the smell of my desperation has become a stench

From my childhood to theirs

This post is brought to you by Target.


There are a few things from my childhood that I have kept and already shared with both kids including a collection of original My Little Ponies now scattered in various corners of the house, each with chopped manes or eyes that have been painted over with glittery nail polish. Wasn’t ever planning on selling those on eBay or anything, MARLO.

But there are so many treasures that I didn’t keep, like any of my 15 Cabbage Patch Kids or the Stretch Armstrong that started to ooze whatever magical substance that makes him so stretchable. I do have a box of cassette tapes in storage filled with songs I recorded off the radio, and I plan on being there when Leta listens to Nevermind from start to finish. And if she doesn’t respond as if her world has been forever altered I will at some point forgive her. Actually, no. I won’t.

I also left behind the stockpile of troll dolls I managed to amass, probably because I could not ever resist cutting their hair and thus rendering them in some way void of their inherent usefulness. FINE. Marlo did not fall far from the tree. In fact, she may still be hanging from a branch.


I recently found out that Target is exclusively bringing back the Troll dolls (in-store only) and a huge line of paraphernalia to go with them. Socks, pajamas, leggings, along with 90s-era Lip Smackers and Caboodles. CABOODLES, Y’ALL. I wasn’t allowed to wear makeup when I had one, but all of my friends were. And when we’d compare what our Caboodles were filled with—theirs invariably with an assortment of lipsticks, eyeshadows and orange-tinted foundation—I’d pretend that I’d accidentally left mine at home because it was filled to brimming with the tears of my neglected childhood.




So far the Lip Smackers have been the hugest hit with Marlo because, as you know, they are useful not only for dry lips but can also be substituted for eyeliner, blush, moisturizer, and a writing utensil. Marlo can spell her last name with lip balm, it turns out.


This post is sponsored by Target

  • acm

    2015/08/24 at 9:18 am

    Hey, we had Lip Smackers (TM) back in the 70s! so it’s a revival revival, I guess…

  • REK981

    2015/08/24 at 9:38 am

    I cannot wait get to Target for a Troll doll and a Caboodle!! This is awesome!!

  • Marie McDowell

    2015/08/24 at 10:13 am

    I loved my bubble gum Lip Smacker!

  • Lex Lemon

    2015/08/24 at 10:19 am

    So. HAPPY!

  • Lauren

    2015/08/24 at 1:10 pm

    OMG CABOODLES!!!!!!!! No friggen way. I didn’t have makeup in mine, but I don’t even remember! MUST OWN ONE… I mean, um, get one for my daughter. Ahem.

  • Desiree Johnson

    2015/08/24 at 1:45 pm

    Loved my Caboodle! Must get me and my daughter one!

  • Kristan

    2015/08/24 at 2:10 pm

    Funny enough, I used to keep My Little Ponies (and Polly Pockets) in my Caboodles. Right next to my Lisa Frank Trapper Keeper and my Keroppi suitcase. Not even kidding.

  • Mrs Woog

    2015/08/24 at 4:41 pm

    What the hell is a Caboodle?

  • Carla

    2015/08/24 at 5:43 pm

    I love those troll dolls. I wrote that as droll tolls three times before I got it right.

    Anyway, when I see things like this anymore, I get stuck on LANDFILL waste and plastics and kids smearing their bodies with cherry bomb scented chemicals.

    I guess someone had to say it, or not. I try to opt for not so I can be one of the popular kids, but then this diarrhea thing happens and it just spills everywhere.


  • Carla

    2015/08/24 at 6:07 pm

    Oh, gosh. Big head’s up for Lisa Frank folks. Those things sell like hotcakes on eBay. My husband learned about this recently and bought a dinged and scratched rainbow lunch pail at Goodwill for $1.99 and sold it in a few days on eBay for $65. He was adorable standing in line with his little lunch box. :o)

  • Kim

    2015/08/24 at 6:42 pm

    I have a Popple, a few My Little Ponies (from before they were redesigned to be all skinny and shit) and I believe a Troll or two from my childhood…waiting for my kids who have yet to be conceived, in a box in the basement. I can’t believe they’re bringing the Trolls back. I collected those weird little dolls and stored them in what else? A Troll Doll-covered bag.

  • Suzy Soro

    2015/08/24 at 9:53 pm

    Hilarious post, Heather.

  • sue elliott

    2015/08/25 at 12:43 am

    I’m pretty sure that the troll dolls of my youth had suggestive holes between their legs so they could spend their days prancing around on pencils, driving teachers mad.

  • Gem Wilder

    2015/08/25 at 1:26 am

    You had how many Cabbage Patch Kids?! Kid me is jealous of kid you.

  • daisyliz

    2015/08/25 at 3:03 pm

    The first picture of the troll doll brought back this intense memory of how they smelled. SO WEIRD!

  • Judith Emptybesters

    2015/08/25 at 8:23 pm

    What a blast from the past. I had given these troll dolls to my children. I will run down to the basement to see if I can find them. Maybe the next generation can enjoy them.

  • Jenny

    2015/08/25 at 8:47 pm

    I randomly grabbed the troll sweatshirt for my 7 year old daughter and I wish it came in my size. It’s so soft and so kitschy… A definite must have if you have a child who is into super soft clothing like mine.

  • mom2ajs5

    2015/08/26 at 9:28 pm

    Caboodle!!! I just dug mine out not long ago and found old make-up (gross!) and my class ring!

  • Kim

    2015/08/26 at 11:05 pm

    That is amazing!

Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

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