“Heaven help me if I EVER look like that”, I looked up from my car’s radio dials to see who my friend was talking about. My gaze met an overweight middle aged woman with a blunt unflattering hairstyle, over-sized glasses, in baggy clothing making her way across the parking lot.
This experience I had as a 20 year old, and the lesson I later learned is one that I hope will always stay with me.
In the spring Tara allowed me to tag along as she visited her favorite thrift shops. I came home with the haul you see above. I had so much fun checking out all the different dolls, and I couldn’t believe my luck when I happened to find a Maplelea doll tucked in among the stuffies at Value Village. She was in rough shape, but I figured I would send her to the Maplelea Doll Spa, but then Tara challenged me to fix her up… challenge accepted!
Once I got her home, I took a look at her to see what I had to work with… her clothing and skin were extremely dirty, and her hair looked as though it was matted. She also had a musty smell, from being packed away for quite some time without much attention. This was going to be a lot of work!
I stripped her down, and got to work cleaning her skin with a bit of a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser.
Seeing that she had been neglected so long, I checked to see how tight her limbs were. To my surprise, her limbs were nice and tight!
Her wig had certainly seen better days, however I didn’t have a wig on hand to re-wig her with, and I didn’t have the patience to wait for a new one to come in the mail, so I figured I would work with what I had.
Once the tangles were out I gave her hair a quick wash, with this shampoo and conditioner that I picked up at Sally’s Beauty Supply for synthetic hair.
Although her hair is now clean and brushed, it still looked a bit too frizzy for me…
…And the ends were in need of a trim.
Taking small sections of hair at one time, I pulled the hair straight and trimmed the ends.
Next I poured boiling water over all her hair, to get rid of the frizzies. I found this method faster than the hot water dunk, and just as effective so I will definitely be doing this again!
Before her hair had time to cool down, I wrapped it around velcro rollers, for the night.
The next morning I took out the rollers and her hair looked much better!
Now for the big reveal…
Now that she aired out a bit, her musty smell was gone, her skin was clean, and hair looked like new! I even gave her a new outfit for the airplane ride to her new home with my cousin in Nova Scotia. (Yes, I did add some color to her lips too… I will show you how I did that next week.)
Seeing this end result it is hard to believe that I almost sent this doll away to for a replacement. Clearly when I first saw this doll, I didn’t see more than what was on the surface, like my experience so many years ago.
During one of practicums in university I had the opportunity to observe a postpartum support group. You would never believe who was there volunteering her time, as she does every week to help snuggle babies so the women at the support group are able to get the help they require. That’s right the same woman that my friend and I had so quickly judged in the parking lot based on a first appearance.
That was a powerful lesson for me, I learned that there is so much more to a person than what can be seen from across the parking lot. Although at times we may not be much to look at, we are worth holding onto, and need not be sent away for a replacement. Each of us has value, a purpose and a place here. After that experience, I can tell you that I was never so quick to pass judgement again.