On the eve of Christmas Eve I received a phone call from my daughter asking if I had dolls appropriate for a friend's boyfriend's three young daughters who at that time would not be receiving dolls for Christmas for reasons that I will not share here. The girls' stair-step ages range from 3 to 5 years. My immediate answer (spoken like a true doll collector not wanting to part with any dolls) was, "No."
|Dolls that I have as singles and duplicates.|
I felt, at that age, they needed the same doll and I only had two of any one kind of never-removed-from-box doll and those were articulated Barbies that might not be appropriate for them. (Reason: Mattel's discontinuation of articulation in the playline due to the potential skin pinching caused by movement of the joints). Others I considered were the $5 fashion dolls from Family Dollar, but I only have two and they are not the same doll.
My daughter told me there were no black dolls at the store where she was shopping.
I asked, "Where are you?" It was late, and I wanted to know why she was out shopping, alone. She informed me of her small town location outside the city limits. I said, "That's why you can't find any black dolls. You're shopping in the wrong area. You need to go to Walmart." Her answer was, "I am at Walmart."
"Well, you need to go to a different Walmart that stocks black dolls," and I told her which one, "but not tonight!" I ordered. "You need to get off the street." Her answer, "o...kay," was spoken in a tone of obedience or in a manner to make me think she would heed my advice.
I tossed and turned a bit that night thinking about the little doll-less-on-Christmas-morning girls. I had decided that as soon as I completed my workday on Christmas Eve, as much as I did not want to be caught in any stores with last-minute Christmas shoppers, I would check the nearest Walgreens or Family Dollar to see if any black dolls were left that were age appropriate. My initial plan was to locate three Doc McStuffins dolls.
Because I knew she would be awake, I called my daughter at 6 a.m. the next morning. The following conversation ensued:
Me: Where are you?
Daughter: On my way to your house.
Me: For what?
Her: To pick up the Vans that you're giving L. because I bought another color instead. I'm going to take the pair you have back.
Me: I've already wrapped them.
Her: That's okay. The pair I am bringing for you to give him instead are already wrapped, too.
Me: He's going to recognize your wrapping paper and know they're from you and not me.
Her: It doesn't matter.
Me: Where are my boys?
Her: With their dad.
Me: Oh. I'm going to Walgreens or Family Dollar today to find dolls for the girls. How old did you say they are?
Her: I found some.
Me: You did (relieved that I don't have to go out and that she found dolls)! Where?
Me: Which one?
Her: The same store. They had the black dolls segregated.
Her: Yes. I asked someone [a store clerk] why weren't there any black dolls and she showed me where they were, in a random area no where near the toy section.
Me: That is ridiculous. Well, I'm glad you found some. Which doll did you buy?
Her: I don't know... the ones with the vinyl faces and soft bodies. [Similar to this one maybe.]
Me: Good. That's the kind they need. Why are you out so early?
Her: You know Kohl's is open 24 hours.
Me: No, I didn't know.
Now the moral to this story is: If you are shopping for black dolls in a store where none are in sight, seek help by asking, "Do you have any black dolls in stock?" Chances are, if the store is a small-town Walmart where the African American demographic is low, the dolls are either non-existent are pushed to the side in some inconspicuous "random area."