Margo Georgiadis, CEO Mattel, Inc. 333 Continental Boulevard
El Segundo, CA 90245-5012
Re: My Guilty Conscience
I stole this Mattel doll 40+ years ago from King’s department store in Plattsburgh, New York.
The store went out of business three decades ago, so I can’t return it there. I don’t want to return it at all, but my sister said I have to.
I swiped it from a package with a mom and dad doll with van and accessories. I just wanted the baby, because I was obsessed with tiny things. But after getting back to my grandma’s apartment, I got a harsh introduction to my guilty conscience and buried the doll in a box in my closet.
I was never able to look at it, let alone touch it. Oh, I thought of it often, but every time I thought about taking it out to play with it, I’d get within a foot of its cardboard grave before feeling dirty and evil and sick.
Then, last week, I was looking for something in my basement and came across the doll, face-down in a corner of a box, reflecting my shame.
I don’t want to give it back. I mean, I stole it because I wanted it. Right? It’s become part of my life. This tug-of-war has gone on in my head since 1973. I want the doll, yet I want it away from me.
Just one day after uncovering the pilfered doll in my basement, I scored a large baby doll at auction to resell and, to identify it, typed in the search terms “porcelain head baby doll bonnet yellow blue felt.” Up came a picture of the thumb-size Sunshine Family Mattel doll I’d stolen when I was barely out of triangle pants.
It was more than coincidence.
So here is the doll. If it means anything – I’m really sorry.
I just got a text from my sister. She said it’s more a civil matter now, and that I don’t have to return the doll, just the 50-cents it was worth back then. [She feels complicit in the theft since she’s the one who walked me to the store that day.]
Please accept these two quarters (enclosed). That should cover settling the debt as well as my conscience.
March 29, 2017
Uh oh. I got a letter from Mattel.
They gave me my quarters….
… and a talking-to.