A while back I read about an American Girl doll beauty salon (yes), which a girl with another brand of doll, maybe even - gasp - an imitation, was asked to leave, even though she was part of a birthday party there. This made me sad, but not surprised. One more way for mean, snobbish grownups to pass their meanness and snobbery down to the next generation. I hadn't given American Girl another thought since that story. Hard as it is to believe, I have gone lo these many months without American Girl dolls crossing my mind at all.
Then one day last week, an unsolicited American Girl catalog arrived in the mail. Now, I prefer not to be on snail mail lists in general. Catalogs in particular represent a huge waste of resources. It's not just paper. There's ink, bleach, solvents, fuel, electricity, etc., and the total pointless waste of all these things makes me cranky. So there are just a couple of catalogs that I get, and needless to say American Girl isn't one of 'em.
First thing I did after bringing the mail in was call them to get off their mailing list. If they know how they got my name, they aren't telling, but they are agreeable about not sending me more catalogs, so, good. That done, I put down the phone, and flipped through the big glossy pages of the one I'd received. Its featured doll is Kit Kittredge, growing up in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1934. I guess there's a movie of this story that came out this past summer, with Abigail Breslin as Kit? Anyway, from the catalog:
Growing up during the Great Depression means a lot of change for Kit Kittredge. When her family turns their home into a boarding house, she must move into a drafty attic bedroom. She has to start wearing dresses made from feed sacks to save money. And when her dad loses his business, she worries that he may have to move away to find another job. But Kit is clever and resourceful, and she works hard to help her family make ends meet. Life is not all hard work, though. Kit learns how to have lots of fun with little money and, most important, to treasure the things that money can't buy -- family and friends.Well that's nice, I think as I read, though the feed sack thing is perhaps a tad incongruous, since the Kit doll comes wearing a pretty twinset and skirt, and I notice that oddly enough, none of the other outfits you can buy for her are made from feed sacks.
So how much do you figure it costs, this pretty dolly with her Depression story and heartwarming message about things in life more precious than money? I look to the bottom of the page to find out...
...$90.00. Yes indeed. That's for one doll, and one paperback book.
I laughed out loud.
Good thing my girls already manage to have lots of fun with little money -- saves me buying them a $90 doll to explain how it's done.