Where shall I start? When I was a kid girls played with fashion dolls at an older age, up to age 12 or so. I was ill so much of the time that my Dr. prescribed a doll and medical kit toy. And it worked. Patient Polly doll was a good friend. She had to use crutches sometimes, like me. But her pills tasted a Whole Lot Better than Mine ever did. My sister even wanted to take some.
Patient Polly had to take lots of shots, just like me and my sister Didn't volunteer for these.
This doll was later joined by a Francie with, of all things, Brown hair! And it was straight like mine, too! I loved these dolls, carrying them in a case which had room for a few clothes.
One New Year's Eve, I tried to stay up until midnight alone, listening to the radio, quietly. My older sister said I would find a present on my pilllow. Wat I found, sometime between 11:30 and midnight, (don't remember if I actually made it to midnight or not) was a Wonder.
My sister, who is still a fine seamstress, had made me a Wardrobe for the dolls. We didn't "waste" money on doll clothes. But my sister had taken scraps from her own sewing and Made doll clothes for me!
And the clothes she made were in style, too. There were hip hugger jeans, a shift dress with strawberries on it, a blouse which I think was white, with islet all over it, (to go with the hip huggers) and even a formal! played with those clothes a lot, but recognizing the rare treasure they were, I took good care of them, always hanging up any outfit I wasn't using in the little doll closet carrying case I had.
Next Christmas my mother wanted me to give the dolls and clothes away to another family. I didn't want to because not only were the clothes still cool but the fact that my sister had made each piece was a sign of love. Our mother sometimes pitted us girls against each other, to accomplish one of Her aims. This made cibling closeness difficult. The fact that my sister would be punished for a completely accidental playing in which I was also engaged, but where my eye got bumped, sending the pressure inside up didn't help, it was wrong. Finally, my dad, who loved us both, would forgive me for stacking the clean dishes in the drainer so they fell down when you tried to remove one, but my sighted sister would get yelled at, which was also wrong.
So a sign of love from my sister was extremely precious to me. I have never forgotten that wonderful present and I still have a couple of cards where she traced the shapes of pictures on them out in glue, so I could "read" them too.
Mother followed me around for weeks telling me about my Christian duty to give up those dolls and their clothes. Finally my already guilt traind mind an heart couldn't take anymore. I gave them away.
The abuse at home and the neglect at blind school were such that I wound up with a dissociative disorder. And in the 90's, while attempting to under go treatment, I found a Kira doll with Black Hair, something inside just burst and I started to cry. Of course, I bought that doll, which I still have.
I don't look like Kira. Both of my parents had or have black hair. My hair color can best be described as brown-black or brack. This is a brown so dark most people call it black.
But of course, that was before the gray set in and the Summer Sun tends to lighten my hair and bring out some reddish highlights.
During my most severe dissociation, every doll had a name and personality. But I also got Hooked on collecting.
Frankly, this was a Horribly embarrassing hoby to have. I agree with the feminist criticisms of Barbie and other fashion dolls. But two opposite things can be and often Are true at Once. This is true in each human and especially true in one who struggles with dissociation.
Next post I think I will tell you how what a blind doll collector looks for differs from what a sighted collector may find attractive.