Wednesday, August 02, 2006

My (not so) Secret Confession


This is my girl… Molly.

Some of you have doll houses (which are making me really jealous, by the way, but I don't think I should push my luck with Mike - he already deals with PEZ and American Girl), other people collect porcelian dolls or McDonald's Happy Meal Toys. Like I've said before, I think its good for adults to hold onto a bit of their childhood and the innocence that comes along with it.

When I was in fifth grade, I learned about Pleasant Company American Girl dolls from my best friend, Tara. She had Molly as well. At that time there were only 4 dolls, Samantha (from the Victorian era), Kirsten (a Swedish immigrant during the Pioneer days), Molly (growing up on the homefront while her father was in WWI) and Felicity (a patriot at the beginning of the American Revolution). These babies were catalog-only, and very expensive. But they were great…are great. Wholesome, educational, and adorable.

After reading through the catalog (which was more of a book than a catalog), I decided Molly was the one for me. Not prissy, more of a tom boy, plus she had the best clothes (aka the clothes I would wear). My parents couldn't believe I wanted a doll at all, nonetheless at 10 years old. I was in love. I was always a fan of history and these dolls were all about history. Their stories, the clothes, their furniture, and the way down to their little accessories. Plus I was never one to really care what my peers thought of me. I did my own thing (I wasn't like the weirdo, I just knew what I believed and how I felt, etc). So since my parents thought it was just a phase, a case of trying to keep up with the Joneses, they told me I could get Molly if I saved up for her. So that I did. I'd been babysitting for about a year, Christmas came around too, and I was always very diligent with my money. As my 11th birthday rolled around, I was so close. Close enough that with my expected birthday cash, Molly would be mine.

Much to my surprise, as I opened all my presents at my family birthday party, Molly was there! Along with outfits, more than I could hope for.

And from that moment on, I was hooked. For several years after late, my birthdays and Christmases were American Girl occasions. Always receiving something. As I reached high school, my interests turned to other things, but dear Molly was never banished. In fact, my mom took me to the furniture store and we found a glass front case that would be suitable for storing and displaying Molly and her collection. In 1997, AG released Limited Edition outfits for each girl (which was a total of 5 now), and as a sophomore in high school, I requested this for Christmas(probably). So all during this time, Molly sat displayed in her cabinet, waiting for me, being there when I needed the comfort of childhood.


So since that 11th birthday, I've been hooked. And actually it has progressed and grown as I've aged. My first year in college I "rediscovered" AG and had catalogs sent to my dorm. And by my junior year, I'd visited American Girl Place - Chicago and purchased something with my own money. When I graduated college, I spent the summer and early fall jobless, and then while passing by the AG office on a trip to the Jelly Belly"factory" with my little cousins, I decided to apply for a job there. I had the opportunity of a lifetime for someone obsessed with AG. I spent 6 months working the phones for AG. I had 20% discount, I won AG stuff, even the newest doll-Nellie (who I sold on eBay BIN, for less than she can be bought new because I hate people who rip other people off on purpose on eBay---and bought Kit, the doll that peaked my interest when I "rediscovered" AG). I spent alot of money working there (though my mom moreso), but I also made a lot of extra money between eBaying the giveaways and tacking on small fees for all the favors I did by ordering things for family and neighbors.

And now I'm pretty much obsessed. It was my new year's resolution to finish Molly's Complete Collection. I managed that, then they came out with a new outfit (her roller skating outfit, which she is wearing in the top picture), and now that is all crashing down. American Girl has started making TV movies based on the stories of the dolls, starting in 2004 with Samantha, last year with Felicity, and now this year, Molly. With each movie release, AG release a best friend doll along with new items in the collection for both dolls. So after working so hard for over decade on completing Molly's collection, including one retired item that required me to spend a bit more than I care to admit on ebay, I am now going to fall behind come September 1st. The new doll (Emily) and items premiered last night at AGPNY and AGPLA (and tonight at AGPC), and the loyal followers on the AG Message Board promptly posted photos for all of us to gawk at (I may see if I can get permission to post a couple pics here). And though there is plenty for my to lust after and save for, there are a few items that will probably never make it into my collection. For money and space concerns.

Having a complete collection was fun while it lasted. And now I will move my focus onto Kit, for it has been announced that next year she will be the focus of the movie. But this time it will be a feature film, and I think I'll have to try my hardest to attend her premiere party. Just for the experience. Sure I won't be an 8 year old, or have one in tow, but I've been there. For over half of the lifespan of the company.

And that my friends…is my not-so secret confession, for if you already knew me all this is evidently clear, and if you don't know my personally, this will help get to know me and how my mind works. Some of may be even thinking back to your own American Girl memories, or curious to see what all the hub-bub is about…as I said this weekend to Mike, our friend, Ben and his new girlfriend (who after seeing my displayed dolls, struck up a conversation with some strangers in Chicago about them)…American Girl dolls are a great unifier of girls/women of my generation. We either had them, or wanted them, and the topic can cause people to strike up conversation with complete strangers whether they see a little girl walking down the street with one, or just have them on the mind (like I always do).

In other news, I finally figured out how to take good close-up pictures with our digital camera! Yeah! Well, until WIP Friday most likely…ciao!

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