Like most girls of my age, I loved the Disney princesses. Belle, Jasmine, Ariel--I had the works. But there was one character that stood out above all the rest. My more particular favorite.
Daaaaaaaaaaaisy Duck, as I called her then.
Was it her sassiness, her undeniable femininity, her ability to hold her own against a hot head like Donald? Daisy is the only female Disney character I could ever see getting into an all-out brawl with someone who crossed her in the street, while at the same time being sophisticated and glamorous. In the realm of helpless princesses waiting to be rescued by a man, Daisy was tough as nails. She'd put up her dukes and didn't take crap from anyone. To the little feminist I already was at three years old, Daisy Duck was the image of animated perfection.
Don Donald--Daisy's premiere
The problem with liking Daisy Duck in the early nineties was the fact that merchandise for her was non-existent. My mother searched all over creation for anything to do with Daisy Duck...
Donald's Double Troube
...and while I owned the VHS tape Starring Donald and Daisy, from which all three of these cartoons are taken, there wasn't much else for her to find. There was no end to the merchandise available for every other character, even the more obscure ones. But never any Daisy.
The first time my mother saw a Daisy Duck stuffed animal at the Disney Store, I was in college. She bought it for me, packed her in a flat rate box, and mailed her the 2000 miles to Utah where I was going to school. I opened the box, gasped, and started to cry. You'd have thought I'd come face-to-face with the Holy Grail. But in that moment, I had something infinitely more rare. I had a Daisy Duck.
And at a time when I was far from home, stressed and tired, discouraged and sad, seeing her there was a reminder that someone dear to me was missing me too.
And upon further investigation, Daisy Duck merchandise still doesn't really exist. If you go to the Disney Store website and attempt to search for your favorite character, Daisy Duck does not appear as an option. I saw two plushies, a Christmas ornament, and a mug. That's the extent to which they honor the original Disney Diva.
Disney may have by and large forgotten that they ever created a character as awesome as Daisy, but my mother and I never will. It's a piece of my funny little life she and I will always treasure.