Is there a RIGHT way? Is there a WRONG way?

Hello and Happy February!! I can’t believe that January has already slipped by….I hope the weather where you are is better than it has been here the past week.  We have had sleet, freezing rain, snow, wind, and below zero temperatures.  Like many of you reading this, we have run the gambit.  While it has been pretty, I am ready to move on to spring weather.  How about you?  I’m ready to trade my snow shovel for a shovel to play in the dirt with!

I’m sure you are curious about the title of this post.  I have collected dolls for many years and I didn’t know until it was brought to my attention recently that there was a right way and a wrong way to do so – and I was doing it the wrong way!  I had NO idea!   Seriously? I was intrigued by the logic of this thinking, so I thought I would share it with you.  This is totally off the path from what I had planned for this post, but it just seemed too good not to share.  So – here goes!

I am not going to tell you there is a right and a wrong way to collect dolls, just simply because I don’t believe that there is such a thing.  Obviously, there are those who do, and I am totally okay with that (for them), but I don’t appreciate them placing their thought process upon my collection.   There are those who believe you should collect only one brand of doll.  That’s fine!  I have several of the same brand….I have Madame Alexander, Ideal, Allied Eastern, and Eegee just to mention a few.  But my collection is not solely composed of one brand.  I was informed that I should choose only one brand and stay with that brand.  It was perfectly fine to collect various dolls within that brand.  Hmmmm….

If that wasn’t an option for me, then possibly I should choose just one doll and collect the different versions of that doll.  That’s fine, too.  I have Patti Playpal dolls, Gerber babies, Cissy dolls (both vintage and modern), Thumbelina dolls, Kewpie dolls, and the list continues.  Again, I didn’t seem to be forming my collection in the way they thought I should be.  By this time, I am seeing that there may be several “right” ways to collect dolls.

Now while these methods may hold true for many other types of collections and collectors, somehow it didn’t seem right for me personally.   Me being me, I proceeded to question them on this method of collecting.  Somehow in the back of my mind, all I could think about  was that my spouse is a die-hard General Motors guy.  If he is going to trade trucks, he automatically goes to the GM dealer.  That seemed to stick to the methods that were being presented here.  But I am not purchasing a truck, I collect dolls.

In my humble opinion, doll collecting is a joy.  It is a wonderful hobby which brings a daily smile to my face and often challenges me and stretches my abilities as I begin to restore them.  For me, that restoration process is as much fun as the hunt for that special doll.  Those who are collecting the “right” way look at their collection as an investment.  Well, that’s fine.  I always thought something was considered an investment only if you intended to sell it and make a profit from it.  Yes, someday my collection will either be left to my grandchildren or sold when I am beyond the point of properly caring for the dolls or have made my permanent residence in Heaven.  But until then, my dolls are pure enjoyment for me and those I choose to share them with.

Opposing opinions are a wonderful thing.  They cause us to think and to reason out what is best for us personally in this particular case.  While I am more than happy to listen to their thoughts, that doesn’t mean I am going to change my way of thinking about my collection and part with the dolls I love and enjoy so very much.  There are many collectors in the world that collect so many different types of dolls.  Those dolls are all beautiful to their collectors.  Maybe I don’t always understand it, but that isn’t important.  What is important is that I understand the value that doll has to that collector.  Perhaps it was handed down through their family, perhaps made for them when they were a child.  All dolls have their own stories and should be respected by others.  I have dolls that would mean absolutely nothing to anyone else, but because of the back story behind that doll I wouldn’t part with it for anything.  They have become a part of me.  I’m sure there are those of you who have similar dolls in your possession.

This right/wrong discussion went on for over an hour.  I love to play the devil’s advocate in these type situations, so I was enjoying listening to their thought process.  While I would never tell them that they are wrong, I would openly say that their methods are not for me personally.  Although in their opinions, I am not collecting my dolls in the right way, I will not be changing my methods.

I collect what is beautiful to me.  I collect dolls that remind me of childhood times.  I collect dolls that were handed down through my family.  I collect dolls that in my eyes have a story to tell but also have more to share once restored and brought back to a version of their glory days.  I collect dolls that “speak” to me.  Maybe you didn’t hear them speak, but I did (giggle).   In short, I am going to collect what makes me happy.  Someday, they make someone else happy also.

Let me ask you….how do you collect dolls?  There is no right or wrong answer to this question.  Our collections are all as individual as we are as people.  I think that is as it should be.  I don’t believe anyone has justification in openly telling someone that what they are collecting and the method they are using is wrong.  If the methods are different, that’s great!  Even our differences can be enjoyed by others.  The world would be a pretty boring place if we were all alike, in my opinion.  We are all our own individual just as our collections are individualized.  The doll community, for the most part, is a wonderful, welcoming place. In a world where this isn’t always the case, maybe we should remember that in a world where you can be anything you want to be, the very best thing is above all to be kind…

I hope your February is good!  Stay well, be happy, and  be kind to one another!

Hugs to you all,