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Being the New Kid on the Block/Making friends at a meet.

Mar 29, 2012

    1. *I got enough answers from this to know it's okay to not have a doll at a meet but if anyone else has had a bad experience/good advice I'd like to hear it too. : O

      I've been really interested in the hobby for years but waited to find a doll that I particularly found myself drawn to (also when having the money). So now I've finally ordered my first BJD and am learning more about it. So I'm still a NEWB about everything. I've spoken to few BJD owners at conventions before but soon I will be attending a gathering WITHOUT my Sol since he's on layaway (the host said I was welcome to come anyway).

      I am just really uncomfortable with even going without Sol (especially since these are long time hobbyists) but this is the only chance I'll have for a long time to see other dolls and it's REALLY close to my area. This post isn't personally about THIS meet-up but just in general curiosity. So I have a few questions...

      I'm curious to hear from people new in the hobby and also people that have been to multiple meets.

      -How weird do you guys think it is for someone to go to a meet without a doll?
      -Have you ever seen anyone attend a meet without one?
      -If you had ONE/few dolls did you feel completely misplaced from the group?

      I already know the basic bjd meetup etiquette/common sense. I won't using this an an opportunity to ask a bunch of stupid questions. I won't be asking to hold/touch anyone's doll either. (i'm too afraid anyway) XD
    2. I don't think it's weird at all for people to go to meets without dolls, meets are great for seeing BJDs first hand and getting a feel for them before you get your own. In fact I'd actually encourage people to come to them before buying their first dolls if they where feeling unsure about anything. I can't speak for every meet up group since it does vary depending on the people but for the most part people who've been in the hobby a while will be more than happy to answer any questions and help someone out.
      We've had people with no dolls at my local meets in the past and it hasn't been weird or awkward at all, they're as welcome as anyone else, especially since I know it can be incredibly intimidating to meet new people in general.
    3. I've been discouraged ever since meeting a.. not so friendly long-time bjd owner at a convention. But I guess I can't let one bad experience ruin it for me.

      I'm glad to hear it's not a crazy idea for someone to show up without a doll though. Hopefully there are others at this meet that have just started too =) Thanks for answering.
    4. I don't think it's weird at all to attend a meet with no dolls - how else are you supposed to really learn about them without seeing them in person? There's only so much you can learn through reading things on a computer screen. ;) We've had people attend our meets with no dolls (my mom being one of them) and I would highly recommend it to any new owner. I'd even happily answer questions - there are no stupid questions.

      I attended my first meet with a Resinsoul Yao, who I accidentally sprayed with glossy MSC, so she looked greasy. I was so embarrassed and didn't know how to suede or restring her, but everyone in the group was so welcoming and did both for me, showing me how to do it! They didn't laugh at me or make fun of me for the MSC mixup. People in general are really very nice and I'm sorry you met someone at a con who wasn't. If only you were in Oregon, I'd go hug you right now. <3
    5. It's not weird at all. People show up with all sorts of dolls and figures in tow to the one meet I attend, and we've had people come and ask all sorts of questions.

      I guess my advice would be....don't build it up in your head with unrealistic expectations. Not everyone is probably going to be super friendly, a lot of doll owners are completely fail in the social interaction department, you probably won't like everyone yourself, and no lasting friendships may be born of the experience, but it's a good learning opportunity. I know I tend to go cross eyed and zone out when people start delving into their dolls incredibly detailed backstories because I'm often just not that interested, which is why I don't share mine unless someone specifically asks about them. Ask lots of questions about sculpts and customizations, that's usually a good way to get someone talking and break the ice.
    6. -How weird do you guys think it is for someone to go to a meet without a doll?/-Have you ever seen anyone attend a meet without one?
      I've never been to a meet where there wasn't someone there without a doll XD
      For real, it's totally common in our area. People bring friends all the time who are interested but haven't gotten a doll yet, new people are encouraged to come even if they haven't gotten their first doll, whether they're waiting on one or haven't decided which they want yet. On DoA people are always encouraged to go to meets so they can see dolls in person before buying one, so they'd have a better idea of what to expect.

      -If you had ONE/few dolls did you feel completely misplaced from the group?
      At my first meet I had just gotten my second doll, and I didn't think anything of it. There's kind of a huge group here, and there are people with one all the way to way more than one doll, so any number (even zero) is common at meets....

      Also seconding what Kim said...not everyone is going to be 100% super-friendly. But don't let that spoil it for you. You might meet some wonderful people you have a lot in common with. If nothing else you'll learn a lot about BJDs from people who've (hopefully) been there longer.
    7. Ah okay! At the con there was an unofficial doll gathering after a panel. It wasn't like they were taking photos or anything and this older woman got angry at the people in the group that didn't have dolls [including myself] and said "why bother coming to a doll meet if you don't have a DOLL" in a really snobby way. -_- She had like... 30 Volks with her so.. :| That and some other comments.....

      Idk I felt stupid wanting to go to a REAL meet after that. Now that I know it isn't uncommon I am definitely going to go! ^_^ Selling/trading is allowed and I've already talked about possibly buying something from someone there anyway... anyway enough rambling.

      Yayyy thanks for answering, everyone. I don't know anyone in real life that has a doll so I'm unsure about these things. :sweat Oh yeah and my expectations aren't too high. I'm not expecting to gain a new best friend or anything just wanted to stop by and see what it was like. =) And if it goes well I will hopefully attend a future meet with my doll.
    8. I had my first doll when I went to my first meet, but I personally don't see anything wrong with you going without one.

      I was very uncomfortable when I first went to the meet. It was at an owner's home, I was definitely the youngest, and my doll was definitely cheaper than everybody else. (My first was a Bobobie) But I soon realized that even though I was doing more listening than talking, the group made me feel welcomed. It was fun and I now have some new friends because of it! I can't wait for the next meet in April.
    9. I went to my first meet without a doll. I'd just found out about them not too long before and was excited to them in person. I didn't touch ANYTHING but I got to see a lot of dolls in person and I asked questions. There's nothing doll people love to talk about more than dolls ;)
    10. -How weird do you guys think it is for someone to go to a meet without a doll?
      It's not weird at all. I actually think it's a really good idea. XD

      -Have you ever seen anyone attend a meet without one?
      I honestly can't remember...maybe? Some of the meets I've been to were big, so it's hard to talk to everyone.

      -If you had ONE/few dolls did you feel completely misplaced from the group?
      The first meet I went to, I took two dolls. I only felt misplaced because it was my first meet, but that feeling faded fast. It's actually easier to deal with a few dolls, than a whole bunch. The amount of dolls you take also really depends on where the meet is. Example, I wouldn't take more than three SD size dolls to a size restaurant with decent size tables.

      Also, don't be afraid to ask to hold or touch people's dolls, especially if it's a sculpt/brand you're possibly interested in getting. I've yet to meet someone who's told me no, I've even had some people just hand me their doll because I commented on how nice it was. XD Just be courteous when asking and gentle when handling (if allowed to). ^^
    11. -How weird do you guys think it is for someone to go to a meet without a doll?
      It's not weird at all -- it's a really great way to get a sense of their scale, what size you might like, etc.

      -Have you ever seen anyone attend a meet without one?
      Yes, I know there have been, though I can't remember the details.

      -If you had ONE/few dolls did you feel completely misplaced from the group?
      Not at all. The first two meetups I went to I only had one doll. Even though I now have a fairly large doll family, I usually only take 1-3 dolls to meetups -- it's just too difficult for me to bring a big group, especially if it's a situation where we'll be walking around a lot.
    12. I invited another here to meet me at Panera Bread so she could handle my dolls while waiting on her own. I don't see it as weird to go without a doll.
    13. How weird do you guys think it is for someone to go to a meet without a doll?
      Not weird at all, especially if you've never encountered these people before. I had wanted to go to a doll meet, but it seems that the meet I planned on wasn't meeting anymore. However, I had decided that if I ever went to the meet, that first day I wouldn't bring my doll.

      I didn't know these people, first off. I didn't know if they were going to act clique-ish, or grabby, or whatever. I didn't want to bring my doll only to come away feeling bad or upset. I'd consider the first group meeting or two as 'feelers'. I even considered just walking by a couple of times, just to see how things were going.

      Unfortunately, the group I wanted to try stopped meeting suddenly towards the end of last year, so I never got a chance.
    14. How weird do you guys think it is for someone to go to a meet without a doll?
      Not weird at all! The last meet I went to (Momocon) was my first one. There were a handful of people without dolls.

      Have you ever seen anyone attend a meet without one?
      Yes and it's okay! Some people don't bring their dolls simple because they don't have a room at the convention or don't own them. I don't see it as such a bad thing. Some people just want to learn more about the dolls and so they want hands on experience. Not ALL doll owners will allow you to hold their dolls, but I got lucky a few years back before I got my boy with a nice doll owner that let me hold her doll and told me everything there is to know about dolls.

      If you had ONE/few dolls did you feel completely misplaced from the group?
      No! I only have one boy and I fit right in. You can't just sit on the side lines and expect people to come to you. At good handful of the people at the meet at Momocon knew one another. I knew no one, but I got to know them and talked to them about dolls and the hobby overall. Yes,you get a handful of not very nice doll owners (I've seen them at AWA but not at this meet specifically) but I had a great experience. You just have to put yourself out there and not be a wallflower :)
    15. I've been to a meetup a while ago and didn't bring my doll because I was in the process of selling him and had just cleaned him and such so I was reluctant to take him out. However everyone there was really nice and accommodating, and there were tons of dolls there anyway xD I did go with a friend who brought her doll but had I gone on my own I don't think things would have been that different. I certainly wasn't alienated or anything for not having a doll with me, people were totally comfortable with letting me handle their dolls and stuff even, it was a really great experience, doll or not. So I'd say go for it! It's a great way to meet people and tons of fun to be around others that share your interests. It's not weird at all imo to be there without a doll, might be slightly intimidating to think of but I'm sure you'll have an amazing time :3

      Apologies for weird/random words, iPods an their autocorrect ^^'
    16. My Very First Meet, I didn't have a doll. I knew I wanted one, but I didn't really know for sure which one I wanted. For me, at first it was terrifying. It took me about 5 to 10 minutes to work up the nerve to even go over to this massive group of people with really pretty dolls. They were all friendly toward each other, admiring dolls and commenting and posing. Having an almost crippling fear of integrating myself into a massive group like that, it took the threats of my two friends that they were gonna leave me there to go over (the twitching thing from Silent Hill was NOT helping either). At first I was just admiring quietly, but did get in on the posing fun, and conversations and even worked my way through the group to sit on the floor among the pretty pretty resins. I even managed to get an MSD into a piggy backing pose with an SD. Everyone was very very nice and friendly to me.

      Of course, now I have two dolls of my own and two that I'm waiting on, and I let people handle my dolls if they want to. I still have issues with groups, but that's all me. XD

      I have also left my dolls at home before too and I still wasn't left out of the funs. And now? Almost six years later, I have great friends from these meets that I can actually connect with and enjoy talking/hanging out with. This hobby's actually helped me get a better handle on my social anxiety. ^_^
    17. -How weird do you guys think it is for someone to go to a meet without a doll?

      Not weird at all-- I started going to meets before I got my first doll, and I'm not the only one. At our last doll meet, my sister didn't bring a doll along in part because there was a lot of rain and she doesn't have a water-resistant carrier (and in part because we were running late due to some emergency errands). We also drag my brother along-- he's happy to come because he's a sculptor with an interest in joint engineering and toy collecting, but he doesn't own any dolls (... yet...).

    18. I, myself, have just gone to a doll meet that was a group of experienced ABJD lovers. They immeadeatly welcomed me into their ranks. Infact, it was one of them that invited me onto Den of Angels. They were extremely accepting of my inexperienced self, and even ended up fixing my MSD's ahorrib string job. Doll people, though not always, are generaly very nice. There was even a girl in the group that loved BJDs, but had none, and made reborns (a type of baby doll). She's an active member and even brought some along. I think you'll find that while you may feel self-concious for a little while, you'll fit into the group dynamic quickly. You might even learn a lot of new things, I know I did.
    19. It's not weird at all - I went to my first doll meet before I got a doll :D There was one little snobby type there, but I eat them for breakfast LOL so I could care. Everybody else was so charming & I got to check out so many dolls before ordering mine! I even bought some stuff :D
      Most people are very nice, especially in social settings like a doll meet - that's been my experience anyway over years of going to all sorts of conventions/meetups/costume group activities etc.
      I agree that its easier to go to a doll meet WITH a doll if you are shy or nervous about groups of people! See if you can go w/a friend. I took one of my friend's daughters to a meet (she's young & not good w/new people) & the girl had a GREAT time!
    20. -How weird do you guys think it is for someone to go to a meet without a doll? Um, I've never seen someone attend a meet without at least one resin constituent in tow. The first doll meet I attended was quaint and local (and rather impromptu), as only local BJD-lovers below the age of eighteen were invited (reverse ageism? XD), and I brought my first BJD with me. I then gave her head and some moolah to one of the face-up artists present, and had her customized (the doll, I mean, not the artist). Shortly thereafter, I attended a second doll meet, which included people over eighteen. Because this was my first official meet, I didn't want to give anyone the impression I was BJD-less, as my girl was still away being happily customized. So a friend whom I carpooled with agreed to allow me to dollysit two of her Soom yoSDs. I was rather surprised to discover everyone present had brought with them at least two BJDs. However, were someone not to bring with them a BJD, I wouldn't find it "weird". It's really nobody's business what resin inhabitant is brought to a meet (or not), and by whom, so long as no one's doll(s) is/are stolen.
      -Have you ever seen anyone attend a meet without one? Nope. As with all of the meets I've attended thusfar, very few members have ever come with less than two BJDs.
      -If you had ONE/few dolls did you feel completely misplaced from the group? Not really. As I said, my first doll meet was unofficial, so there was no perceived BJD clout, and no one was ostracized for owning less than two BJDs total. And since we were all below the age of eighteen, it wasn't all that surprising if an attending member had in their possession one BJD.