Not without drama, however. I started tracking them as soon as I saw their status on the Iplehouse web site change to On Shipping. Shane left Korea on February 6, Zera left on February 7. On the afternoon of February 9 I found an Attempted Delivery slip in my mailbox. It had Shane's tracking number. The next morning I stopped at the Post Office and signed for the big Iplehouse box. No time to go home with it, as I was already late for work. So I drove the 30 miles to work crooning to the box, "My dear Mr. Shane," which are the only words I remember to the old song. All day long I worked with that huge box under my desk. I couldn't leave it in the car. Too cold out, for one thing; too expensive, for another.
|"My Dear Mr. Shane" -- another gorgeous Iplehouse man|
At noontime, I checked on Zera's progress. Oddly, her status on USPS.com read Delivered. At 7:31 a.m. Hello? I was in the Post Office at 7:30 and they didn't hand her over? They had both boxes sitting in their back room and they gave me only one of them. Even after I told them I was expecting a second box. Given its size, they had to be tripping over it every time they crossed the room. Didn't see it, I guess. Hmmm...
Evening rolled around and I still hadn't opened Shane's box. I wanted to document the box opening with photos that I could post on Den of Angels and the house was way too dark for picture-taking, even with all the lights on. But then I had a phone call from Carol, a fellow doll collector whom I had e-mailed about the arrival. She couldn't believe I hadn't yet opened the box. It didn't take her long to talk me into opening it right there on the spot. So I did. And found...
|Zera, wearing a blonde wig from Elfdoll.|
Zera. Not Shane.
So where was Shane? At the Post Office, obviously. But how would I collect him, seeing as I had already surrendered his Attempted Delivery slip? There was no new slip in my mailbox when I came home. They must have handed me Zera before they could write out her slip. I fussed all evening. Needlessly, as it turns out. Saturday morning I dashed to the Post Office, armed with printouts showing the tracking numbers for both boxes and the paperwork from Zera's box in case they needed to scan it. Fortunately, the clerk behind the counter knows me well enough that she didn't demand to see proof or identification. She brought out the second box, as well as a smaller box postmarked Australia (containing a doll head I ordered on the Den of Angels marketplace), scanned Zera's tracking number and wrote out a new slip. I signed it and flew out the door.
|Zera and Shane in Iplehouse wigs and clothes.|
No time to open it, alas. After more than a year I finally have a buyer for my condo and the inspection was scheduled for 10:00 a.m. The homeowner is not supposed to be present for the inspection, so I had to leave. Two hours later I came back and scooped up Zera to take her to a doll meet. (Talk about a crazy weekend--my days are usually much more placid than this.)
There were three of us at the doll meet-up, and three dolls: ModernWizard's Janvier Jett (an Angelsdoll cat avatar), Goldi's Penny (a Fairyland Minifee Chloe) and my SID Zera, who will be known as Zofia.
|Zofia and Penny being serenaded by Janvier Jett.|
By the time I got home I was too eager to see Shane to stop for photos. I tore into his packaging and spent most of the remaining afternoon dressing him. So many tiny buttonholes! Much as I applaud the workmanship, it took me forever to button his shirt. I collect antique button hooks. I should have raided my collection to see if I had a hook small enough to use here. As it was, I fashioned a loop from a twist-tie and made it work. Then there were the belt, gun holster, chaps, and three ammunition belts. I sure could have used a photo or a diagram to see how it all goes together. (Here's a handy tip: if it doesn't fit, you did it wrong.) I put his outfit together, all except the bullets. They are individually wrapped, like teeny tiny party favors, and I had plumb run out of steam by then. Since there are no bad guys in the house for him to shoot, it can wait. I'll unwrap them later.
|"What do you mean: no bullets?"|
Shane is the first fullset I have purchased from Iplehouse. Usually I buy the doll without the outfit, as it costs less that way. This time I sprang for the whole package. The Wild West theme appealed to me and Shane makes a very cute Sheriff. On the other hand, I did not buy Zera's fullset. She was also protrayed as a Sheriff, which didn't ring true. Iplehouse showed her in tan skin, which made her look Native American. A Native American woman Sheriff may make sense in an alternative universe, but not in any historical sense. On the other hand, I had been looking for an SID woman with Asian features who could fill the role of wife and mother in the little family consisting of SID Barahan, JID Asa and BID Byuri. By buying Zera in realskin instead of tan, I have that woman. My little family is complete.
|Anastasia, Zofia, Evgeny and Yuri|