Friday, May 29, 2015

Geena's Story (redressed Generations Of Dreams Barbie)

When Treesa first proposed the idea of creating a blog for us, her doll collection, I immediately knew that I wanted to be involved. I felt that writing about my past experiences would be therapeutic; since Treesa is actually my second human...owner (for lack of a better word) and I came to her with a lot of emotional baggage. You see, being a Generations Of Dreams Barbie doll, I always knew that I had been manufactured for adult collectors. I left the factory fully expecting that I would either remain in my box forever, or that I would be displayed on a shelf or in a curio cabinet. While some might see this as a sad, lonely existence, for many collector dolls it is seen as the ideal situation. Our mentality is often such that we not only want to remain in untouched mint condition; we actually pity those dolls that are subjected to the rigors of children's playtime. Those same playline dolls often pity us collector dolls for the lack of freedom that comes with being 'imprisoned' in cardboard or behind glass, but that as they say is another story.

It never even occurred to me that 'I' might end up in the hands of a child. I had assumed that my fifty dollar retail price would discourage any parent from purchasing me for their youngster as a plaything. I have learned since then to never assume anything. To go from being a display piece to a child's toy is a difficult transition, both mentally and physically. I was still in the process of making that transition when I was unexpectedly donated, given away because I was no longer wanted.

I found myself at a thrift store, stuffed in a clear plastic bag with a $2.90 price tag. My hair was a matted mess. My bodice was missing a snap and my skirt was stained with marker ink and smeared with glitter glue. Dozens of other bagged dolls, many of them nude, were hanging on the nearby shelf pegs. As I peered out at my surroundings I tried not to think about who would buy me or where I would end up next. Those thoughts were too frightening in their uncertainty to contemplate. You see, it wasn't my matted hair or my stained skirt that bothered me the most. It was losing any sense of stability. When I first left the factory I was sure that I knew exactly what my future held. But life is full of the unexpected, curves and bumps in the road that can't always be anticipated or prepared for. I was adrift with nothing left to anchor me, nothing left to hold on to.

That's when Treesa found me. She picked up my bag, studied me carefully, and then hung me back on the peg. I thought that that was the last I would see of her. But before she left the store she came back, picked me up again, and took me with her to the register. She told me later that she liked the fabric that was used for my skirt, and that she just couldn't pass me up.

My life with Treesa has been mostly uneventful, which is a welcome change from my previous situation. I've met some interesting dolls in the collection, and Treesa has done her best to make me feel at home. The application of a fine toothed comb has greatly improved my hair, though of course it couldn't work miracles. I've also been redressed until the snap on my issue clothing can be repaired. That could take time, since Treesa hasn't yet learned how to sew. She is also unsure if anything can be done about the glitter glue or the ink stains, but the worst of the damage is located near the back of the skirt where it's less noticeable.

Because my outfit was already damaged, Treesa decided that she could make her own small 'alteration' with a clear conscience. If I had been in mint condition, I'm sure she wouldn't have had the nerve to do it. She would have felt too guilty about ruining my secondary market value. But after taking my bedraggled state into consideration, Treesa made up her mind to remove the decorative patch from the top of my bodice. Apparently she didn't like the way it looked. The patch wasn't sewn all the way around; it was merely tacked on with thread in a few places. The strategic use of a seam ripper soon took care of that. Treesa plans to keep the patch and have me use it as a decorative handkerchief.

The name Geena was chosen for me both as an homage to actress Geena Davis and as a corrupted abbreviation of the word 'generations', as in Generations Of Dreams Barbie. These sorts of tenuous mental associations are not at all unusual for Treesa, whether she's naming a fashion doll or an original character for her latest fanfiction story. However, not all of the dolls in the collection have names with hidden meaning. Suzanne is named Suzanne simply because she 'looked like a Suzanne'. At least, that's what Suzanne says. It's not that I think she would lie about something so trivial, but the fact that Treesa has an aunt named Susan may have also been an influence. Or as they say it could be entirely coincidental.

I would say that we've come to the end of my story, but my life now feels less like an ending and more like a new beginning. And while I can't say that writing out this narrative has brought me complete peace of mind, I do feel as though I've been able to leave a little more of my fear and uncertainty behind. To anyone out there reading this, thank you for listening.

Sincerely, Geena

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Suzanne's Story (Sun Gold Malibu Barbie)

I guess it made sense to start with me. Treesa said it wouldn't feel right starting with anyone else because I was her first Barbie doll. I don't think my memories are all that special. I'll bet there are hundreds of dolls out there with almost the same stories. But I could see how excited Treesa was about the blog and I didn't want to rain on her parade so here I am.
I guess I'll start with the day I got taken out of my box. There were three of us that got deboxed that day. There was me, Sun Gold Malibu Ken, and Sun Gold Malibu Skipper. We were dressed in bathing suits and I remember Treesa laying us out on the rust colored carpet in the living room and pretending we were at the beach. I know this doesn't sound very exciting but for me it was nerve wracking. I had only seen humans before through the clear window of my box. When I got taken out of my box and given to Treesa I wasn't sure what to expect. But Treesa was such a happy little girl and seeing her smile made me feel a lot less nervous.
Then she put Ken and Skipper on the floor next to me and I felt nervous all over again. I knew that sooner or later Treesa would leave the three of us alone and I'd have to introduce myself. I was really shy and self conscious and I'd never seen a doll as handsome as Ken up close before. The whole time Treesa was playing with us I was trying to think of something to say. I was so worried I would say the wrong thing that by the time Treesa left the room I was a nervous wreck. I think I kind of froze up. But then Ken turned to me and smiled. "Hi," he said.
Seeing him smile at me like that had sort of the same effect that seeing Treesa smile had had only better. Not only did I not feel nervous anymore but because Ken had smiled at me the whole world suddenly seemed brighter and happier and more wonderful. I felt like I was floating. It took me a minute to realize Ken was still talking. Before I could bring myself back to reality Ken stopped talking and looked at me like he was waiting for me to say something. I realized he must have asked me a question but I had no idea what he had just asked me. I was so embarrassed I didn't know what to do. I didn't want Ken to think I was ignoring him on purpose but I didn't want him to think I was a ditzy airhead and couldn't pay attention either. I wished I could disappear through the floor but I couldn't. So I mumbled an apology and asked Ken to repeat the question. I was so worried he would be offended. But Ken just smiled again and said Treesa seemed like a nice little girl and what did I think of her. I felt so relieved after that.
Skipper turned out to be even shyer than I was but Ken made sure she wasn't left out. Little by little he managed to draw her into the conversation. It will always amaze me how the three of us started the day as strangers and ended up more like a family. I know Skipper is supposed to be my little sister but she's always felt more like a daughter to me. I've always tried to take care of her and protect her as much as I could.
We're relieved Treesa decided to keep us when she grew up and we're grateful we're still in good condition over all. My friend Roxanne wasn't so lucky. Roxanne was a Loving You Giftset Barbie and the second Barbie doll Treesa got. I'll admit I was a little jealous of Roxanne at first. She seemed so much prettier and more glamorous than me but over the years we became real friends.
Sometime in the late 80s Roxanne got a crack in her neck. The crack kept getting worse until finally her head came off. Treesa didn't know much about body swapping so she tried putting Roxanne's head on a dollar store doll body. But the dollar store doll had a much larger neck knob and it split Roxanne's head at her chin. There was no way to save her after that.
Roxanne has been gone a long time now. Thinking about her doesn't hurt as much as it used to but sometimes I still miss her. Treesa still has Roxanne's original outfit so at least I have something to remember her by. And I know Roxanne wouldn't want me to be unhappy. She'd want me to remember all the good times so here are some of my happiest memories.
I remember when Treesa had me and Ken get married. Little girls love to play wedding and we didn't mind since we were practically married already. Treesa still has my wedding dress and the hat with the veil. Both my dress and Ken's suit were from the Romantic Wedding collection. Ken looked so handsome in that suit. Of course I always think Ken looks handsome and I was so happy that day I'm surprised I even noticed what he was wearing. When we stood side by side and he smiled at me I felt like the luckiest doll in the world.
Then there was that magical Christmas when our baby came, a beautiful baby girl with yellow molded pigtails. She was part of a babysitting set from Sears and she came with all the accessories a new mom could want. Treesa named her Taffy because the molding of her pigtails reminded Treesa of salt water taffy from the Jersey shore. Treesa loved going on family vacations to the beach when she was a little girl.
I think that covers all the big events in my life. I hope you enjoyed my story and I hope my writing wasn't too boring. I don't have a lot of writing experience and I said at the beginning my memories aren't all that special. But I made Treesa happy and that's the most important thing to me. It always makes me happy when I can make someone else happy.
Goodbye and enjoy the rest of your day.
From, Suzanne

Wednesday, May 20, 2015


Dear unknown friends and visitors,
The idea of dolls and other toys being alive has been around for a long time.  There is a Russian folktale where a doll, given to a little girl by her dying mother, comes to life to protect the girl from a cannibalistic witch. Authors like Marjorie Filley Stover (who wrote When The Dolls Woke) and Rumer Godden (her 'doll' books are favorites of mine) and the writing team of Ann M. Martin and Laura Godwin (authors of The Doll People series) to name just a few, have all explored the secret lives of playthings. Add to this the popular Toy Story films and it seems that humans often wonder just what their toys get up to when no one is looking.

As a collector of fashion dolls, it is my belief that every doll has a story to tell. With this in mind, and inspired by other blogs I've seen, I've invited my collection of dolls to share their stories.  It's an extensive collection, so they should have plenty to say, if they actually feel like talking.  Geena (a Generations Of Dreams Barbie) was immediately on board with the project and Dandelion (a redressed Fairytopia Dandelion doll) was skeptical but was willing to give it a shot. I'm not sure how many of the others are interested in participating. Nevertheless, I plan to set up the blog and see what happens. I have a sneaking suspicion that my dolls will enjoy having a creative outlet, once the groundwork is laid.

Thanks for stopping by. I send out my best wishes to all of you.
Signed, Treesa
P.S. The opinions expressed herein are those of my dolls and do not necessarily reflect my own viewpoints.