Friday, April 21, 2006

The doll people

The doll people kind of scary. Through no fault of my own, I have been assigned the task of having an antique doll restored and cleaned up for display. So I Googled "doll repair" and now the word "doll" has no meaning to me. Firstly, they don't just do "doll repair": they have "doll hospitals." Also, the doll people NAME their dolls: Lucy sits by the fireplace in her rocker; Charlie needs a new pair of shoes; and so on. So that's kind of creepy.

And then there are the total doll restoration people, with before & after pics on their websites.

Before: a dingy pile of limbs and a hard-to-recognize head with some ratty strands of fiber attached. Maybe a chunk of lace.

After: totally repainted, restuffed, restrung, redressed, new eyes, new teeth, new hair... when does an antique doll stop being an antique doll? And if you're going to go ahead and totally repaint - re-invent - the whole doll, why bother with the original limbs? I don't get it.

It's just kind of creepy, you know? With the glassy eyes and the strange puffy little hands and their weird accessories, I don't know how anyone can live in a houseful of them.

I had a few dolls when I was a kid - they had a rubbery plastic smell emanating from their pink skin, as I recall - I was fond of them but they weren't cuddly at all. I preferred a stuffed animal for toting around. I'd probably stop in my tracks if that smell wafted towards my nostrils again. Sorta like when I smell my grandfather's pipe tobacco and am taken back twenty years or more. He died ten years ago, quit smoking a pipe years before that, but I know that smell anywhere, any time. They say smell is the strongest memory trigger there is. I bet newly refurbished dolls don't smell like themselves any more.


nola_darling said...

I can move the antique doll out of the guest house if it's gonna creep you out.....lemmee know.


Jezebella said...

One doll doesn't creep me out, but multiple dolls do... tho I did notice her, there on the mantelpiece, looking all dolly.