Today was another early day. I was up at seven so I could take my time to wake up and to be sure that I was showered, shaved, and quaffed by nine when I left the house. The reason for this second early morning? Today was the annual Holiday Party for The North Carolina Fashion Doll club. The get together started at noon, so in order to get there on time, I really didn't need to leave the house until ten, but I had another stop before actually going there.
On Thursday we got a coupon in the mail for Fred's. You get five dollars off any purchase over twenty dollars, but the coupon was good for one day only. Since that was a good deal, and I was already going to be out and about, I decided to go. There's several things that I was interested in from their circular, and there's still plenty of Christmas stuff I need to buy.
And I was able to mark a couple things off my Christmas list today. I picked up some socks for my sister, some candy for both of my parents and my brother. I was also able to start getting small stuff for people's stockings. I even bought some extra rolls of cheap wrapping paper since I like having a lot of different types of paper when everything's all under the tree. I was a little afraid that I wouldn't have enough in my cart to reach that twenty dollar goal, but I actually well over passed it. My end total before the coupon was 32 dollars, and the coupon brought it down to 27, so not too shabby. It's always nice when you can mark off part of your Christmas shopping list.
From there I headed over to Raleigh to Joyce's house. I had with me the sugar cookies I made last night and my newest bubblecut that was wearing Midge's dress. She had also swiped Charlotte's underskirt and a pair of panties from someone. (I like having my dolls wearing underwear when I know people will be handling them and looking up their skirts). I made it to Raleigh in decent time, there was one slight hiccup in finding the place, but it was very minor and easily fixed. I was there about 19 minutes before noon. I sat in the car for a bit, waiting to see if anyone I knew showed so I could see which apartment they went into so I knew where to go. And I waited, and I waited, I guess not everyone is as prompt as I am with these things. Eventually I saw Skot (I think that's how you spell his name) show up and go into one of the apartments. It was almost noon, so I took a deep breath and taking my doll and cookies walked up to the door as the butterflies grew in my stomach (I'm curious when those will be going away.)
I knocked on the door and was told to just come in, so I did. There weren't many people there before me. There was just Linda, Joyce, Skot, and someone I hadn't met before. (I eventually learned her name was Crystal). I came in, dropped my cookies off into the kitchen and found a seat in the living room. It wasn't long before other people started showing up, most of which I had already met, but there were several new faces too. It wasn't long before the living room was full of people chatting and and showing off what they had brought. People also started passing out cards and some had little goodie bags for everyone. I really wasn't expecting that, had I known I would have done something like that myself. Some of them passed out generic cards, but a couple people passed out personalized ones, I got a couple that were personalized. I honestly didn't think I made enough of a splash for anyone to remember my name! Also, I should point out, since I wasn't expecting to have to deal with getting anything I left my bag at home. The last two meetings I've brought a canvas bag to store what I was bringing. This time I left it had home since I only had the cookies and the single doll. And wouldn't you know that's the time I get a bunch of little stuff that I have to be careful I didn't forget.
Anyway, there was a lot of conversations going on so the room was really loud. It was very interesting, but I'm still not feeling really chatty. I'm still working on getting more comfortable, and it's even worse in large groups like that. I did talk to several people, and the Barbie was a good conversation starter since people came over to ask me about her (and rave about her outfit!). But I did spend a lot of time not being part of conversations, and either just listening or gathering in my surroundings. I had never been to Joyce's place before, and she had a lot of beautiful dolls on display. She had several clear boxes mounted on the wall and inside them she had lots of convention dolls that I had seen in pictures but never in person before. She also had two display cases in the corner filled with a variety of dolls. Of course I checked them all out and what they were wearing (you'll never know what will inspire you), there were some really beautiful dolls to see. Of course I was really scoping out the vintage ones in the case! (I saw a vintage Ken, a Bubblecut, and a blonde ponytail).
After most people had arrived (there's always a few stragglers) we sat down for lunch. It was your traditional holiday meal, with the option of either ham or turkey, as well as stuffing, mashed potatoes, and so on. I was able to get a seat at the table to eat. The food was good, but the company was better. It was during lunch that a couple more people joined us.
After we were all done eating, it was time for the gift exchange. I didn't sign up for that since I really don't know people and their wants yet, but I wasn't the only person who didn't partake in it. That took a while since everyone took turns opening their gifts, but it was fun to watch, there were a lot of nice things gifted. After that was the toys for tots drawing, everyone who brought in a present for toys for tots got a ticket and the winner got to pick an outfit that came from a woman in Poland. Again, I didn't partake.
After that we did dessert, and it was time for my cookies to come out. I saw lots of people with them on their plates, and heard several positive comments about them, I'm glad they were well received. There were a lot of really good looking desserts on the table, but I kept myself in check and only picked a few things to sample.
After dessert there was more talking, I don't know about you guys but sometimes the conversation can get a little "blue". I'm not prude, but sometimes I wonder, "Is this really the best time and place to be talking about this?". Anyway, after that they did the drawing for the door prizes, I didn't win any of them, but that's okay. I did manage to get a new doll stand out of the stuff Skot brought to give away, so that was nice. Can always find use for a new stand. After the drawing the party seemed to wind down and people started leaving. I waited until after some people left before I started gathering up my own stuff and left.
All and all it was a really fun time. I really hope they know that I am enjoying the meetings, it's just hard conveying my feelings being both shy and still getting used to talking Barbie in public. In time I'm sure I'll become more talkative. I don't want you all thinking I'm just as bad as I was like in the first meeting, I'm slowly getting better, it's just a building process.
Getting back home was actually pretty easy, usually that's harder for some reason, but I did not get lost at all! Back at home I made short work of the presents that I bought this morning. They're all wrapped and in the box with the other presents. I'm proud to say that after another decent shopping trip I'm going to have to start another box to store them all in! And of course you know that I updated my present word document. I also surrendered that Ponytail to my parents. It was hard saying goodbye, although I know it's not forever, just a couple of weeks. Tomorrow I'm giving up the other two, for some reason Stacey retained a lot of water when I had to dip her head in boiling water and keeps leaking!
Hopefully she's dry by tomorrow, but if not I'll have to think of something to do with her, but that's going to have to wait entirely until tomorrow. I'm exhausted to even think about dolls, much less do something with them. It's going to be nice to not have to wake up to the alarm tomorrow.