Lately I've been wondering why I've leaned more and more toward the old antique dolls and toys--the nostalgia of rag dolls and wooden puppets and such. I really don't care about Barbies, although I absolutely loved mine when I was a girl. Surely some of it is due to the calendar ticking off birthdays...47, 48, 49.
But yesterday, as I was wondering through the thrift shop, I went over to the toy area...which in most any thrift store I frequent is HUGE and chock full of almost brand new, fluffy, stuffy, toys. Not just bears and dolls, of which there are an amazing number, but every imaginable stuffed critter, in every color and size. Plastic toys line the isles, and in some cases are so numerous the store bags them in lots to clear them out faster. Look at 90% of them and you'll find "Made in China".
It occurred to me that part of my longing for rag dolls and hand-carved wood stems from this waste, this easy-come-easy-go flood of cheap imported crap. Don't misunderstand me--I'm grateful that the thrift stores have these things for families who can't afford to buy new. I bought my share of it as a single mother of three. But so many of the toys seriously looked brand new! Never played with? Really? Why? Is it the soul-less nature of the mass-produced toy that makes it so unappealing? Or is it that our kids literally have so much stuff they can't play with it all? Out with last year's pile and in with this year's pile? Or maybe it's this month's pile...
I don't see how me making antique-inspired dolls and fabric animals is going to help, since the market for them is mostly women my age. I can't stem the tide of imported junk OR help repair decades of increasingly rampant consumerism and qualitative apathy.
Normally I avoid a rant, avoid negative posts, and try to keep things on the high side. But right now, I think I'm going to go sew a rag doll and imagine one of my grandkids would actually like to have it, play with it, and love it longer than a week.