OUR DOLLS
Alexandra Chen and Samantha Parkington
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Hello Alexandra!                                  1.19.07
I’m so very sorry for my lack of any correspondence during the last few months-I have been very bad about it and I do apologize.  Today Rebecca, Teresa and I made a breakfast!  It’s so much fun to cook for ourselves for once- it gives one such a calming sense of self-reliance when you can provide for yourself like that- it’s like being a pioneer or something.  Do you cook?  And do you use lots of spices in your cooking?  I hear the general store is soon going to broaden it’s spice collection.  Goody!
Has Mei done her tea party yet?  I believe we are just waiting for her, Sonja and Elinor to finish theirs.  Also, I don’t think Britta has done it either.  Have you been doing any sewing lately?  I have not so of course I’m very eager for sewing circle to start.  Love, Samantha E. Parkington

Hey Samantha!                           9/7/06

Yeah, photography sounds cool!  I do have a lot of spare time cuz it doesn’t take much work to run the electronics store.  All I have to do is fix broken phones and write bills, lol!  So yeah, I’ll look into that!  So what’s up? I saw Rebecca in town the other day but I didn’t talk to her cuz she seemed to be in a pretty bad mood and was just leaving.  I can’t wait for all the colorful leaves to spread around town!  I heart this season!  Love, Alex

My dear Alexandra,                    August 19th, 2006
Well, you see, Teresa is not supposed to clean anything besides her own room because for one thing it is highly improper, and second, we have 3 chambermaids whose main job is to clean those rooms to earn their pay.  You know Alex, have you ever thought about taking up photography?  For some reason I always seem to picture you as a photographer.  You could do photographs for the Pleasantville Gazette when you are good enough, since Rose Hopkins has left on such a long vacation! 
Did you know that Rebecca and I are having breakfast at
5 PM?  It is so funny! We’ve been thinking of flip-flopping our meals one day for such a long time!  We shall have lunch for breakfast tomorrow morning, I think, haha!  Well, do respond, love, Samantha E. Parkington

Hey Samantha!                                     5.25.06
Well if singing makes you feel good then practicing for an hour and a half every day makes sense, I guess.  Why is it bad that Teresa cleaned Rebecca’s room?  It would be a miracle if Eli or Mei just decided to clean my room one day.  Haha, like that’ll ever happen.  Do you like teaching your proper school?  It seems like it would be really annoying to have to deal with all those crazy kids.  I could never do it!  I’d lose my patience after the first five minutes!  Love, Alex

Dear Alexandra,                                   3/28/06
I have always thought that training my voice and consistently practicing for several hours every day is absolutely essential to my well-being and general grace of attitude.  For example, on the days on which I do not practice for more than an hour and a half, I usually find that I am in lesser spirits in general, and of a more eruptive temperament.  Why just today I got terribly upset with Teresa for assuming responsibility to clean Rebecca’s bedchambers.  She presumed that it would be helpful and not obtrusive but it is really just the height of rudeness!  I gave her a good scolding and sent her to bed without cookies or hot chocolate.  Sincerely, Samantha E. Parkington

Dear Samantha,                          3/7/06
That would be totally awesome if you got proper school up and running again!  It would give Mei and Eli something to do for once, lol!  I’m sure loads of people would def. be interested especially Angelica Romanakov because she has such a hard time with her little sister.
Hmm… let’s see, an average day for me is pretty much just go to work form 9-5 and then go home, cook dinner, and write bills/pay bills and write back to letters, and then go to bed.  Wow, you must really like practicing voice and piano!  3-4 hours?!  Love, Alex

My dear Alexandra,                    2/21/06
Well, I decided that maybe I shouldn’t dance in the Montoya Academy so that other dancers could get the lead roles, and also because I’ve suffered injuries from those in the past.  I’d like to participate somehow this year though- maybe I could teach the little beginners?  I would enjoy that.  Well, when I get my bedroom made here, I’d love to set up a little classroom and begin the proper school again.  Wouldn’t that be lovely?  I could actually just teach from my home!  I wonder if anyone would still be interested… 
What do you do in an average day besides going to work?  I love to go outside and work on my garden or paint flowers and butterflies.  Then I will go inside and read a good book before running over the dinner meal plan with Mrs. Hawkins.  Then I will practice piano and voice for a total of 4-5 hours and sew for the rest of the day.  Sometimes it is so stressful! 
Sincerely, Samantha E. Parkington

Hey Samantha!                           Feb. 6. 06
It’s kind of weird, all of a sudden I have two letters from you!  So instead of writing back to them both I’ll just write one-that is awesome that you were once the flower queen in the Nutcracker!  How come you’re not in the Montoya academy anyway?  Cuz you must be really good if you were in the Parisian ballet!  I’m sure Mrs. Montoya would give you a good part.  Yeah, Josefina cured me too.  It was amazing!  Suzi had the shivers so now she is all bundled up in tons of random clothing.  She looks hilarious!  I’m not going to tell her though cuz she’d probably bite my head off, haha.  I just finally got all of my Christmas decorations down today, I’m so behind!  Illnesses are so horrible because you can never get a thing done when you have them!  Whoa!  Hey it’s sunny!  It’s a miracle!  Maybe I’ll venture outside and go on a jog or something.  TTYL!  Love, Alex

My dear Alexandra,                    31st Jan., 2006
Oh really, you are too hard on yourself.  “Only a snowflake?!”  Why you may be only a snowflake, but it is one of the most prized positions in professional ballet companies; the part is demanding enough to rival that of the solo character dances.  That’s what my Parisian ballet instructor told me when I was only a snowflake.  The next year I won the part of the flower queen!  For Christmas, I received a beautiful silver set with platters and matching goblets.  It’s quite nice for our dinners because the platters are nice enough to serve the main courses on!
I’m very happy that Spring is around the corner…and winter has come with this nasty illness that Josefina is curing for me right now.  Can you imagine, she cured a queasy stomach with fine cuisine!  That’s quite ingenious.  Well, write soon!  Sincerely, Samantha E. Parkington

My dear Alexandra,                              1-15-06
I must apologize for my slow response to your last note!  Laura must have been neglecting her duties of late, for your letter was postmarked on the 6th of November.  So now I will answer, although it seems as though my apology should be more profuse…
During the Christmas season our builders were able to find the time to build our front porch and parlor, so now we have a proper door and a lovely living room (in which I’m sitting just now) with lots of beautiful windows to look out of, although the season is rather bleak at the moment.  I cannot wait to begin planning my garden!  For there is a contest this year to see who has the best garden and Hawkins and I are most determined that we shall win it!  So how is your home going?  I remember you mentioning that you were doing something-it was in Chinese, forgive me- to your household?  Styling it like the homes of the wealthy and noble families of
China?  Do you have a stove?  We do, although it can hardly stand the amount of cooking that Mrs. Hawkins puts it through, poor thing!  What are your favorite recipes?
Sincerely, Samantha E. Parkington

Dear Samantha,                          Jan. 12.05
Yes I’m still in the Nutcracker but I’m only a snowflake.  Suzi isn’t in it though.  I am so glad the Nutcracker is over.  I don’t like living at the ballet studio and sleeping in the theater!  I don’t really have any Christmas traditions other than putting up the tree.  I got a really cool and intricate jewelry box from Santa.  What did you get?  I can’t wait for summer because my apartment is so cold in winter!  At least the snow’s melting now.
Love, Alex

My dear Alexandra,                              12/3/05
It was just wonderful to receive a letter from you on this lovely snowy day, so that I have something to do as I watched Josefina practice the Sugar Plum solo across the street at the Nutcracker theater…  I love this season so much!  What are some Christmas traditions at your house?  We just put up our Christmas tree, and it does look very beautiful now.  We always bake gingerbread and blueberry muffins (we recently hired the Merriman’s maid, Sunny, and she is just taking them out now.  The lemony-blueberry smell is all over the house, from the cellar to the tower.)
We are also going to hold carol parties at our house were we can sing all of the Christmas carols.  Are you in the Nutcracker anymore?  I haven’t seen you there lately.  Do write back soon!  Sincerely, Samantha E. Parkington

Dear Samantha,                                    10/16/05
So what did you think of the masked ball?  I thought it was pretty cool except that the Montoyas weren’t there. 
L  Suzi and I left Eli and Mei to be babysat by Josefina during the party and during the night their river flooded their house!  Fortunately they were prepared for it so hardly any damage was done.  It must have been pretty exciting for the kids though!  Right now Eli is still at the Montoya’s and Suzi is asleep.  She zonked out the minute we got home from the ball last night, lol.  Mei is eating a hamburger but the hamburger is on a dish filled with sautéed green beans and tomatoes and positively dripping in soy sauce!!  She is totally obsessed with soy sauce.  It’s weird.  What are you and your sisters up to?  
Write soon then, Alexandra Chen

Dear Alexandra,                         August 30th, ‘05
Thank you so much for your letter!  No, I don’t believe I’ve ever been to your house, have you been to mine?  Besides the Easter all, I mean.  Maybe I will include basic proper housekeeping rules in my next proper school lesson so Mei and Eli will learn how to keep the house tidy while you are away!  School was so fun today- I’ve already finished my homework over at Felicity’s house.  I taught Francisca basic addition and multiplication because she doesn’t know any!  Of course I’ll go to the horseriding competition when there is one.  It’s the social gathering of the year!
Sincerely, Samantha E. Parkington

My dear Alexandra,                    January 12th, 2005
Thank you!  I am quite well and listening to the incredibly emotional and passionate symphonies of Sergei Rachmaninoff.  Yes, I do have a cat, indeed!  She is a very playful little thing, so I call her sunshine.  She sleeps for a lot of the time. But then she’ll jump up and go after something like anything and you’ll wonder what ever happened!
I certainly hope that we can attempt the festival again!  I’d like to have a stand this year… I don’t know what I could sell that would be unique?  Maybe Rebecca and I can make tussie-mussies and dance cards.  Wouldn’t that be grand?  Sincerely, Samantha E. Parkington

My dearest Alexandra,                         11/4/04
My most sincere apologies for not writing back to your many past letters!  I have finally settled into the beautiful new home (which is still only hardly furnished) and so I am now able to reply to all my lovely letters.
How is your family and your store?  What is life like in downtown Pleasantville?  What were you for Halloween?  I was an elegant masquerader.  I really cannot wait until school starts again!  I love seeing everyone there and learning about exotic places! 
Sincerely, Samantha E. Parkington

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