When I purchased my first doll, I didn’t really talk about her all that much. Although I knew a few people who owned ball-jointed dolls, my friends are primarily interested in lolita fashion; there is a bit of a stigma attached with owning ball-jointed dolls, at times. I think it is due to the often-hated stereotype that lolita girls carry dolls and stuffed animals around with them. (I’ve really never seen anyone just toting around a plushie for the fun of it when dressed nicely… I think it would be hard to coordinate with your outfit!) Also, buying something expensive like a doll means money not spent on lolita clothing, and as some people spend every last penny on the fashion, they might not understand.
So I brought her up a few times when I was excited, but mostly kept myself on mute when it came to dolls. At that point I had joined Den of Angels and was quickly becoming absorbed in the Asian ball-jointed doll community. However, I didn’t show many people my doll, or bring her anywhere, or attend any meetups.
Then, with comments and pictures, I started to realize that several of my friends already owned ball-jointed dolls. In fact, quite a few of them are very involved in the hobby, owning several and expanding their collections. I was really excited to find out that I had people to talk to about doll-things~! It also pushed me to attend a local meetup, although I went without them.
Now that I own Claire, my doll-banter is slowly converting some of my friends who thought perhaps they weren’t very interested in ball-jointed dolls. It makes me feel both excited and guilty. I’m excited that my friends are taking interest in dolls, because I’d enjoy playing together with our dolls, talking about doll-related news and activities, and participating in doll-related activities. We could do photoshoots together, get together and mess with wigs and clothes (if our dolls were similar-sized…or maybe even if they weren’t!), and generally enjoy doll-things together! However, I also feel guilty, because I know that ball-jointed dolls are just one more expensive hobby that many of my friends can’t necessarily afford. Many of us are in university, graduate school, or have recently graduated–leaving us with student loans to pay. We have bills and generally not high-paying jobs (a result of the current economy).
Although I don’t want another doll for myself, I’m started to be tempted to buy dolls for other people. (A bit ridiculous, honestly, since I am not making a million dollars and really ought to pay off some student loans.) I just want them to be able to participate with me, so I try to justify it to myself. However, I worry about giving such costly gifts to certain friends and not to others–I don’t want to seem to have “favourites,” even though obviously friends aren’t created equal; every relationship is different. Also, I worry about picking “the wrong doll” or a doll that isn’t “good enough.” Or maybe they’ll lose interest once the doll is in their possession. I’d be sad to see someone sell a doll I had given them as a gift–not for monetary reasons, as I firmly believe that a gift means you don’t get it back just because it cost money–because I would have tried so hard to please them and ultimately failed.
Still, I’m itching to purchase a doll for someone else. @_@ If a dear friend wanted an easy-to-find Volks MSD, I’d have an even harder time of it! I’d love a girl (or boy) for my girl to play with! It would be cuuuuuuute!
I need to stay strong! This is what the holiday season does to me!