My Doll

I took my great-grandmother’s doll to be repaired in January. Eight months and seven hundred dollars later… I have a doll with
curled hair,
a ceramic pate, instead of the cardboard one that had replaced the original,
a doll dress of the appropriate type,
three mended fingers,
two legs which are not presently leaking sawdust,
and a $4 doll stand.

At some point, and I knew this before I took the doll in, my great-grandmother replaced the original hair (that had probably been pulled out by too much brushing) with a wig made from her own hair. As long as I have lived, that hair has been a long drape past her shoulders. However, it turns out that the doll was originally styled with curly hair, so the doll doctor curled her hair and sprayed it so that it looks more like the original, while still keeping my grandmother’s hair replacement.

The ceramic pate was replaced with a cardboard one at some point. The doll doctor thinks it was done in the 1950s, but I find it more likely to have been done when my grandmother still had her hair long, which would have been when Grama Bunny was young. (So perhaps the 1920s. I wouldn’t be surprised if Grampa Ben’s mother and Grama Rill [my step-great-grandfather and my great-grandmother] were the ones who fixed the hair.)

The doll doctor put a cute bow in the doll’s hair. However, she stuck a pin through the head to hold the bow on rather than pinning it with a bobby pin. The pin came out as soon as I unwrapped the doll.

The original dress turns out not to have been original at all, but instead a 1950s replacement—probably to rehabilitate the doll for the only granddaughter, my mother. It is made of an appropriate material, and the color and detail were well done, but they are for an adult doll and this doll was intended to be a child.

During the 1970s the doll factories, which were closed at the onset of WWII were purchased and someone bought all the fabrics and the doll patterns. While the fabrics from the pre-war era have all been purchased already, the pattern of the dress is now correct.

I don’t really like the dress. It is a dull color, but Dad and Steph both think the dress is pretty and it is the correct pattern, so I guess I will deal with that. The woman said that the dress would cost $175, but it was on the bill as $250. I can imagine a price increase and that, perhaps, when she was saying $175 she was thinking of her cost. However, that is an additional $75 that I wasn’t expecting.

The fingers don’t look amazing, but they don’t look bad either. And, in fact, on one hand they look better than I was expecting.

However, her eyebrows now are both bad. The doll doctor couldn’t pull out the one that was sunk into the doll’s head, so she pushed both in. But doing that shows three chips that I did not remember. At least one appears to have already been there based on the picture I have, but the chips, which are white, show up so much more now. What happened to the fixing of the eyebrow that she was supposed to do for that $425 original estimate? That money included the mink to replace the fur in the original eyebrows.

The eyelashes, both the one that was completely on and the one that was partially on, are missing. The doll doctor said she couldn’t put them on and get the eyes to close. So a simple glue-on did not happen and the doll’s eyes close, but there is no long sweep of lashes. I specifically told her that I wanted the eyelashes. If she wasn’t going to put them on, why didn’t she call and talk to me about them? It is possible the lashes are not original, but I am frustrated with their loss since they were there on my doll. (I am thinking about it and maybe she did talk to me when she first called. However, I thought I old her I wanted the eyelashes on. If I didn’t, I guess that disappointment is my fault.)

The worst part, however, is that the woman repaired the legs, but with glue and cloth, not with kid leather and not with stitches. –I told her that I would be willing to pay more for the kid leather approach to the repair, so had she done that I would have had (and anticipated) a higher bill. When I pulled the doll’s underthings down to show RG her legs, one of them was already broken again. It isn’t leaking yet, but it will be if the leg is moved any at all. Since the legs were the reason we had to quit playing with the doll, I am particularly perturbed by this.

This means that I need to go back to The Doll Hospital tomorrow, when the doll doctor is in. (She was not there today.)

If the doll can only be displayed, I will survive that, though I will not be happy, but I am appalled that the $425 to fix all the parts that she was supposed to fix left the eyebrows and eyelashes undone AND left me with an already broken leg.

What would be a reasonable amount for fixing the fingers, pate, and hair while messing up the eyebrows and eyelashes? I was thinking maybe she should give me back all the money except for the dress and maybe $50 for the curl and pate. But actually the eyelashes and eyebrows are more noticeable than the fingers. Of course, the problem with each was more noticeable when one was right and wrong but the brows just look horrible. And I miss the eyelashes.

The legs ARE improved, but they are not going to last at all if the first time I picked her up after getting her out of the store (and perhaps in the store, since I did not check them before I left) her right leg broke.

So what was done well? The dress, the fingers, the hair, and the pate.

The doll looks much different than she used to. I didn’t realize how much the curl and shorter dress would change her look.

And I was planning on going to the Houston Glass Show tomorrow, but now I will have to go to Spring to take the doll back and talk to the doctor. I am not very good about talking about things like this. I wish I could just send my sister.

25 Years Ago… How We Met

I looked up a calendar for dates… Then I looked up MS and it was from June 3 to July 10.

June 16, 1989
Ron and I met during Mission Seminar. He was getting six hours of electives done for his undergrad degree and I was back in Texas after my first year in the Rhetoric program at Purdue (and feeling like I had risen to the level of my incompetence). We were in Nelson dorm’s living room and Ted was the connection. Ron thought I had a crush on Ted and wanted to meet the girl who would…

I untied Ron’s shoe laces with my toes.

The three of us and another student (whose fiancee had died in Brazil during a mission trip that summer) went to Dairy Queen on Washington and 80 for Blizzards. We talked about Brazil the whole time.

Sometime during the week June 19-23
I sit with Ron during chapel because neither of us has anyone else to sit with.

Also during that week we get a little loopy and chase each other around UCC buildings with pens, attempting to mark on each other. Why? I don’t know. Pressure release?

Dr. Ed M stopped us and took the pens away (so Ron was to one side and I was to the other, with Ed in the middle). He asked what we were doing. I said I was winning, grabbed a pen from Ed’s pocket and slashed a line down Ron’s hand.

What! Okay, we were definitely strange.

June 26-30, 1989
Ron and I had Dr. Gailyn V for a class. The class was too large for the room, so we had a U with students on both the out and inside. Ron was on the outside and I was on the inside. We were sitting somewhat catty corner to each other. Ron decided he would stare at me to make me paranoid, but all it did was make me giggle.

Yes, I do remember things I learned in that class besides that Ron makes me giggle.

July 1, 1989, probably
Ray and his girlfriend (fiancee by then?) invited me to a party and said I could invite two friends. I invited Sherry B (friend for years) and Ron. I don’t really know why. Guess I thought he was fun.

It turned out to be a surprise birthday party for me. Big surprise! My birthday is in March.

Ron stayed on the balcony talking to one of the girls on my hall he had a crush on. (He had a crush on two of them. Yes, I knew this.)

July 7, 1989, approximately
I told Ron I would visit him at work, but did not have a plan for it.

July 9, 1989
Dear friend came down to help other friends move their stuff back to Oklahoma. We went for a drive and he asked me to marry him. –We had never even kissed, which I found odd.

Ron called me at Sherry’s house to tell me he was leaving town Monday or Tuesday and if I planned on visiting him at work I should come that evening. We talked on the phone for three hours.

When I got off, Sherry said she didn’t know I knew Ron that well. I told her I didn’t know I knew him that well either.

Dog and Trips

The dog has had diarrhea for at least three days in the last week. She has been somewhat lethargic and for two days did not eat her morning food until well after noon. However, she seems to have recovered and is doing fine.

We are trying to go out of town for one night and two days. That is for tomorrow and Saturday. It will be over 100 degrees both days. I called the vet to see if we could board her this weekend. They said yes, but that she hasn’t had her vaccines.

I think she has, but they are checking and calling our last vet (2 years ago). However, I just checked our local laws and she has to have a rabies shot every year. I don’t think she has had her rabies shot this year. Unless the other animal hospital gave her one. Guess I should call them and ask. No, they didn’t.

But there is a three-year vaccine. It is possible she was given that.

I just called our old vet and they are sending me her records via email, so I will have those. Then I will need to get both the vet records here in town, too.

But it does look like she needs her rabies vaccine. And two other shots too, having talked to the vet. So that will be $76. But she needs those, whether we are thrilled about her having them or not.

The boarding is $48 for Fri-Mon. They will let you pick up on Sunday, but you have to pay for Sunday night anyway, so…