Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Keeping Dolls in Boxes

I had a large and diverse collection of dolls in boxes once.  Some of them were worth $50 or more.  For a person on Disability who saves up for dolls that is a LOT of MONEY.

  Of course these days I've quit buying most dolls, as I'm waiting to see if Medicaid will be cut out for me and a lot of other disabled and dying people who need Medicaid for Hospice Care.  The Mo. House passed the cuts, the Senate restored some, Now it's in a conference committee, dominated in the House by members who advocated the cuts in the first place, Nice!  The Senate part of the Conference Committee is dominated by Republicans who tend to be more fiscally conservative than Democrats.  When someone disabled says "We're ok" I tend to think, "I'll Believe that After the Governor signs off on the budget and After the fiscal year starts July 1st.

$10 per doll is about my limit.  Anyway, back to boxed dolls.  My house was hit by a tornado and I had the doll collection down in a nice dry, sealed basement.  I did, until the house  was rocked on its foundation which then developed a crack and drenched my collection thoroughly.  Ann and I had to evacuate the basement that night, we didn't know how high the water would rise.    It was amazing, shooting out of the basement walls like two or three geisers at once!

When I went back down all I could do was strip sodden dolls Out of their boxes and Away from their Brightly colored graphics as quickly as possible.  By the time I got to some of the older dolls the boxes they lived in were already starting to mold!  Pew!

Ann and I fought with my insurance company for six months and though part of the roof was de-shingled, and water had forced its way over the front steps and porch, then under the locked front door with the force of the wind, soaking part of the livingroom floor, the damage was ruled "ground water seepage."  But they fixed the roof, go figure.

The tornado was in Jan. the floods came right through the foundation cracks in March.  Mold was making me sick.  The stuff we used to try and clean it made it hard to breathe when either the heat or AC was on. 

Ann and I finally decided we wanted health and peace more than to win.  Besides, we had already hired people whose reports disagreed with our insurance company's decision and had been struggling to get help from our state's insurance commission.

By July of that year we moved.  After having cancer twice, I wasn't willing to trade my health for money.  Ann was physically Totally exhausted from the effort of trying to deal with the basement, (we took it in turns)  she was not using a wheelchair at that time.

As for the dolls?  I was told that they had lost their value without their boxes, certificates of authenticity, graphics, stickers, and in some cases, their original hairdos. 

Miss Alice, of whom I've spoken before, graciously helped me put together a list of doll prices, as they would have been in the box, so If my insurance company Had repaired the damage, I could prove some of my loss by the estimate of an authorized dealer in Mattel, especially Barbie, who had sold Ann and me the dolls in the first place.

I had only owned that house for six months, the damage was thousands of dollars, the company was not interested in my "ground water seepage" problem.

As for the dolls, only a few were not salvageable.  I still have those I haven't given away, still recognize their faces and hair by touch and their clothing.  I still enjoy them.

After that experience I was forced into bankruptcy, not being able to pay both rent and a mortgage and for the money I borrowed to do repairs on the house Before the tornado.  But my mortgage was Not subprime and Ann and I were paying all of our bills on time with a good credit rating until then. 

Now I have no insurance, rent, and refuse to touch credit cards.  Good thing, too, the way the economy has gone.  

I keep a few really classy or fragile dolls in boxes, just to keep them clean and the feathers in their hats, etc.  But most are in cupboards or trunks where I must go and get them to play.

Boxes do keep dolls more monetarily valuable, with all of the paperwork included.  They do keep dolls dust free, but so will any good closing container.  They don't enhance play.  I had to enjoy touching many of  my dolls In their boxes until the tornado freed them.  Now I move them around, put them in vehicles if I feel like it, etc.

I will be selling them soon, I hope, most of them, with original outfits in addition to what they came with.  But I will keep some just because they are unique.

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