Last weekend, I went to a dollhouse-themed fashion exhibit. The place was festive- full of mirth on every turn. The area was a patchwork of tea parties, customized life-sized dolls and people on costume. The women mostly wore pastel colored corset with voluptuous knee-length skirts, mismatched socks which disappeared into high-heeled school shoes or fancy ballet flats, neon ribbons or bow-ties carelessly knotted on their careless buns or curls; but nothing was carelessly amiss with the adults’ ensemble. I was pretty sure they had a few days preparation for this event and a few nights contemplation on how they’ll dress up to look better than their posse. Thank God, I was born to love the scenes and not the people’s attention; else I’d be marching on their heels now.
There were a few men who came along, or maybe forced to tag along. Some were at odds with the strange effervescence of color, sight, sound and smell, while others were clearly enjoying their cups of tea as they stared at the fanciful embroideries. The men too, had to wear pastel outfits to match with the theme. Knee-length seemed to be the trend on the event, because men were wearing colorful shorts, some had minimal colors, while others had intoxicating hues on rather showy shorts. They had sailor hats, while some wore overt frockcoats and satin jeans.
I took pictures- my camera on my eyes, ready to capture the pauses between seconds. I’ve been there for quite a while before I found the entire congregation ludicrous. If not for the chance to take beautiful photos and avail of free food, I would never have stepped into this madness. Yes, it was that perfect word that could describe the moment: madness.
My mother isn’t a fan of dolls. She’s tolerated it when I was a kid, because I loved playing with it- styling its hair and matching its clothes. That fondness turned sour as I grew up, especially when I started seeing dolls with my mother’s eyes. I see empty malice in their eyes that sent shivers down my spine. It’s those soulless orbs that made me stop loving dolls.
I continued taking pictures. Children squealed as they ran around the place. I clicked and clicked and took photos of those children. The way they looked at dolls was in awe; a far cry from my subtle anxiety whenever I see one now. There, in that moment, I saw the fine line between a child’s euphoria and an adult’s responsibility. It dawned on me then, that I wasn’t seeing the world as an innocent child anymore. The moment I saw the world with eyes that began to judge characters, I already stepped out of the dollhouse. I was already facing this carnivorous society of madmen.