I was listening to Mares In Black episode #51 the other day and they did a really fantastic interview with Darynn Bednarczyk of DeeJayBe Studios. Darynn made a Youtube video entitled " I am embarrassed to collect breyers". I watched the video and a lot of what Darynn said about her experience in the hobby have been true for a lot of us. For some reason, loving horses is often seen as childish. Whether it is real horses or plastic ones, we often get judged for our love. Sure, if you have real horses more people will think that is just fine, but collecting plastic horses is a little kid thing. Isn't it?
I am not sure at what age collecting turns taboo but there does seem to be a time. Often it is somewhere between middle school and high school. So many horse crazy kids sort of grow out of it. And then there are the hobby people. We might put our collecting into the closet for a while, we might even step away for a while. Many of us feel shame about our love of little plastic horses. And it's not surprising, often people think it's weird.
When I was 13 years old I saved up all of my babysitting money for a few weeks or a month (hey, it was a long time ago, I don't remember how long I saved, just that I did) and I went to Toys R Us (remember that place?) and I bought a Breyer classic Arabian family. And I loved it (and still have it). I had almost no Breyers growing up because they were expensive. So getting those Breyers was a thrill. Earning them had me elated. My best friend at the time scoffed at me for spending $5 on plastic horses (she thought I spent a day's pay. She had no idea...) that was my first time thinking that collecting horses was something to be ashamed of.
I stopped collecting all together when my kids were small because I had nowhere to put the horses, still had no money, and had other things I needed to focus on. Like learning to cook because we could not afford take out or anything pre-made. But one day I was sitting on our ancient dial-up computer (which was a second hand luxury item) and I remembered my horses and figured I could find some on ebay. And I also found the hobby.
But I was still embarrassed. Ethan and I ran into a friend of ours that we had not seen in years and he asked what I am doing for work now. I told him I make dolls and he turned up his nose at me and sneered "you make dolls???" As if it was the weirdest and worst thing he had ever heard. I wonder if the reaction would have been any better if I said I was a stay at home mom. Likely not.