Filed under: Musings
I honestly struggled with myself about whether or not to write about this. I regularly get emails or messages regarding Blythe dolls because of BlytheLife.com. It is a bit of an occupational hazard as a blogger that readers will attempt to contact you to ask questions. Generally, they’re easy to answer questions like “Where can I buy a Blythe doll?” or “Does (insert name of online retailer) sell fakes?”, but sometimes it gets a little bit… condescending and insulting.
I was recently engaged via email by a person I’d never interacted with before, let’s call her Eggplant (because I don’t like the taste of eggplant, and she left a bad taste in my mouth). Eggplant was new to the Blythe hobby, she found photos of the dolls on Etsy or Artfire or something, and then found BlytheLife via a Google search. She emailed me to thank me for providing great information to newbies (Awesome! I love it when I get positive feedback!), and then it got a little weird. I had exchanged maybe 15 or so emails with her, she asked easy-to-answer questions about the dolls, and then came this:
“I know from reading your blog that you have a lot of dolls and you got some as gifts. Could you please give me one?”
Whoa, whoa, whoa. What?!
First of all, we had established a bit of rapport with each other, which is all fine and dandy. She had asked me where to buy the dolls and I referred her to a few choice online shops (and then thanked me for the information), which resulted in her stating that the dolls are just too much money and how she would never be able to afford one and then she dropped the above into the email.
Yes, I have many dolls – probably more than the average collector. I have also received a few as gifts (from my parents, as birthday and Christmas gifts). Sure, Eggplant seemed nice and all (at first), but in no uncertain terms did I offer to give her a doll or offer to subsidize her entrance into the Blythe hobby – because frankly, no. I love my dolls, they’re mine for a reason. I found it incredibly ballsy to be asked to give her one of my dolls. I wrote a polite (but somewhat more cold) email in return to basically state that my dolls are mine and at the current time, I am not interested in parting with any of them. What did I get as a reply? Well, along with some choice colourful words, came this gem:
“You’re so selfish, I thought you were nice.”
If it’s selfish to want to keep parts of my collection as mine, then I don’t want to be selfless. Nice has nothing to do with not giving away something that I own. Sure, it doesn’t hurt to ask someone for something – because if you don’t ask, you never know what the answer will be. At least that’s what I’ve always been told. But what it will hurt is the relationship/friendship that you’re trying to establish – because I’m now always going to see Eggplant as the person who just chatted me up to get something for free, and then called me rude things because I politely said no to giving her a doll.
Yes, I have dolls. Yes, dolls are expensive and they are essentially a luxury hobby. That doesn’t mean that someone who has dolls than someone else is required to give them up or “share the wealth”, as it were. You’re not going to hit up a local charity because you desperately need a doll – because it’s not necessary for survival. I frequently make donations to charities that I care about – from animal welfare groups, to providing food for children who live below the poverty line in my own province, to organizations who are struggling to get clean drinking water to people in Canada. But the beauty is the ability to who to donate to – and someone who feels entitled to a doll (and then lashes out when they don’t get their way), is not a behaviour or person that I want to encourage.
(In short, the answer to the question in the title is: no. Unless someone is asking you what you want as a gift, and they give you a budget that could encompass the purchase of a doll, the answer is no.)