I don’t think I’ve introduced the Dollie family yet. They are fairly typical, but a little too-too. They’ve been waiting for 29 years to move into their dream house. The Dollies originally had planned to live in the Midwest, but the winters were too harsh for their arthritic joints. The Sunny South was their final choice. Rumor has it that the crazy landlady is just now putting in electricity! Reports of how she has treated past Dollies are far from glowing. One R. Ann Dollie lost all her beautiful red hair in a laundry accident. Another Francis Dollie (younger sister to Barbie, residents of Malibu) through some freakish twist of fate lost an entire arm! To her credit, the landlady still loved Francie for years, but dear Francis did spend the summer at the bottom of the pool with little Stacie. Both were a sickly green color come August. So the Dollies have very little confidence in their caretaker, but it’s just too late to change now.
First, the head of household, Oliver Dollie. He founded the local trolley company, but he continues to run the family’s successful llama farm, Dollie’s Llamas. Look at him — he just oozes wealth, doesn’t he, with that fancy cutaway and that perpetually shrugged posture? He does need a new tailor, however. His pet llama is Lloyd, whom he raised from birth. It’s amazing that he’s able to farm at all given his unbendable joints. He is making sure that his family has the very best in their new home: crown mouldings, hardwood floors, brass fixtures, and stone foundations.
It was love at first sight for Mollie Dollie. She, too, has joint trouble. And she insists that satin ball gowns are appropriate for everyday. She’s happy to putter around the house doting on her three lovely children. She’s none too eager to move into the new place with the bathroom all the way up on the third floor and no actual interior access. Climbing out on the roof to visit the WC is not her idea of lady-like gentility or modern efficiency.
Jolly Dollie was born on Christmas Day, and his silly practical jokes live up to his name. Doctors corrected that Dollie shrug shortly after birth so that Jolls hold his hands properly at his side, like a good future Admiral. His mother wants him to join the Navy someday (a more respectable occupation, she believes, than herding those smelly llamas and chasing those doomed-to-fail trolleys.). Jolls would rather be a vampire, so he pulls up his collar to pester his mother and frighten his sister. He’ll share a room with his sister until the attic gets finished. It’s pretty drafty up there now, but it is closer to the bathroom.
Polly Dollie is a spittin’ image of her mother but was unfortunately born with her father’s wiry curls. No cream rinse can tame those follicles! She likes ruffles and lace and collecting large novelty coins.
Holly Dollie is the baby of the family. Mollie believes that bonnets are a form of discipline, so Holly’s head gear prevents her from habitually scratching at that ear infection (Molly’s own clever invention after seeing a schnauzer in the park). The bonnet ties are extra long to tie Holly down to the nearest table leg. It’s the only way Mollie can get any peace.
Then there’s crazy Uncle Sol. He got the lion’s share of the shoulders in this family by secreting tipping llamas at midnight. He dresses like the family butler so he doesn’t embarrass Mollie (“You just can’t get good help these days,” she sighs to the Garden Club). No one wants to talk about where Solly will stay after the move. And, last but not least, the family pet, McColley the Collie. Notice how Polly got her freakishly large nickle in the portrait again.