When Soap Tells True Stories
It’s not every day that two bars of soap turn into a historian, but then these aren’t normal times. My name is Lady Dove and my creator, hereafter referred to as “Mom”, carved me for an assignment. People are getting very inventive these days so no surprise that her Creativity Group asked everyone to make something out of soap for their monthly zoom meeting.
Mom planned to make a little abstract sculpture representing a mother and child, but I came out instead. She only had two bars of Dove (hence my name) and she used one for my head and the other for my hands. So my body doesn’t go all the way down. My hair is Mom’s, cut off from her ends, because she said why bother with hair styles these days. She didn’t even have to use glue, because everyone knows how hair sticks to soap. My dragonfly necklace is her ankle bracelet which she bought to show off her ankle dragonfly tattoo. She doesn’t wear it now because she claims it called more attention to her veins than to the tattoo.
The main thing about me is that I have a purpose, which everyone needs. Apparently, my job is to document my mom’s activities during the coronavirus pandemic. Since she just made me and this whole crazy business has been going on awhile, I had some catching up to do.
I missed out on her listening to John Prine songs round the clock on Spotify after his death from Covid-19. I think even Alexa was ready to revolt though I have to say “Summer’s End” is one beautiful song. I also missed out on her crying through her daughter Rose’s zoom dance recital in the dining room. I wondered if the dancing was that bad but I guess it was that good.
Then there was the making of seventeen face masks out of old bandanas. Each one had five separate pieces sewn together and Mom mixed up the different colored bandanas to make them look artistic. Apparently, she also bragged a little about how she used a fancy pattern. She is now thinking of making me one from the bandana scraps but it would just be for show as I am made out of soap, for goodness sake. Anyway, she had one extra mask and put it in her fairy garden for a hammock and I get to lie in it. It’s pretty comfortable.
It would seem that these so-called zoom events are a big deal for Mom. She takes a shower before each one, gets dressed up, and even puts on earrings. She decided perfume was useless. She said they are rather exhausting, however, because for one thing you can see yourself and who needs that anyway? Also she misses out on the coffee and snacks and hugs and silliness in the real meetings.
She took me out this weekend for her first “party” since this whole thing began. I’m not sure I’d call it that as there were only three others, sitting a long way apart. But they seemed to think it was the best thing they could ever remember and even zoomed two people in Wisconsin to join in. It took a long time for them to figure out how to zoom on their “smart” phones and there was some kind of feedback that sounded like loud, squeaky birds. But everyone thought all this was funny. They also seemed to think I was funny and not necessarily funny ha ha.
Mom can’t figure out how some people are only going to the grocery store once a month. But then she said she’s not very good at planning meals. Her other daughter Helen and fiancé Ian (apparently the wedding was postponed because of you know what) sent her an Instant Pot. Mom carefully read all the 34 Important Safeguards and put it back in the box. But then she watched some YouTubes and there were women who didn’t look any smarter than her and they said it was easy. So she made sweet potatoes and later rice and chicken. Daughter Rose said it was the best meal ever but maybe that’s because Mom doesn’t cook much so there’s nothing to compare it with. I wouldn’t know.
Mom lets me join her on the screened-in porch in the evenings where she can drink some red wine (boxed) and count her blessings. One blessing is that she’s retired so there’s no job to lose. Another is that she is in a peaceful and pretty place and has Rose and all their animals to keep her company. And so far her family and friends are safe and healthy. Then she said she felt lucky that she was living through all this. And she didn’t mean lucky that she was still alive, though I guess that too. She meant that we won’t forget these significant times and they teach us things. Like how much good there is in most people and how many ordinary people are really heroes. And what’s most important to us. And how sweet it is to get a call or email or letter (wow!) in the mail. And how it’s comforting to slow down and do things like cook and sew and garden and not plan the day around lots of errands and outings. And then she said that all of this makes her hopeful. She told me this with her second glass of wine, which seems to get her rather sentimental, but I believe her. I have no reason not to. She carved me from Dove, for goodness sake. She said she may use Ivory Soap for the next doll and name her Lady Hope. She said that’s because hope floats. I haven’t been around for long but even I know that is no small thing.
p.s. I will try to keep you updated.