I didn't share this earlier with you, but I had something exciting planned for today! I won't keep you in too much suspense in fact I'll reveal it now! I was going to visit The Swell Doll Shop! I was really excited to learn a while back that there was a doll shop located in North Carolina that specialized in vintage fashion dolls. It's a bit of a drive (1.5 hours), but I'm totally not used to living in a state where there's anything like that. So I've been really wanting to go and check it out. The thing is I want to have some cash saved up first, but you know me and money. Once it's in my hot little hands it must get spent. I was actually going to go there for my birthday, but then those Craigslist dolls happened and I had to put it off longer. But a while back I had that large lot of dolls sell (I told you about that) and I decided to hold onto that money and finally visit the doll shop. Today was the day that I was going to go!
But I was sort of hesitant about it... for a couple of reasons. One of those was the fact that I'm going through another anti-social awkward period. I'm just feeling super socially awkward. Probably doesn't help that I don't really socialize that much outside of my own family. It's just not a good feeling. Also another issue is that... I'm still really uncomfortable talking about dolls in person. I just feel really weird and embarrassed talking about them to people. I know I talk about them all the time (this entire blog is about them), but it's different in person. I just feel embarrassed that I collect them and I'm a guy. And I know it's just my issue since I know plenty of other male doll collectors online, but I still feel ashamed. Not when I'm around the dolls, but when I'm talking to people about them. I'm still pretty much in the closet with this collection with my friends and family. Of people that I know in real life, eight people know of the collection, and out of that number five have seen it somewhat recently (In the past 8 years or so). I've never had a real life doll friend, or much of an online doll friend. I have lots of acquaintances, but not a whole lot of friends. I don't want to sound like a total sad sack, but that's just how it is. I would like doll friends, but I'm not really sure if that's ever in the cards. Sometimes I feel like the doll community is very close knit and I'm always on the outside looking in. That's not exclusive to the doll community I have a hard time making friends in general.
Anyway, back to The Swell Doll Shop. It would come as no surprise that I thought about canceling the trip. I was going with my father, and thought of several times to say I didn't want to go anymore. But in the end I decided to go. I won't lie I was really nervous. Turns out the Swell Doll Shop is in a little mall type thing. I ended up walking right past the store when I first found it. Not because I didn't see it, but because I needed to build up my confidence. Again I thought about not going in, but I did.
I was greeted by the owner, Bradley. He was there chatting with one of his doll friends (a person, not an actual doll). He was talking about the Barbie convention that literally just happened. He was very nice and cordial, which made me feel so much more awkward and out of place. He and his friend were chatting away while I looked around. The store is very tiny, but incredibly packed. Honestly there was so much awesome stuff to look at I didn't know where to start. It was a treat in itself to just see what was in stock. I saw my first Number three Barbie in person today, that was pretty cool. I walked around with my hands firmly behind my back (I was trained by my father at a young age when I went to his military shows) while I looked at everything. Bradly did give me some brief explanations about stuff when he was talking to his friend and I tried to be a social as possible. Now I should say I'm not totally terrible at socializing, I just always feel like there's something I'm not doing or saying that I should be. It's embarrassing to be me sometimes. Anyway, I saw lots of interesting stuff, and lots of stuff within my price range. There was even a tub of TLC vintage dolls for five dollars. Some of them were pretty beat up, but for five dollars I'm willing to overlook a lot of issues. There was even a Chatty Cathy in that box. I didn't know if she was part of the five dollar deal, not everything was marked with prices, which I am not a fan of. I like taking everything in, then deciding what I want after I weigh out all my options trying to get the most out of my money. I was seriously thinking about getting some of those dolls in the five dollar bin.
But it was not meant to be. I was walking around the store feeling pretty awkward, but not awkward enough to leave. I was hoping that I would eventually select a few things I wanted and buy them. But I wasn't ready to do that since I was still looking at everything, and needed to ask some pricing. I won't lie I was feeling rather stupid at this point. I was like a tongue tied child. I'm 26 I should be able to handle myself better in this situation. But I thought that I could at least leave with a little dignity... but then Dad walked in. Guess who's Daddy came to collect him? Like I didn't feel like a child already this certainly would have brought me there. And not only would my sociable father make me feel more out of place, I would have him mentally tapping his toe behind me waiting to go. Even though I have spent countless hours waiting for him at his stores all throughout my life and even waited a couple of months ago when I went to get to get that truck park with him. And that's when I left. I had hit my embarrassment quota plus I was annoyed that my father had come to collect me after I told him it would be a while so I decided I was done. I just walked out the door. I'm sure Bradley thought I was both an idiot and a jackass. Not my finest moment.
And you know how long I kept my father waiting? Less than a half hour. And he wasn't even waiting that entire time, he was also next door at the Whole Foods picking out some things he needed. So he couldn't even wait long at all before he came to get me. It just makes me mad thinking about it since I've waited sooooooooooo long for his stuff, but when it's my stuff he can't be bothered to wait even a little bit. Seriously he could have called. But whatever, it was a terrible experience. I feel like such an idiot, and I didn't even get anything from it. I'm just done, I'm going to go hang out with Charlotte and try to mend my pride.
Good thing about today: ...