I slept poorly last night, which was not surprising to me. I had a lot on my mind. You see, there was a reason I was tossing and turning all night. It's because this afternoon I was going back to the Swell Doll Shop, the location of my most recent self esteem crush, and hopefully I was going to be less of a basket case this time. So I was both excited and nervous, which is a real nightmare (pun intended) to my sleep cycle.
Even though my last trip had been a terrible crash and burn, I was planning on going back... eventually. I saw a lot of stuff that I was interested in when I was there, and I know that there was a lot I didn't see yet. And even though I felt really low from my last visit there, I was still willing to go back. I'm willing to subject myself to a lot for the dolls. I guess because ultimately they make me happy so I'm willing to live with the moments of extreme embarrassment they sometimes subject on me.
So while I wanted to go back, I didn't want to go with my father. My mother had volunteered to take me, so I did take her up on that offer. She did remind me that my brother's school starts soon and that if I wanted too long, she wouldn't be able to give me a ride anytime in the near future. So I decided that I would go not this week, but next week. I talked it over with her and we picked next Thursday for our day to visit. But shortly after we made those plans my father said he would take me on this Thursday, and wouldn't take no for an answer. I did tell him that I wanted to wait until the next week because I was hoping to save up some more money to spend at the Doll shop, but he wouldn't let that stall us. Instead he loaned me the money so I could go this week. So I owe my parents thirty dollars now, but I get time to pay them back. I really didn't know if I'd be able to sell anything before next week to get more money, so at least now I have the money and can repay it when something does sell. Kind of a win-win.
So today was very similar to last Friday, we left the house shortly after noon, and were in Chapel Hill around two. My dad dropped me off (with the plans to make himself scarce until I was ready to go this time), I walked into the mall and that's when my anxiety went up again. I walked past the store again, to scope out who was there before I went in. I told myself that I could do it, and thought good thoughts when I was opening the door to go in.
Inside the store there was a woman on the doll side and the owner of the other store on the other side. He greeted me when I entered. I thought that the woman was working at the doll shop, but turns out she was another customer. She didn't actually buy anything, but put a couple unpriced things on hold for when she would be back soon. The gentleman working at his store offered to call Bradley for her, but she said she's be back later for them. I guess Bradley wasn't there that day. And... this is going to sound terrible, but that was kind of a relief to me. Oh, that does sound terrible. I mean my short dealings with him the other day he was super nice and friendly, but I need a little bit of stuffy distance. I'm from New England, we don't do super friendly that well! But the other guy was doing his own work which allowed me to poke around and generally explore the merchandise. He did check in with me a few times to see if I needed any help or anything, or had any questions, but for the most part I was fine. There were things that I would have liked to known the price on, but I found plenty of marked items to spend my money on. More than enough really.
Like I said it's a tiny shop, but there's so much to see. It's mostly Barbie, but I saw lots of other dolls, including some that were much older than Barbie. Even though I don't collect them, they're still nice to look at. One of the first places I revisited in the store was that tub of vintage dolls for five dollars each. I thought that was where I was going to spend the most of my money, but it was not meant to be. Most of the dolls in there was just a little too abused for me. I do collect dolls with some play wear, but a lot of these dolls were a bit too played with. And I thought that instead of getting a billion well loved dolls, instead I could focus on one or two nicer dolls for the collection. I did end up picking out three dolls from that bin, and no Chatty Cathy was not one of them. I managed to avoid getting another one of those. I honestly didn't have the space for another one.
From there I moved to another spot in the store that I briefly looked at last time, but wanted to visit again. It was a tub of doll clothes, two dollars each. It was an odd mix of vintage Barbie, newer Barbie, some clone clothing, homemade bits, and other stuff together. Most of the vintage Barbie stuff had it's issues, and some I don't think was even worth two dollars, but I managed to dig through it and find seven things that I wanted in it. I avoided stuff that was torn, but if it only had minor sewing issues I got if. I limited myself to seven things, but honestly I bet I could have spent a lot longer digging though that box and found lots more that I wanted.
When I stopped looking at the clothes in the tub I actually didn't take what I found with me. Instead I left them in the tub, just all stacked on the top of the pile. While I did want them I still wanted to check out the dolls in the cases before I committed myself to getting the clothes. While the vintage clothes were nice, I'd rather spend my limited budget on more dolls. I made my way across the store to check out the dolls in the two display cases. I had looked at them the last time I was there, but very briefly. I didn't know how much most of them cost because while they were tagged, a lot of them their tags were behind them, and flipped around. And I was a little hesitant to check them because their was a sign saying "Please ask before opening the case". The cases were wide open when I was there, but I was still a little nervous about getting yelled at for not asking permission before I started touching the dolls in the case, even though I was super careful. I tried to be as quiet and careful as possible when checking out the dolls. I was expecting them to be somewhat expensive, but they so weren't! Well some of them were, but I found a lot (and I mean a lot) well within my price range. I however did not get the courage to look at the price tag for the beautiful number three Barbie on the top shelf. I knew I couldn't afford her, and a doll like that might have alarms go off it you get too close to her! But there were dolls in the case for as low as ten dollars. Nice doll, not perfect dolls, but certainly nice dolls! I looked over what was there, and weighed my options. I ended up pick four dolls from the cases. There were even a couple of Skooter dolls I could have gotten, but I decided I didn't want to drive myself completely insane, so I didn't get another one. Besides, they only had Redheads and I have two of those already, if I got another one I'd want a blonde or black haired doll. But I did get some really nice dolls, and some really decent prices on them.
I did keep a running calculation of my purchases on the tiny free spot on the counter that I piled up everything that I wanted. I'd hate to go over the money I had and have to put something back. I'd feel like an idiot for overspending, and I'd be sad having to put away something I wanted. So I decided to go well under budget. I could have gone really close to budget and picked out another medium priced doll, but I was already feeling greedy, I actually put back one of the five dollar dolls since I had decided she was too damaged for me. Plus without her I felt comfortable enough to get a better condition doll without going over budget. So I carefully carried everything I bought to the other side of the store where the man there checked me out. I actually only spent 77.07! I thought it was going to be well under budget, but I was a full ten dollars plus under. And I got a lot for what I spent. Like I said they have really good prices. I'm already thinking about my next visit there (whenever that may be). I'm going to have to start saving up again, well first I have to pay my parents back. I gave them back the ten dollars I had left over so I now only have to pay them back twenty. After that I can start saving up to visit again.
Needless to say this trip was a lot more successful than the last one. I know that since the actual owner wasn't there I wasn't forced to actually do much talking, but I was still am counting it as a success. The next time I visit while still giving me anxiety, will be easier. It's like getting into a pool, it's easier when you ease yourself into it. And today I got my big toe in.
And just so you don't have to wait until tomorrow to hear about the start of what I got (I've typed too much already), here's a quick picture of what I got: