“If only I could have a Kirsten doll, my life would be complete.”
“Or maybe a Samantha doll. And that’s all.”
“If only I could have the Christmas outfit to go with the Samantha doll that I don’t have, my life would be complete.”
“A Kirsten doll is $110. That’s like….a million dollars.”
These were the first hopeful, and then completely despondent thoughts going through my 10-12 year old head long ago. It began with a book.
(Does this surprise you? It seems that most stories associated with my most intimate wants and desires always start with a book.)
Once upon a time, a much younger Sparklebumps took a field trip to a historical farm in Ramsey, MN, and found a book she wanted to read entitled Meet Kirsten. Little did she know, but that this was only one book in a well-known series of books made to educate and entertain little girls on the lives and times of other fictional little girls in America throughout history. That series was American Girl, which later blossomed into a brand that, in my opinion, rivals Disney. (My opinion is so based on the square-footage of the American Girl and Disney Stores that reside in the Mall of America here in Minnesota. I do believe AG takes up more space.)
Being the nerdy little moppet that I was, I was quick to check out every American Girl book that I came across in my school library- with the exception of the Molly books, which I immediately poo-pooed because of the fact that Molly wore specatacles. (Spectacles are not cool, Dude.) At the time, no marvelous American Girl Store existed, where shelves are lined with beautifully accessorized dolls that one can go to and choose from, and even purchase matching outfits of their own, so that little mother and doll can play gleefully together while wearing identical duds. Instead, everything was mail order, and every year around Christmas, it would arrive- the American Girl catalogue.
This was my Holy Grail, my perfectly published Christmas wishlist, my own version of the legendary JCPenney catalogue. No, I did not need to go through and circle the items I longed for, because I coveted ALL of them. (Minus the Molly section.) My only dilemma was whether I would rather have Kirsten (who was blonde like me, and whose name is similar to my own) or Samantha. (who fictionally lived during the Victorian Era, whose amazing lace and corset style called to my own Steampunk leanings.)
I yearned for, no, no- I PINED for an American Girl doll. Thinking back, I cannot recall a single other Christmas gift I so wanted and never received. Let me be clear, I never went with presents- in fact, I was ridiculously bombarded with mountains of presents on both Christmas and my birthday, and while I enjoyed and appreciated every one, there was always a slight stab of disappointment with every tear of shiny wrapping paper that revealed a present that was NOT an American Girl doll. I eventually gave up on the idea of ever having my very own Kirsten or Samantha to dress and feed and teach and doll up.
Fast forward to many years later, when I was slightly more grown up but not much more mature. Like, a few years ago. I had nearly forgotten my obsessive need for an American Girl doll, when I heard on the radio of the Grand Opening of the American Girl Store in Mall of America. All the years of wishing flooded in on me, and I made up my mind to venture to this Mecca, and see for myself all that would be mine. Imagine my disappointment when I arrived, and saw for myself that the dolls were just as exhorbitently-priced for me as they were for my parents back in the day. I left, at last convinced once and for all that I was not meant to mother one of these inanimate girls. (Since then, I still find myself wandering the aisles on my bi-annual trip to the Mall.)
Now that I have an Almost Daughter of my own, it would make sense that I would bestow upon her her very own American Girl doll, but I find that I do not have any intention of doing so. Perhaps it is because she may be a little too old, (which is what we are going to pretend) or perhaps it is because if I bought her one, I would constantly find myself seething with envy every time she ran a brush through the damn dolly’s hair.
Clearly, I am of an age when it is not sensible, nor is it befitting for me to have a doll to cradle and play and drink imaginary tea with. But then again, when am I ever sensible?