Friday, February 19, 2016

Confessions of a Black-Doll-A-Holic

Black doll enthusiast is how I usually label myself as a collector, but I will openly admit that I am truly a black-doll-a-holic.   My name is Debbie Garrett and I love black dolls.  They say the first step to recovery from an addiction is acceptance.   I have accepted the fact that my love for black dolls is intense.  I won't call it an obsession but it's bordering on that.

Seated in a sea of dolls in this cartoonized photo from 2006

What is it about dolls that has me so enthused?  The fact that I did not own them as a child is not reason enough for me to desire them as much as I do.  Black dolls are affirmations of black beauty when accurately created to represent the people they portray, is another reason I purchase dolls that are aesthetically appealing to me.  Filling a void and the affirmations of black beauty they provide are the three main reasons I have collected black dolls in all shapes, forms, fashions, media, and complexion hues for the past two and a half decades.

Additional confessions:
  • I spend too much money on dolls.
  • My doll room is crammed packed and I am literally running out of space.
  • I'd rather buy a doll than anything else.
  • I realized the extent of my problem when I recently bid $5700 for a doll (by mistake, the bid was supposed to be $57.00).  I saw the error before I pressed the submit bid button, but knew no one would bid as high.  The auction ended at almost $200 because someone else wanted the doll as badly.  I won the auction, but was graciously allowed by the seller to cancel with no questions asked.  Lesson learned.   Me to self:  Are you crazy?  Don't ever do that!  It's not worth it!  There's another one out there for far less and did you really need that one? Answer to self:  Absolutely not!

In addition to the last confession above, at the end of 2015, after evaluating the total amount of dolls purchased during those 12 months, and looking back on prior years and noting the excessive amounts of dolls purchased in those years confirms the importance of making a conscious effort to control spending.  I can and will admire dolls from afar more than I have done in the past.  For this reason I have established the following goals:
  • I will not add additional dolls to my mental wish list.
  • I will delete most of my saved eBay searches.  Let's face it, I have a couple of hard-to-find dolls in saved searches that I don't want to miss if they show up.  (Don't judge.  I'm taking baby steps here.)
  • I really will not repeat past purchasing behavior. 
  • I will focus on finding new homes for the less desired dolls.
  • I will organize the doll room and 
  • I will reconnect with long forgotten dolls in the process of completing the previous goal and
  • I will enjoy what I have and while doing that I'll blog about it.  So don't think I am abandoning the blog because I am not.  
  • Any additional doll purchases will be well thought out and not impulse buys.  
  • I will try to limit doll purchases to no more than two per month or less.  Seriously.  I will.  I said try.
  • I need a running start for this one:  In April, I will go 21 days without purchasing a doll. (I stopped to scratch my right shoulder with my left hand as I typed this, and as I proofed this post, at this point I scratched the inside of my right leg with my left hand.)  Is that why drug addicts are always scratching themselves?  Well they say you can beat a habit if you can do without it for 21 days, or is that 30 days?  Hmmm... well, 21 is my plan and I'm sticking to it.
I must give myself credit for being more conservative with my 2016 spending thus far.  For January I have four entries on my doll inventory spreadsheet.  Two of the entries are for dolls purchased in 2015 that did not arrive until 2016, so these don't count as 2016 purchases.  One entry is for two separate thrift store doll finds for a total of four dolls (three were purchased during one visit and one during another).  These are counted as two purchases.  There is only one entry for February with no additional plans to purchase dolls this month.

Patting myself on the back:  This past weekend I stopped in Big Lots to see if they had printer paper. They did.  After picking up a package, I found myself walking toward the toy section.  I was on the doll aisle before I realized it and said to myself.  "Get out of here!  You don't need a doll!"  So I paid for my two items, the paper and a package of  $1 facial wipes that was left at the counter by another shopper.

I can do this.  I am finally determined.  It's in writing, so I have to follow through for the sake of not adding to an already overpopulation of black dolls.

The question, "What's it all about?" brought the first few lyrics of the song written by Burt Bacharach for Dionne Warrick to my head:   "What's It All About Alfie?"

What's it all about, Alfie
Is it just for the moment we live
What's it all about when you sort it out, Alfie
Are we meant to take more than we give
Or are we meant to be kind, and if...

In the video below, listen as Warrick sings this beautiful song, released in 1967 when I was 12 and still playing with my family of all white dolls.

What are your doll-collecting confessions?  Share them in a comment or just share some words of encouragement for me, please.  Trust me; I will need all the encouragement I can get.


Check out my eBay listings here.