which was a large gray moth, with amputated wings.

Even to this day, we Three Stooges get together and laugh at our own long ago days. We are always grateful for our continued strong bond.

One response to “Hannah Banana”

  1. Vaishali says:

    This is beautiful… And so wonderful to see that all these years later, you, Hannah and David still have this strong bond. Keep writing these short stories… It’s so warming to read.

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