At the end of August of this year, just as my family and I were home from a long vacation abroad, I was approached by the fabulous ladies of the Assistance League of the Eastside. They hold a holiday home tour fundraiser every year that raises money to fund programs that support families in need in our community. They typically have 5- 6 homes on the tour every year and these homes open their doors to roughly 1200 visitors for a day to show off their holiday décor. The tour runs from 10AM in the morning until 7PM at night. This year, they had a house that had to pull out of the tour and the Assistance League approached me to help out. The main reason they came to me…..the doll room.
Apparently news of the doll room is out and about in my local community. I have to admit, I am always a little nervous talking to non collectors about having a doll room. You get the gamut of responses from people when you tell them that you…as an adult…collect Barbie. Some will take an uncomfortable step back and look at you as if you just said you were schizophrenic…and off meds. Some will immediately downgrade their opinion of you and lump you in with the sad individuals they recently saw on a “Hoarders” episode. You can understand that making the decision to open up the doll room for viewing did not come without a great deal of anxiety. I wondered what people would think. I know that my fellow collectors love the doll room but I was really unsure about what a non collector would think of it. Then I had a moment of clarity….I came back to the reason why I collect in the first place….because I enjoy it. When anyone collects anything, it typically is because they enjoy doing it. If they like it enough to hook into a group of other collectors who enjoy collecting the same thing, they REALLY enjoy it. I decided I was not going to be worried about possibly being labeled the crazy “Barbie” lady and just enjoy showing off something that I truly love to collect. There would be people who get it…and people who didn’t…and that was okay.
To me, and I am finding to many many others, Barbie is a touchstone of sorts. Most woman you talk with today have a Barbie experience to share. I have found that when you put a group of woman together and give them this touchstone, it creates an amazing bonding experience. You can have a group of woman from all different backgrounds, ages, professions and all of the sudden you are all connected through this one toy. You all have an experience to share and that connects you. There are multiple points of connection too. Sometimes it isn’t about the doll but about the fashion and the discussion that promotes. My greatest joys in sharing this doll room through the blog and with friends and family are the sharing of those stories and memories and the connection it creates. It is just plain fun.
If I was going to do this, open up the doll room to roughly 1200 people, I decided I needed to call in some fellow doll experts for the event. I enlisted the help of my dear friends Hilda and Deanna. They graciously agreed to donate their time and expertise to help me show off the collection. I could not have done this without them…from the bottom of my heart “Thank You!” We had told the Assistance League that we would proctor the doll room and landing during the evening hours of the holiday tour. If people had questions, they could come back during those hours and “ask the experts” so to speak.
So…what was the response?? Tune in tomorrow for more pictures and The Doll Room Goes On Display: Part II.