I am a woman with varied interests. I am fond of animals. I play musical instruments. I like to watch crime shows and British situation comedies (and by watch, I mean hoard the DVDs and watch them repeatedly until my corneas glaze over). I like to read any humorous material I can get my hands on. I am a closet Trekkie. I adore Barry Manilow music. I could go on, but I think you get my point. I am not afraid to admit to any of these interests, even if admitting I’m a n animal hugging, Manilow worshipping Trekkie does open me up to a certain amount of ridicule. Hey, I can take it – I like to think these pastimes make me a more interesting, albeit mildly eccentric, individual.
I do have one hobby, though, one that I dare not reveal during polite conversation. This pastime teeters very close to obsession for me, and it is only with the help of my husband, the chief bread winner and bill payer in my home, that I do not give in to it. I am, alas, a doll collector. (I am bowing my head in shame as I divulge my deep, dark secret). I admit it, I like dolls, and I have more now than I ever had as a child. And their wardrobe – it’s far more extensive than my own.
I do realize that dolls are primarily for young girls. And I’ll even concede that it was the desire to recapture a little bit of my youth that got me started as a collector. But how can you stop at replacing a few well-loved dolls, when there are so many dolls, pricey as hell, I might add, made specifically to entice the adult collector?
For those out there who are perplexed by the appeal of dolls to the adult collector, let me try to explain their appeal by comparing them to the cute little humans they are molded to represent:
1. On staying put
Dolls will, if balanced properly, stay exactly where you put them. They will not climb bookcases, up end trash baskets, taunt you while you read, sneak out after curfew, hide in the laundry hamper, or juggle your cat. Children, well, they can be expected to at least attempt to perform all of those feats, often, more than once. And they’ll keep practicing until they perfect their technique.
2. On staying neat and clean
Dolls will never soil their clothing. They will never muss their hair. They will never smear chocolate on their dresses, get grass stains on their jeans, put bubble gum in their hair, take a permanent ink market to their best shoes, or finger-paint their socks. Most children will have done all of these things before they hit their fourth birthday.
3. On matters of food and drink
Dolls do not eat, nor do they drink. They will never blow bubbles in their milk, fling peas at the walls, smear creamed spinach in their hair, bathe in gravy, shove beans up their noses, paint with pudding, or throw spaghetti at the dog. The average two year old child, on any given day can be expected to perform all of these stunts before nap time.
4. On matters of education
Dolls don’t go to school. There is no hassle over homework, no arguing about getting ready for school, no after school activities, and no exposure to elicit substances or elicit behavior. Oh, and of course, no college tuition. Children, well, do I even have to say it?
So, taunt me if you will, but now that my own children have reached their teens, I’ll take dolls over precious little children, thank you very much.
Of course, this all changes when I’m a grandma – I’ll have someone to play dolls with!