I have synesthesia. Many of you know this, many of you don't. Here's a definition, for those who are thinking "Synna What, Now?":
What this means is that a number of my wires and neurological streams cross, and colors have smells, smells have color, letters and numbers have colors and personalities, I see what less-educated people call auras, etc. I become very easily overloaded in places like malls, Dave & Buster's, music stores (people playing different things, recorded music playing, people talking, videos running). Chuck E Cheese's was a waking nightmare for me when my kids were going to parties there. I get intensely nauseated and disoriented at very bright and flashing lights, and a lot of people talking at a party sounds and actually feels like glass breaking inside my head.
The relevant part of this to this blog, though, is thoughts I've had since watching an episode of "Taboo" in which objectum sexualis was featured, focusing on Erika Eiffel, who's an internationally known American OS who has married the Eiffel Tower and taken its name as her own surname. The best OS page is here: http://www.objectum-sexuality.org/ . I'm not OS, but I have a real sympathy for people who are.
The most relevant part of the show for me, however, was a psychiatrist commentator, who said that she doesn't think OS is a sexuality issue so much as an extreme form of synesthesia, specifically object-personification synesthesia. My scrambledy-neurons went *ZIP*ZAP* and I suddenly had a major insight to both my own synesthesia and my doll collections.
Everyone personifies objects to some extent, as it's an evolutionary part of our need to make patterns to help us avoid physical or psychological harm. Some synesthetes, however, have a much stronger sense of objects having personalities: 'We report a case study of an individual (TE) for whom inanimate objects, such as letters, numbers, simple shapes, and even furniture, are experienced as having richly detailed personalities....These findings demonstrate that synaesthesia can involve complex personifications for inanimate objects, which can influence the degree of visual attention paid to those objects." (Personifying inanimate objects in Synaesthesia, Carriere, Malcomson, Eller, Kwan, Reynolds, and Smilek, Journal of Vision, June 2007, vol. 9 # 9 article 53). (side note: I have a MA in sociology, so I do have some credentials to back up my own bs-ing. ;D)
My point--and I do have one!--is that a large number of doll collectors invest their dolls with personalities, stories, and lives, and these can be as rich and detailed as reality. Some collectors don't, they see their dolls as decorative objects or mannequins, and I get that -- these are the collectors less likely to show up on the "Ain't these Doll People Freaks?" types of docco shows, because the rest of the world kind of "gets it." Those of us who go farther and deeper into the personalities of their dolls may not be able to help it even if we wanted to (I don't want to help it, for the record). The dolls are people, thank you, on a different level from the truly alive beings around us (priorities! Actually alive=more important), but still people.
Part of this pondering was sparked by my modded Tonner Rapunzel, Martie, and my very strong emotional attachment to her. I attach pretty strongly to most of my dolls, but I have bonded hard and fast with Martie, who grabbed my heart and creative imagination the first time I saw her online. I'd been jonesing for a Rapunzel anyway, largely for that HAIR!, but this girl--*BOOMETY*BOOM*BOOM* went my heart, and I even dreamed about her before I bought her. I had a moment of real emotional pain when I though someone else had bought her, so when she was actually, truly MINE and physically in my hands.....I was afraid to open the box! What if she didn't measure up to the pics, price, anticipation....? She sat in that box for a *week* before I finally worked up the moxie to open it.
You all know how this came out, because I've been posting primarily pics of Martie since I deboxed her, got some clothes on her, and brushed that amaaaaaaazing hair. She's my sewing muse and travel buddy now, and is inspiring me to make better pictures (as pro photographers say--that's my husband's primary avocation). She may be getting a backstory soon, as she isn't the same as the character in "Tangled." She's Martie Riley. She has her own rich life, thanks.