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It’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye…….

March 17, 2010

My dear friend from college put out a request on Facebook to see who might be interested in taking her daughter’s Flat Elizabeth on an adventure.

If you have never been entrusted with a Flat Stanley and do not have any idea what I am talking about, you should really consider what kind of friend you have been. For those of us who are trustworthy and creative and just spectacular in general, sometimes our friends will send us a Flat Stanley (or other cutout doll named after their child).ย  There is a children’s book about a boy named Stanley who gets smushed by a blackboard and accidentally sealed in an envelope and he ends up on a grand adventure. And some teachers think it is a great idea for kids in their class to create their own cutout doll and send him/her on his/her own grand adventure.

It is a really fun way for the kids to learn about the world.

Being so competitive willing to help another mother out, I raised my hand immediately. And, no I did not knock three other mothers down in the process – remember it was a virtual competition – I behaved myself quite nicely. After all, I am a civilized competitor – but I might have shouted “me, me, me” into the web-o-sphere once or twice. Maybe. And maybe not. But maybe.

In fact, lots of people offered (to no avail) to play tour guide to Flat Elizabeth. My friend is a delightful person and so it makes sense that a lot of friends wouldย offer to help her. And I am not at all suggesting that they are losers in the Flat Elizabeth campaign – but you can see where she ended up. ๐Ÿ˜‰

On a slow train to Ranthambore – the tiger preserve in India. Oh, yes, in case you have forgotten, India is where “I” live. Flat Elizabeth came to visit me! Yahoo! Not the other losers friends who offered to help out. I’m just sayin – I won, I won. tee hee.

She was a delightful travel companion. She didn’t each much and never had to stop for potty breaks. She didn’t even fight with her siblings – of course, that might have something to do with the fact that she does not have any siblings – but she did not fight once. And, yes, she is absolutely adorable. My friend friend’s daughterย  is no slacker. She would never send a ragtag Flat Elizabeth to visit.

So Elizabeth went on a tiger safari and saw real tigers.

She went to an Indian classroom and found her initial on the board.

She saw forts and monkeys and learned a lot about the emperors of India.

She also rode a camel and an elephant.

She played in a band.

The only snafu that we hit was that security was tight at the Taj Mahal and they would not let dolls in. Yes, I know you would think the real threat would be guns, knives, or other expl*sives. But apparently, dolls are also on the no-go list. I tried as hard as I could to get them to change their minds. I explained it was for a school project – that Flat Elizabeth is really not a terr*rist and meant no harm to the Indian people. But it seems to have more to do with advertising – they do not want people taking pictures of the Taj with dolls and using them for advertisements. And, yes, I did my best to explain that in the west, we do not consider a piece of paper a doll. No offense intended to Flat Elizabeth – as I mentioned, she is the bestest Flat Elizabeth e.v.e.r –ย  but she hasn’t actually been offered a modeling career and her intentions were purely academic.

But we did not let that stop us. We found a picture of the Taj and took her picture in front of it and checked the Taj Mahal off our list.

She also had her picture taken with a member of the royal family.

Okay, now you are just being picky. He was a member of the royal family and he is sadly no longer with us – but once we stretched our imagination with the Taj Mahal, anything went. So, yes, that is a picture of her with a king. Truth be told, I think he was actually flirting with her. Don’t laugh – they have a lot in common you know – being made of paper is just one of the fine qualities they shared. Although I think she is from better stock than he is – or was.

She even wore a makeshift sari.

She also got all the diet coke she wanted. Shhhhh. Don’t tell my friend that part. But we loaded her up on caffeine.

Flat Elizabeth also got to stay in a palace. And enjoyed every second of the royal treatment.

And her bath at the end of the day was nothing short of divine.

Somewhere along the line, poor Flat Elizabeth lost an eye. I have sworn myself to secrecy on this one – mostly because I have no idea how it happened. But my dear friend understands that traveling in India can be dangerous. She has assured me that she knows of a very reputable eye surgeon in the U.S. who will keep it all on the down low.

Unfortunately I did not take a picture of her with only one eye because I did not want any evidence of the mishap should I be asked to testify later simply forgot. But I assure you, she was the cutest dang one-eyed “doll” e.v.e.r.

All the votes are in and it is o.f.f.i.c.i.a.l. – I am the best Flat Elizabeth hostess ever. Me, Me, Me.

My friend was so grateful that she sent this note…

Dear Queen of all things Flat Elizabeth,

Thank you so much for opening your heart and home to Flat Elizabeth. Your adventures with her far exceeded our highest expectations. You are just amazing. Our project will be so much better than anyone else’s. You are a rock star. It is as simple as that. We are hereby nominating you to the highest order of Flat Elizabethness and crown you supreme hostess and tour guide. It is with humble hearts and grateful friendship that we thank you for all that you have done for us. Even Mother Teresa herself could not have done such justice to this project.

Okay – what it really said was …

Dear A Reason 2 Write

Flat Elizabeth had a great time. Thanks.

Oh sure, the real version was more toned down than what I imagined it might be. But I know in my heart the Academy will be calling soon. Don’t doubt me. ๐Ÿ˜‰

17 Comments leave one →
  1. July 6, 2010 10:07 am

    Found you blog by googling- Fun and games until someone loses an eye, random, I know.
    But I just had to comment and say that your post was well written, funny and I can see you as being the best flat “traveler” companion of all time. Lucky Elizabeth- up until the eye incident of course.

  2. Suzie permalink
    March 20, 2010 8:30 am

    Just like you to do a Flat Stanley/Elizabeth project so well. I’m gaining a great education about India through you. It is fabulous just like you! I read the blog often —what an education you and your family are receiving. Would you like a Flat from Fairfax to come your way?

    • March 20, 2010 11:06 pm

      Hey there! It’s so good to hear from the real Queen of Flat Stanleyhood! We really are enjoying our adventure – and you know I am always happy to have a Flat fellow tag along! If someone doesn’t have a place to send their guy – please send him on – just don’t make any promises about the Taj Mahal. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. March 18, 2010 3:36 pm

    Oh that was so cute! That’s a great project for the kids to participate in.

  4. March 18, 2010 2:41 am

    uh – um – it’s all fun and games, remember? hopefully this post was taken in the funny spirit it was intended – I know Jeanne would never have loser friends ๐Ÿ˜‰

  5. March 18, 2010 12:36 am

    As one of the losers in this campaign I gracefully concede. Well won.

  6. March 18, 2010 12:35 am

    Cool re Flat Elizabeth! I recently signed up for a similar thing, but it’s got a Star Wars bent: I was assigned a stormtrooper (I’ve dubbed him TK-217) and will be showing him around Springfield as well as taking him to Malaysia and Singapore next month! ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Jeanne permalink
    March 17, 2010 9:22 pm

    Flat Elizabeth has arrived safely in the States and the tales of her adventures in a land far, far away have earned Real Elizabeth something more precious than gold. The admiration of her peers and the highly sought after ‘Champion Ticket.’ Flat Elizabeth’s eye was replaced by the teacher, but it sure does look like she’s winking at us now from her new position of honor, stapled to the map of Mrs. Stetter’s 1st grade classroom wall.
    With the power vested in me by the Flat Stanley United World Council of Paper Dolls, I hearby dub you Supreme Hostess Extraordinare “for real life” in the words of my daughter. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

    • March 17, 2010 9:40 pm

      I am so glad she got home safely! And, are you kidding me? The Champion Ticket? Holy smokes – I really do rock! ๐Ÿ˜Ž

      I most humbly accept your praise. I want to thank all the little (paper) people who made this possible.

  8. Liz Persell permalink
    March 17, 2010 6:42 pm

    uh-oh you may be flooded with Stanleys in a couple of weeks from LCES!

  9. March 17, 2010 11:06 am


    We have a Flat Stanley right now and sad to say, the poor guy keeps getting left behind.


    I’ve had him too long and need to send him back on his way …

    Maybe he’ll get back to the US before school lets out?

    • March 17, 2010 9:38 pm

      Don’t be too hard on yourself – not everyone can handle the pressure…. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  10. leadfoot permalink
    March 17, 2010 10:58 am

    This is why I read your blog.

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