Life Up North: The Doll Collector

Some people think clowns are creepy, scary, sinister. I feel somewhat the same about dolls. I had a moment today that was steeped in “doll creepiness” as Mom and I were casing out the Salvation Army thrift store.

Salvation Army is a semi-regular stop for Mom because she is curious and always amazed at what she can find for a quarter, or a dollar – something she might have to pay a lot more for somewhere else, and so much more convenient than running all over the county to garage sales.  I find it amusing too, but also a little sad. There are so many things that are clearly in the last stages of their existence. It’s like a nursing home for household goods.

Occasionally there is something new or almost new, but that is also sad. Who would part with a perfectly good item unless there was trauma, duress or sadness involved? Maybe a death, or a downsizing move, or just the inability to maintain… all possible. I’m thinking something like that happened with the doll collector.

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I entered the store and within a few steps became aware of the dolls. I noticed them first in a bin, lying piled on top of each other. A few baby dolls, but most were collector items, perhaps like American girl. Some had exquisite faces and hair and all were in full costume. Little replicas of people with unseeing eyes staring around in all directions – some were watching me. I’m sure of it.

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And then I saw the shelves. Dolls lined up, standing at attention, oblivious to me as I examined their dresses and coats, straightened their hats and tucked their hair into place. Personally, I would not make a doll stand out in public with its hair frowzy and messed, and a big pink sticker on its face. They are/were someone’s little people who have been uprooted, left homeless and unwanted because of some dire circumstance. Surely, they are due some compassion and respect.

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Could this sticker not have been placed elsewhere? And that hair!

I can only imagine that it must have been a hard decision for someone to take them all to the thrift store, when they could possibly have been sold for more. Maybe there was no grandchild to give them to, or maybe there was no time to advertise and find new homes for them, or maybe they couldn’t stand reliving the memories. Have it over and done with.

I’ve just emptied a house and moved myself. I know the feeling.

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Poor, brave darlings!

Sad, and kind of creepy. Just sayin’…

2 thoughts on “Life Up North: The Doll Collector

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