|Beautifully wrapped birthday gifts from a friend|
I have a friend who is like a close sister. We live miles apart and can go for weeks without communicating; however, when we do, it is like we just spoke to one another yesterday. I consider her a blessing and hope I have blessed her life as much as she has enriched mine.
Debra and I met as a result of a doll ad I placed in Collectors United during the mid-to-late 1990s. It was a Martin Luther King, Jr. figure by Olmec that brought us together. I had extras that I was selling through that ad. She purchased one.
We have only seen each other twice in our lives, but the bond was developed immediately. We lavish one another with gifts for birthdays and Christmas and the gifts always include something doll related. I am personally always like a kid at Christmas wondering what goodies Debra will bestow upon me. Among my birthday gifts this year from Debra was The Official Barbie Collector's Club Welcome Kit from 1996.
|Cover of Barbie Collector's Club kit box|
|The kit opens to reveal a binder housed on the left and the Date at Eight fashion on the right.|
The boxed kit includes a binder designed to store copies of the club's quarterly newsletter and a NRFB limited edition Barbie Date at Eight fashion. My friend modified the cover of the binder with the first page of the Black in Fashion article written by Ian Price, which appeared in the Fall 2012 issue of UFDC's Doll News.
|Modified binder cover|
Inside several sleeves of the binder are pages from Ian's extensively researched article on black fashion dolls. Some of the images from the article are shown next:
|Resin Dheei, 1991 on left; porcelain Sailor Pizza Party Zhdrick, 1996, and Techno D. J. Jobii from 1991 are the two male dolls on right.|
|Barbie repaints representing the Supremes|
|Malaika and Mungu by Deva Dolls (left); Adele and Nadja, Integrity Toys (right)|
There are several empty sleeves in the binder that can be used for some of the many other articles I own that feature black dolls.
|Closer view of the Date at Eight fashion ensemble|
The Date at Eight boxed fashion, consists of a black velour dress, black lace hose, black mesh shawl and jacket, fuchsia handbag with gold tone shoulder strap, black high heel shoes, gold tone playscale-sized compact, powder puff, and magazine. This is a such a wonderful keepsake modified especially for me.
|An Evening in Mexico City fashion by Franklin Mint|
An Evening in Mexico City fashion made for the Michelle Obama Official White House Portrait Doll by Franklin Mint was another doll-related gift from my sister-friend. The fashion is a reproduction of a Jason Wu-designed dress worn by FLOTUS during a visit to Mexico City in April 2010.
After opening the other non-doll related gifts, the last box I unwrapped contained a doll that has been on my wish list for years. I cannot tell you how long I have wanted the long-sold out LifeLike Michelle Obama Doll by Danbury Mint, which until now is what I believed the doll's name to be.
While this doll is not an exact portrait of the First Lady of the United States, the outfit is what I most desired. The aqua sweater over a mock white oxford shirt, navy blue belt, brown tweed skirt, brown hose, and brown pumps replicate the fashion FLOTUS wore to a Black History Month event she hosted at the White House on February 18, 2009. Additionally, this doll, created in vinyl, has 12-points of articulation for posing. According to the box top, the doll is "The Michelle Obama Dress-Up Doll." The accompanying literature uses that name and also refers to the doll as "The Michelle Obama Poseable Portrait Doll." Perhaps not knowing the doll's true name is the reason it had been so elusive to me. Incidentally, the doll's wig is removable. It attaches to her head with two Velcro rounds.
How did Debra know I wanted this doll? A few months ago, one such doll was offered on eBay for a ridiculously low price. I waited until the last day of the auction and placed my maximum bid. I just knew I had won the doll. I was so confident about the win that I began crafting a blog post about my newly won doll. I later discovered that seconds before the auction ended, someone sniped the doll away from me. I was devastated!!!! The next time I spoke to my friend and sister from another mother, I asked her if she still had her doll and mentioned my dismay over the auction loss.
Because she collects portrait dolls and has several made in the likeness of First Lady Michelle Obama, including one like the doll she sent me, I just had to know if she sent her doll to me. So after informing her by email that the package arrived and showering her with copious thanks for all my gifts, I asked Debra if she had given me her doll. She replied:
I am so glad you got your package. I tried to come up with some things you don't have and that is not easy, but you made it easy for me when you said you were looking for Michelle. I knew you had to have her so I gave you mine. Nothing I have is worth having if I can't share it with my bestest friend sister.My eyes welled up with tears. Even though it is not about the gifts because I treasure our special bond more, my sister-friend made this big 6-0 birthday super special.