My Obsessive Collections on TLC: The Doll Collector

Now I’ve seen everything, Obsessive Collections on TLC. The show I watched features a woman with an extensive shoe collection, a boy who collects and repairs vacuum cleaners, two overly obsessive Dolly Parton fans and a woman who collects real life-like dolls.

The woman who collects life-like dolls impressed me as being the oddest one of tonight’s collectors.  She has tons of dolls, and a whole group that look life-like. She is passionate about the whole thing. She has a doll that looks like a 5-year old that she took to a shoe store . She asked the salesperson to fit the doll with a pair of shoes.

What I did admire was her husband’s support of this odd habit. He actually took a picture of her opening a box of a doll that mimics breathing. She was as excited as if she was giving birth.

He must really love this woman because she spends big bucks on these dolls. About $1,000.00 a piece. Coincidentally, the woman looks a lot like Dolly Parton.

Her kids tolerate the whole thing too. It’s more than a little disturbing. She actually spends time, dressing them, cleaning them up and interacting with them. It makes her feel maternal. Maybe she ought to try volunteering with real kids who need attention.

On the other hand, she is not hurting anyone with this habit, and her family supports her.

I have seen plenty of people who don’t treat their pets like animals, but like their kids. Is this that different?

Okay, I like dolls myself. That’s 2 of my childhood dolls I can’t throw out in the picture. But, I’ve always known they’re not real. (Okay, I posed them in front of the fireplace, and took their picture. It was for an earlier post that you’re welcome to read.)

What do you think?

Prejudice is alive and well

Today I went to my health club. When I got into the sauna there were two men spewing prejudice . One was black and the other was white. They were really getting excited.

I couldn’t believe what they were saying. They were both talking about how they resent the Somalian people who live in Columbus. There’s quite a large population living here.

” I hate those darn Somalian’s ,”said the black guy. ” They’re so stupid. And they’re pirates too. They’re so stupid that they got shot instead of giving up the boat they pirated,” he added.

“Yeah, if I ever see one I’d shoot him on the spot,” said the white guy.

” The Somalians I’ve met are industrious people who work hard. I go to the library a lot, and I share the study room with a lot of them.  Besides, you shouldn’t categorize people. It’s dangerous to do that. It’s called prejudice,” I said.

” Industrious, right,” said the black man.

“Well, they get $10,000 just to live here,” piped up another guy.

“Yeah, I wished I’d get $10,000 just to show up,” said another.

At that point, I decided to vacate the premises. I didn’t want to get into it with people who were talking about shooting other people.

So, if you think prejudice isn’t still alive and well, guess again.

What would you have done?

My Link to the past: Tattered Dolls

Dolls from the Belle Doll and Toy Corporation "Marjorie and Patty"

Today, I ran across a box at the back of my closet. I knew it was there, but I’d been over-looking it for years.

I looked at the familiar writing,”Marjorie, The Teen Age Doll from Belle Doll and Toy Corp. B’klyn, N.Y”. There is also a picture of a bell decorated with a ribbon on the box.

I opened the box and looked at two dolls from my childhood: Marjorie and Patty.

Today, when I lifted Patty out of the box, her legs fell off. Pieces of her neck came off too.  It jarred me for a minute.

I think Patty’s glue just dried up. What can you expect after 50 plus years? She’s just plain worn out. She was loved to pieces.

Marjorie is still holding together. I’m not sure why. Better craftmanship?  A good bath wouldn’t hurt her.

I can’t let either of them go to a trash bin. I will have to take them to the “Doll Hospital.”

I hate to see the Doll Doctor’s face when I bring them in for rehab. I hope she or he doesn’t hold it against me that I’ve neglected  them for so long.

How We All Met

When I  first started my relationship with these two, I was a little girl. My aunt, who I didn’t see that often, always made sure I received a big doll during the holiday season. (There were several others, but they got lost along the way).

I sensed she was trying to tell me that she wished she saw me more and this was her way of showing her love. I was happy to accept it.

I would come home, and a pretty wrapped box would be waiting for me in my bedroom. I knew it was something extravagant, not the run-of- the-mill holiday gifts like pajamas, underwear or a plastic tea set.

I’d slowly undo the wrapping because I knew it was going to be a new big beautiful doll.

After I lifted the doll out of the box, my mother would say, ” only take her out on special occasions and be very careful when you play with her.”

Each doll would come with a set of dresses, shoes, jewelry and hose. Deciding on the outfit of the day was my favorite part of the whole thing.

I heeded my mother’s advice. I was very careful.

Patty is still wearing one of the silver earrings she came with. I don’t know what happened to the other one.

After a couple of years, I was too old to play with dolls,  so they went up into the attic. Occasionally, I would go up there to briefly visit.

Rediscovering the Dolls 

Time went on and I grew up, got married and started my own family. In the meantime, my father died and my mother decided to move into an apartment.  She told us to get what we wanted from the house.

The only thing I wanted was the gray box with the blue and white lettering that said “Marjorie” on it. I went upstairs and resting on the unfinished floor boards were my old friends. I’d changed, but they were the same.

I decided to keep them. I just couldn’t give them away.

I kept those dolls under wraps for many years. I’d show them to my children once in a while. I made it clear that they were important to me.

Finally, I relented and allowed one of my daughters to play with the dolls. She was at the perfect age. Her eyes sparkled as she picked up the big doll.

” Be very careful,” I said. And she was.

Did I ever dream I’d still have those dolls long after my parents and my aunts and uncles all were gone? Long after my sisters and I would live separate lives in different cities?  Long after my children left to lead their own lives?

 I now know why I kept the dolls. They were a link to my happy childhood and the unconditional love of my family.
So, I’ll go get them a remake. After all we’ve been through together, it’s the least I can do.
If you have a treasured item you’ve kept for years, tell me about it in the comments section!
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QVC and HSN―How much is too much?

It’s 3:00 a.m. and you can’t sleep. Nobody is around, but you know you can turn on the TV and find some video friends.

You can call them up, and they’ll talk to you on TV. The only catch is that you have to talk about products they’re hawking. They have all types of products:  jewelry, clothes, household items, computers, and even sleep number beds. This just scratches the surface.

I discovered QVC and HSN when I was home by myself after I stopped working. At first I thought it was the silliest thing I’d ever seen. I’d ask my husband, “who would buy that stuff?”

But then, one day I stopped on the channel and bought a pretty jade bracelet When I got it, I was so excited. The thrill of giving myself a present. But, did I need it?

Not really.

After that, I became a regular watcher. I purchased a few things. This lasted for about a year. It’s amazing because normally I dislike shopping. I’m the furthest thing from a mall rat.

I do like some of the items. I’ve bought Ryka shoes, a few pieces of clothing, and a few pairs of earrings. The earrings were pretty, and I wasn’t really sorry I bought them.  The shoes are terrific, and I had to return one the blouses. I looked like I was flying because the sleeves looked like wings.

In my short career of watching those shows on a regular basis, I learned some of their selling strategies. I know they work, but I think people who are vulnerable should be aware of what they’re trying to do.

Making you part of their family

You can be included in the QVC or HSN family. They have phone lines, and encourage you to call in and give your testimony on how great the product really is, and how it’s changed your life.

They will give you 30 seconds to say your housebound, or you have to stay home with an bed-ridden relative. They will say they’re sorry about it, but  to spend some money on the item they’re featuring. They say, “I’m happy to meet you.”

They’re really happy you’re spending more money with them. They don’t really consider you a real friend. They just want  you to spend money.

Encouraging you to buy more than you need

Sometimes the jewelry shows astound me. The co-hosts will take 4 necklaces, bracelets, or rings, and put them on at one time. “You can layer your look with all these colors, they’ll say.” You’re thinking what kind of fool is going to believe this is stylish.

Why would you walk out of the house like that unless it was Halloween?

Telling you you’ll be popular if you buy this item

When is the last time you liked someone because of their material possessions. If that’s your main judge of friendship, you deserve what you get.

Some people say they have rooms full of items they don’t need, and are over-extended on their credit cards.  The hosts, on camera, will say, “we’re so happy you shop with us, treat yourself, and buy some more. Is this ethical?

I will still buy things from these shopping channels if I need it, and don’t feel like going to a mall. But, I will know they don’t want my friendship or companionship. They just want my money.

If you have too much of this stuff, and are over-extended, think about what you’re doing. Too much is too much!

International Money Pile in Cash and Coins

International Money Pile in Cash and Coins (Photo credit:


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