Saturday, November 29, 2008

Trollin' for Luv

I remarked to my mother once, in a casual conversation, that when I was a little girl, I always wanted a Troll doll, but never got one. You know the ones I’m talking about--the ugly little mostly naked big-eyed frizzy haired flat-footed tan dolls with extended arms. Since I was in college when I made the remark to my mother, I assumed she would just hear my wistful complaint and empathize with me. Nothing more. All kids have had similar disappointments, right?

Not my mom.

I soon began receiving gifts of Trolls from my mother. She worked checking in donations at the local Goodwill store and had the ability to preview cool merchandise to buy after it reached the store. It seemed as if the Troll supply was endless. Could there actually have been that many people in the world who would give away the object of my desire?

Even after I moved away from home I would find Trolls anywhere and everywhere after my mother had visited. Under my pillow with a note attached: “Ouch, you’re squishing me!” In my freezer with a note saying “Hey I’m freezing in here!” In my bathroom, in my spice cupboard, behind a picture on the mantel. Sometimes it would be weeks before I would come across a hidden troll and my mother would laugh that it had taken me that long to find it.

Big trolls, little trolls, a troll with emerald green hair and a leprechaun outfit, trolls with rainbow hair, trolls with elaborate outfits or simple homemade tunics, barefoot trolls and trolls with cutesy little shoesies.

One day, at least ten years after first mentioning to my mother about the trolls, I was hard at work at a computer company. I worked in customer relations and as usual, it was a very stressful day. I had received numerous phone calls from people complaining, “Why is my computer late?” “Why is my computer early--I don’t have the check ready!” “Why isn’t my monitor working?” “Why did I get charged so much for shipping?”

Late that afternoon the mail courier rolled her mail basket to my desk and handed me a package. I assumed it would be some defective RAM chip that someone was sending back. No, no, no.

The package contained two very tiny, about 1 inch tall, Lucite trolls, one with bright yellow hair, and another with red hair. My co-workers gathered round as I lovingly told them the story of my mother and the mysteriously appearing trolls. I proudly stuck them on top my computer monitor with scotch tape, a reminder of a mother’s love in the midst of angry customer complaints.

Mom has since passed on, but the trolls haven’t. I received a pink three foot stuffed clown troll from my sister Kelli, some cute troll wrapping paper from my cousin Jill, Halloween and Easter trolls from my sister Paula, and this cute little angel from one of my students last Christmas.

I forgot to tell my mom that I really like diamonds too.


  1. Wow, what a fun tradition! And whoever thought of an angel troll? It looks strange, yet oddly compelling. (I had a few of those creatures myself when I was young!)

  2. Nice to see you here, Shirley!


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