Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Shame Of It All ...

I guess some of you figured I had fallen off the face of the earth or my husband had discovered my credit card bill and put a quick end to my collecting frenzy.  Others of you probably figured my dolls had gotten together and decided to tie me up in a box somewhere to let me see how it feels.

Which brings me to my blog this week.  My first NRFB purchase this year was Elise.  As many of you know, one of my New Year's Resolutions was to not purchase any more dolls and keep them in their boxes.  Either they come out of the box, or they get passed on to another collector.  I even posted a ballot for this doll to allow my followers to help me make my decision.  The majority rules ... Blue Blood Elise came out of the box.

 I was very nervous about releasing her because she was so pristine.  Her box was signed by Jason Wu and she is #33 of 350 dolls produced.  Even though I got her at a great price (at least according to what her going price is), I was very hesitant.  Anytime I pay more than $150 for a doll, I am uncomfortable playing with her.  As a teacher, that's a lot of money for me.

I feel like many NRFB collectors are sometimes shamed by other collectors for leaving their dolls in the box.  You hear things like "Boxes are dolly prisons."  "They want to be out."  "They need to be played with to be appreciated."  "How could you do this to these wonderful girls?"  I know I've felt this shame myself.  I don't believe it is malicious or intended to be mean.  Those who love playing with their dolls truly believe them to have character and personality.  I know Chaundra is just full of attitude.
My husband recently told me that I should take all of the dolls out I plan to keep, display them, and "enjoy" them.  Afterall, I worked hard for the money I spent on them.  It's hard to explain to someone that sometimes you can "enjoy" a doll just as much from gazing at her perfect beauty within her original packaging.  There is something satisfying from the knowledge that this doll has never felt human hands.  It's a sense of purity.   

As such, on the flip side, NRFB collectors may feel like deboxers are "damaging works of art."  "You wouldn't change the hair on the Mona Lisa or put a new body on the Venus de Milo, would you?"  NRFB dolls view collecting dolls much like collecting little original pieces of artwork.  There's nothing wrong with that view either.
I will not deny that Elise needed to be removed from her packaging to be fully appreciated.  She is gorgeous.  There's no doubt about that.  I believe the Festive Decadence Agnes dress looks better on her than the dress she originally came wearing.  I enjoyed photographing her and do not regret taking her out of her box at all.  I'm glad I did.  She adds a very special element to my collection.   I don't know if I will change her hair or not.  I like it like it is for now.

I counted my dolls.  Right now I have 69 dolls on display.  I also have 56 dolls in their boxes.  Some will come out eventually, but I really do get satisfaction from keeping some of them just as they are.  At least for now.  These include A Brighter Side Kyori which is the only Atelier Giftset I own.  I love how it is presented.

I know that Glow Vanessa will be released someday.  But I really do love her in her dress and she looks lucious just as she is.

Intimately Acquanted Luchia was the very first Luchia and I am in love with how much she looks like Helena Bonham Carter.  I can't imagine her redressed.  She is exquisite.

And Integrity's tribute to Karen Walker cannot be matched.  This giftset is perfect in every way.  I just cannot bring myself to take out Born To Gamble Kyori.  For now, she remains NRFB.

I'm not going to allow myself to feel guilty for keeping these dolls in their boxes.  I have 69 other dolls that overwhelm me daily to be redressed and played with.  These other girls represent, what I believe to be, some of the best presentations of Integrity Dolls ever.  I'm proud to own them and get a thrill by taking them out occasionally and enjoying them thoroughly just by looking at them in their original presentations.  I guess I am "part deboxer" and "part NRFB".  I like to think of it as a happy balance.
Everyone has the right to collect dolls and enjoy them in their own special way.  I believe we should all support our fellow collectors regardless of whether they debox or leave their dolls pristine.  That's one thing I love about collecting dolls, there are so many supportive, loving, and wonderful people in the hobby.

I am going to try to stick to my New Year's Resolution however trying it might be.  I just know this year I will find at least one doll I resist setting free.  It will be a test of my will power.   Maybe I can compromise.  I can release another doll for any doll I decide to keep in her box.  What do you think?