On December 23, 2019, mom Elizabeth Faidley took to Facebook to share a story from her and her daughter’s 2015 Christmas. Faidley called the now-annual tradition “The 2019 Pearl the Mermaid Saga Re-Telling!”
She wrote, “Attention Facebook Land! It’s FINALLY HERE: The 2019 Pearl the Mermaid Saga Re-Telling! I was going to wait until 12/24 to post this, but I know some of you need to prepare for your Christmas Eve dinner readings. The more I think about the Pearl Saga, the more I think about how it really symbolizes my motherhood journey.”
As Faidley explained, 2019 was the fourth year she retold “the Tale of Pearl.” However, this year, the re-telling of their 2015 Christmas experience went deeper than it ever has before and as a result, the tale went viral with over 29,000 shares on Facebook.
“Many of you have been thinking and asking about Pearl and her strange skin, ‘creepy eyes,’ and flowing green hair, and I feel like enough time has passed that I can now reveal to you the entire Pearl Saga. For those of you who might have lost track of the Pearl story or might have forgotten an essential plot point, I’m going to sketch it out for you.”
According to Faidley, the story begins in December 2015. Her daughter, Ellie, only wanted one thing for Christmas that year, “a real merbaby.”
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So, the mom scoured the internet, looking for the perfect mermaid baby doll to gift her daughter on Christmas morning. And when she found it, she knew in her heart of hearts that Ellie would love it, despite multiple people’s adverse reaction to seeing the doll for the first time.
“Being the adventurous gift buyer that I am, I searched and searched and finally found a hand-made mermaid baby doll on ETSY. In the pictures online, it appeared that Pearl was wearing a veil of some sort. But no, that was her creepy and weird skin. When Pearl arrives, I am thrilled! I show her to several teenaged students who react to her face in sheer horror. I ignore this reaction, knowing that Ellie will love Pearl.”
Days past, and Christmas morning came. It was time for Ellie to wake, run down to the tree, and open up the one thing she desperately wanted Santa to bring her.
However, Ellie’s reaction to meeting Pearl for the first time was not what Faidley had anticipated. “Basically, she was like, ‘OMG, this doll is hideous. What is wrong with you, Santa?'” In fact, the video showing Ellie seeing Pearl under the tree captured Faidley’s little one saying, “Ew, that’s not what I expected.”
Part three of the story reveals Faidley desperately trying to get Ellie to fall in love with Pearl, who she, at that point, began to call “DisgustING.” The mom even dyed the doll’s hair in hopes of making her look less creepy, but nothing worked, and Ellie continued to refuse to hold Pearl.
“I am, of course, devastated by my failure and more determined than ever to remedy it.” And that’s when Faidley found “a doll hospital.”
The mom continues, “I pack Pearl up in a box and address it to the doll hospital. I tell Ellie that Pearl is going off to the hospital to have her face and hair “adjusted.” Ellie wisely informs me that ‘Pearl has even greater problems than those.’ Then, she proceeds to write on the box, ‘Please, please, help this doll. She has so many problems.'”
A month and a very expensive quote to fix Pearl later, Faidley gets a phone call.
“I was at MSM teaching on a crisp January morning when my phone rang. I ignored it and then listened to the message between students. It was a Detective from the Secaucus Police Department. He really needed to talk to me ‘immediately’. I called him back right away and he demanded that I come down to the precinct at once. Anyway, I told the detective I couldn’t leave teaching and asked what this was about. I informed Detective Sigmund that I do not ‘DO Makeup Lessons’ and would not be leaving my school. He didn’t seem to understand.”
Then came the “big reveal,” what was so important that a New Jersey detective needed to speak with her right away? Well, as Faidley revealed, the doll hospital had contacted the police about Pearl.
It seems as though whoever made Pearl also included “two ounces of COCAINE STUFFED IN HER HEAD.” When the doll doctors “removed Pearl’s head to repaint her offensive skin,” that’s when they found the drugs.
“I adamantly argue and insist that I have never seen cocaine in my life. He relents, agreeing that it would be strange for me to stuff cocaine in a doll’s head and then ship it off to an expensive doll hospital.”
However, that didn’t stop the detective from passing his own judgment on Pearl’s looks. And he was equally appalled when he learned Faidley had paid for the doll with her own money. “You spent money on this doll? Have you ever heard of Ariel? She is a pretty mermaid. You can buy her at any Disney store.”
“After obtaining all my ETSY information, he hung up and went to work. I called Andrew Kirjner into my studio and told him that I was probably going to jail. I called my mom to alert her that detectives from the DEA might be coming by to search the house for more drugs. She laughs and laughs and laughs.”
Thankfully, after “running my ENTIRE family through the system,” Faidley and her family were cleared of any wrongdoing and the DEA has since turned its focus on the doll maker, who was based in Alabama.
Pearl’s fate, however, was bleak. She will “be locked away in evidence awaiting an international drug trial.” And Ellie knew it all along, saying, “I told you, Mom. The doll is MESSED UP.”
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“Everything we do for our children,” Faidley concludes, “We try to get the best Christmas gift and accidentally buy a mermaby stuffed with cocaine and become embroiled in an international drug-smuggling ring.”
“I hope all of your holidays, Christmases, New Years, are exactly what you planned. And are mermaid-and-drug-free. And if cocaine accidentally shows up under your tree, know that I understand and that you tried your best.”
Sara Vallone has been a writer and editor for the last four and a half years. A graduate of Ohio University, she enjoys celebrity news, sports, and articles that enhance people’s lives.
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