Small Wonder

When I was a little girl, my absolute favorite toy was my Little Orphan Annie Mansion. I distinctly remember the grandeur of the dollhouse's teeny chandelier, no bigger than a Triscuit. And the yellow striped Victorian-style sofa would have been a perfect make-out couch for a couple of cockroaches. I could lose myself for whole afternoons within its little rooms. Sometimes my younger brother joined me, though to escape slights to his masculinity for "playing with dolls," he animated a toothbrush, moving it up and down the stairs, and relaxing it on the chaise. We thought nothing of Orphan Annie sitting down to dinner with a head of white Colgate bristles.

I haven't owned a dollhouse since I was child, but I never really grew out of my appreciation for the miniature. In my early 30s, I lived near a toyshop that specialized in doll furnishings, and occasionally I would pop in and find myself making teeny, useless purchases. My husband would come home and stare quizzically at the toaster the size of a grape sitting atop our mantle - two miniscule pieces of wooden toast peeking out the top.

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