When you’re a three-year-old Don Juan, it’s hard to find a babe that’s shorter than you are. That’s why my first crush was – Tinkerbell. I saw her flitting around in glorious black and white each Sunday evening on the Wonderful World of Disney. She was easier to follow, and also in color in our Disney story collection, and in miniature (of course,) on the back cover of our Golden books.
I wonder if she is the reason my favorite color is green.
It never bothered me that she convinced the Lost Boys to shoot Wendy out of the air. True love overlooks little faults like conspiracy to commit murder.
Of course I had rivals. Timmy Thorne, who was five and could recite almost the entire alphabet, also loved Tinkerbell.
“I’m going to write her a letter,” he said to me.
“You can’t do that,” I said, though I had no idea what Timmy could do. I’d seen him ride a big kid’s two-wheeler just the other day, and he told me he was taking piano lessons.
How could I compete with such an accomplished suitor?
I decided to draw a picture of her. I worked very hard, sure that if I drew the most perfect picture, I would win the tiny lady’s heart.
Of course I would need an adult’s help to send it to Tinkerbell. The only thing I was good at in mailing stuff was licking the stamp.
“Very good,” said my father when I showed it to him. “Wonderful detail!”
I beamed with pleasure and renewed confidence.
“Do you have an orange crayon in your crayon box?” he asked.
“Yes,” I said, proud that, unlike many three-year-olds, I could say yes without lisping.
“You know that a bird’s beak is not pink, right?” said my father.
My picture ended up on the refrigerator instead of in an envelope to Tinkerbell. I stared at it mournfully when I got milk for my Sugar Smacks.
My brother, who was very wise and old, (he was almost a teenager,) saw me staring at the picture one morning.
“You know Tinkerbell's not real, don’t you?”
“She’s just made up,” he said, “like Bambi and Davy Crockett.”
“You mean all the stuff on TV is made up?” I asked.
“Only the good stuff.”
Timmy Thorne got a letter a week later, but it wasn’t from Tinkerbell. It was an invitation to join the Mickey Mouse Club.
“Do you think she’s made up?” I asked him.
“Nah,” said Timmy. “She just doesn’t read letters. They’re too big, you know.”
And so I lived with a confused heart, pondering the love of my young life. Was she real? Would she like a picture of her that looked like a bird? Would she even open the envelope if I sent it, or would it be too big?
And then one day, the picture came down off the refrigerator and was replaced by my sister’s report card. There wasn’t much art to it, but there were a lot of A’s which I was told was a very good thing.
I’m going to have to figure this out, I decided. Maybe I should go to school like my brother and sisters. Then I’d learn if Tinkerbell is real, and maybe even how to write to her.
When I finally got to Kindergarten, I hadn’t forgotten that this was the place I would finally learn about my lady-love. I was full of determination and resolve!
That was, until I met my teacher, Mrs. Taylor.
Ah… Mrs. Taylor.
I'm sorry, but these new Disney vids titled "Tinkerbell," just isn't Tinkerbell.