Thursday, February 26, 2009

Before & after

Yesterday and today were spent with the babies and the Barbies. These are dolls donated to the thrift store at Mount Seymour United Church. Every so often, I gather a bunch together and get them ready for re-sale.

They're naked because all their clothes get washed and, sometimes, ironed. When I started out, I had not many clothes and had to buy some at garage sales. Now I have overflowing laundry baskets full of clothes for all kinds of dolls. I know I have more clothes than I will ever have dolls to wear them. I try to keep the small things organized in zip-lock bags but somehow my effort is all undone in the first half-hour of work. Reminds me of when I was in the dorm at university. Before going anywhere, we'd try on all the clothes we owned. Some made it back to the closet - most didn't. I have to say that the Barbies are the worst offenders.

I wash every one and some need a lot of scrubbing. It's quite amazing what little girls - and boys - do with and to their dolls. The hair is cleaned, brushed and combed. De-tangler is my best friend, especially with Barbies. Many have their hair cut very short - they usually get a hat of some sort. The babies are the grubbiest but there are frequently 'tattoos' on the Barbies. I even had one this time that had two black eyes. Not bad eye make-up but bruises! Who knows what that kid was thinking about.

Then the costume choosing begins. I have a lot of fancy dresses and that's what the little girls love. We have noticed that moms frequently come in to buy the Barbies as 'loot' bag fillers for birthday parties. I'm sure that some even come back to me. Now, I'm seeing those big-headed Bratz dolls and I don't really enjoy them. Except for one thing: their footwear. Each doll has stumps instead of feet. Just snap on another kind of boot or shoe which are so big that they don't disappear like the tiny Barbie shoes. I can never keep enough of those around. And I have a lot of singletons.

The babies always look so sweet when they've been bathed and dressed. No matter how odd the face or ungainly the stuffed body, each one takes on a personality. They are more interesting than the fashionistas because they seem more real. And the production line moves quickly with them. They take up so much space but don't take a lot of work. Most don't even have hair.

I love my job but I'm glad it's over for a couple of weeks. The pile will be as big again by then. Don't they all look happy to be given another chance to be adopted?


Joanna said...

Yeah, I remember trying on everything in the closets but I'd forgotten strewing clothes over every surface in the room. Do you remember the pink and brown granny suit? How about the go-go boots or the bright yellow bell bottoms with big daisies?

Stephanie V said...

Yeah! Go-go boots and fake tans! I don't remember the bell-bottoms but I have an image of a plaid poncho. What fun fashions...Barbie never looked so good.

Mimi said...

Lovely post, Stephanie.
Reminds me of tidying our "playroom", which most of the time got so untidy that nobody wanted to play there.Every now and then,I'd grab a few hours and do a massive tidy-up.A couple of hours later it would be all undone again! Kids and dolls!
The Barbie shoes used to drive me mad, cos I could never get them to pair off. I became convinced that they were dropping down the gaps between our floorboards. Or that one day, they would all show up in some forgotten corner.
They never did.
I share your feelings on Bratz dolls- ugh!


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