Sybil Bruncheon's "My Merry Memoirs": Chapter 23 - The Doll House...

MUCHA Dollhouse Sarah B Guest Perry (803K).jpg

When I was a little girl, (and the crown Princess and Heir Apparent of the twin kingdoms Greater & Lesser Marnier and the Triple Sec Islands - but that's another story for another time!) my parents believed in all my toys providing educational and moralistic benefits as well as pure childish entertainment! A case in point is the doll house competition which they announced to the great European and American architects of the time. Among the many submissions was this one by the great illustrator, designer, and artist Alphonse Mucha. He proposed a fantastic dream-like structure that would stand 6' high and be approximately 21' square with all its grounds and gardens. Furniture, dolls, and mythical beasts and gods and goddesses would occupy it along with fiends and doll-demons in trap doors underneath, which were timed to open only at night for me to release and play with. The whole thing was overseen by our family-therapists Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung who each treated my mother and father respectively resulting in terrible fights at the dinner table over the metaphorical meaning and sexual symbolism of various foods being served by alternately frightened or furious servants!

Freud felt that the presence of naked people all over the doll-house was exactly the kind of progressive education that a child should have to be fully comfortable with sex later on "in 6th grade". He DID insist that all the figures be of extremely beauty physically because, "Vy shood un eempreshanable tchild bee exposed tu dee ugly pipple. Hoo vants to see dee old und rinkles? Dee faht und balled? Dee doll-hoz moost be a plays ob dee hahppy, not dee hiddy-ose! Yo vant for dee Sheeble tu grow to be a keeler...or a meeskite?".

Carl Jung, on the other hand, was thrilled that the whole thing was like something out of dream, albeit a bad one, but he and I, along with Mucha had many concept meetings over late night hot-chocolate martini marathons discussing the details and the negotiations with the union laborers.

At any rate, the Mucha dollhouse was finally built at an appalling cost because "Uncle" Alphonse (who adored me, and I him!) insisted on the entire thing to have both gaslights and electricity, running water, and twice the number of doll-servants originally proposed. Apparently, he was shocked that my parents would leave such a large estate (though a toy!) to so few caretakers, and stated quite angrily at my cowering mother that "Sybil should not have to wait with doll-guests for tea and butter-biscuits to be served in a timely manner. Whattya think I'm building here for her? A DUMP????".... My mother fled from the room and was confined to a sofa for two weeks with round-the-clock sessions with Dr. Freud to "calm her nerves"!!!! ....Uncle Alphonse and I rocked with laughter! ROCKED WITH LAUGHTER!!... good times, ah, good times....

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