Or, How I Learned that Never Say Never is True.
As I’ve mentioned here before – and Neth has said often on her own blog – I’m the co-owner of a wonderful message board called American Girl Collectors (henceforth referred to as AGC.) The incredible people who have joined us there – we’re 235 strong! Not bad for a forum that’s only been open since February! – haven’t just become fellow collectors, a great many of them have become people I consider friends. We’re definitely more… progressive than some of the other American Girl message boards out there and we’ve become a safe place for many people to share their dolly love when they didn’t feel safe or welcome at other boards. I’m proud of that.
And a few weeks ago, someone on the board who has become a dear friend, linked to an eBay auction that turned into the most incredible, amazing display of community love and support that I have ever seen.
Go under the jump for the whole tale.
So. On a Thursday, my buddy (and now co-mod!) jokingly posted a thread that he called “group order anyone?” And contained within this post was a link to an ebay auction for 15 TLC American Girl dolls. Including Marisol, Jess, Mia, Molly, Kit, several My American Girls, two Nicki dolls and two Kanani dolls. Wistful wishing and wishful thinking, saying “God, if we did it, I’d take [so and so]!”
Somehow that all turned into “What the hell, lets be brave! Lets try!” Dividing the dolls up 15 ways, and sharing the cost, we’d be able to easily swing this. It was a short auction, so time was of the essence and on our side. We stickied the thread and I began keeping copious lists, which turned into a big spreadsheet. We figured out how we were going to do all this. The first amazing thing was that not a single person argued with anyone else about which doll they would get. Not one. It’s hard to believe, I know. These days in doll fandom you get arguments over everything, but there was not a single argument.
And then something amazing happened.
If the cost got too high, people offered to chip in more to help cover someone else. We rallied, we cheered, we shared our plans for “our” doll if we actually won. And then the person who was our “buyer” of the whole thing did the most amazing thing of all. I don’t want to put zie on the spot or anything – it’s in the thread if you care to look for it, be warned that the thread is massive – but it was amazingly and incredibly generous.
People would get disheartened, and me, the boundless font of optimism over there, kept rallying like some sort of fat, clumsy, aged cheerleader. People were baffled by me, but more than once I read “Well, if Boom (as I’m known over there) has faith, I trust Boom, so I have faith too.” Faith from the atheist. Who knew?
The following Sunday morning. 1:45PM Eastern. Our auction is coming to an end. More dolls have been added to the mix due to the price going so high. Including a Rebecca, a Julie, and a never-removed-from-her-box Isabelle. And a metric fuckton of us are crouched at our computers, whether involved in the group buy or not, watching the seconds tick down on our auction, talking in our thread, holding hands.
We watch as our buyer puts in the bid.
Tick tock tick tock
It’s almost ours.
15, 14, 13…
Someone topped our bid.
What, what, what?!
Oh, we despaired, y’all. All that work, and one little shyster ruined it all.
But wait! They had zero feedback! The seller wanted people with less than 10 feedback to contact them first! There was still hope!
Our buyer stayed on the ball, the seller stayed in constant contact. There was still hope.
The thread continued, we continued to talk amongst ourselves, our buyer kept us updated. We decided the special girls from this lot were cousins, and that’s how we’ve started to refer to them. The Cousins, or the AGC Cousins. No matter their time, their name, they are cousins. They – and we – are bound forever by the friendship we formed over the five days or so that this journey happened.
We stayed hopeful and come the 25th, word came down.
The person who outbid us was most definitely a scammer. The lot was ours. And not just that lot. More dolls were thrown in, a few GOTYs in their Meet Outfits. All of which, plus Izzy, are being sent to our buyer so she can sell them herself.
Our buyer (who through the magic of mod has been bestowed the title of “Made of Win and Awesome.”) payed up, shared pictures of the clothes that our seller was also throwing in, which we divided evenly amongst ourselves as well. Neth, who is excited for her role as The Dolly Whisperer, began to make plans for once the box arrived at her apartment in Robot Hell. Fixing the girls up and makin’ them shine. And… secret plans, which I’m not allowed to divulge on pain of death. 🙂
And today, the box (boxes, really) arrived. The excitement is back! Neth posted a picture of the boxes before she got going on sorting and it’s all exciting! I know I’ve not stopped refreshing the thread, or glancing at my IM box.
So, I bet you’re wondering who I got then.
Looking at the above picture, which contains the cousin I’m getting, and knowing that I already have a Marisol, I’m guessing you can figure it out?
In particular, I’m taking the Kanani in the back. My friend starzzz has wanted another Kanani for awhile that he can customize to give her dark hair and dark eyes, so he’s taking the one in front since her wig is a mess anyway. So I’m taking the pretty girl in back.
It’s funny. I had started making plans for a custom girl to round out my gang. A white girl with the Josefina facemold, über-curly red hair and Saige’s eyes who’s name was going to be Rebecca, modeled after an actress I enjoy a lot. That doll still might happen one day, but when I’m getting my grail doll, who gives a rusty hoot about a custom doll anyway?
All you have to do is put the wash out to dry, right?
There will be further updates as events warrant, but I just wanted some kind of record of this on ye olde blogge. Or whatever.
To the family over at AGC who made this all possible: You all most definitely rock the party that rocks the body.
To our buyer: Your title says it all, you are most certainly made of Win and Awesome.
To our seller: Nothing but love for you too! You are amazing!
To the scammer: May the highlight of your life be the next Homestuck update and may your cosplay costume always break at the most inopportune moment.
And now… to watch the goings on and be excited!