Wednesday, August 01, 2007

A is for…

Birthday Molly

American Girl!

Wow, I can't wait to move out of our dark, damp apartment…if only for better photo opportunities.

A new meme is rounding the blogosphere, thanks to Bella Dia, "Encyclopedia of Me." During August, the goal is to blog daily using yourself and the next letter of the alphabet as your prompt. And by the end of 26 days, you'll have a nice grouping of information about yourself that others might or might not know. A fun idea, so I'm joining in. We all know I like challenges, and it's a nice way to recommit myself to good ole CraftNClutter.


So we start off this story of myself with "A is for American Girl." Not in the sense that I'm overly patriotic. But in the dolls that have been part of my life for almost 15 years.

When I was in 5th grade, my best friend, Tara, had an American Girl doll…Molly to be exact. I spent a lot of time at Tara's house, so I became intrigued. As a young history buff who loved to read how could they not peak my interest. Though the thing is I was never a girly girl. I had dolls, but was never a doll girl. So when I declared to my parents that I wanted a Molly (the doll most like me being sort of a tomboy), they scoffed and said that if I earned the money for her, I most certainly could purchase her.

During this time in my life, I was a babysitter and I had regular gigs, so I had money at my disposal. Babysitting money, Christmas money, birthday money all went into a special envelope. And as my 11th birthday neared, my envelope became more and more padded. I was at the point where I figured with the money I was expecting for my birthday, Molly would be mine in a matter of weeks.

Imagine my surprise while opening presents at the family birthday party and a burgundy box with a gold emblemn appeared from beneath wrapping paper.

I had managed to show my parents that their little tomboy really, truly did want a doll. And though it was expensive, it must have been important to me. All my extended family went in together that birthday and the next few birthday and Christmases to follow to help build my collection.

And though I was at the top of Pleasant Company's target age group, I continued to love my Molly and collect her clothing and accessories until I hit high school. And even then, though other things took priority of my time, Molly was never relegated to the attic or closet, all boxed up. She held a prominent position in my room, in a lovely wooden display case my mom purchased for me when she most likely realized my day of playing with Molly were fading. I would change her clothes every few months and flip through the Pleasant Company catalog whenever one came my way.

And this was how the relationship stayed until I hit sophomore year in college, when I rediscovered American Girl in a quest for mail to be sent to my dorm room. Oh how the company had grown in those "missing" years. Eight dolls (up from 3 to 4 then 5), and store in Chicago, and some many more accessories and outfits that I knew I had some catching up to do.

It was at this time, I fell in love with Kit as well. Knowing one day I would have her. I waited until the winter after I graduated from college to finally get my hands on her. I was fortunate to live within commuting distance from the AG call center, and was able to work the holiday season there. With the assistance of a 30% discount and winning the newest doll (Nellie) in the Thanksgiving Day Give-Away, Kit was at home with Molly and a ton more stuff before Christmas.


And now I plug away at my collections…both Molly & Kit. Wanting to devour everything they have. Thanks to a wedding day gift from Mike, I was able to complete Molly's collection…just in time for her movie and therefore a flew of new products to come available. So now I just chip away, setting priorities for things I think may be retired, and preparing the onslaught of products that will no doubt be released next summer when Kit's movie (starring Abigail Breslin) hits movie theaters.

And after all these years, I still get the same joy from sitting with the catalog in my lap flipping through the pages. Before I had a doll, I could spend hours with the catalogs and their lifesize spreads of each doll. And having everything pulled out on the floor around me, while I change outfits for a new month or season, is surprising relaxing. A release, where I can let the kid in me run wild for awhile.

I look forward to one day being able to share this love with a daughter…or niece. I know how special these dolls can be. Not a status symbol like many like to accuse, but as a creative outlet to learn with, to grow with, to love.


Jenna Z said...

Is there any chance we know each other? I'm from central IL. Have you noticed we've both blogged dolls, books and a body part so far for the A-Z meme? Weird!

Stacey said...

Another thing we share, our love of AG! My poor Samantha still needs a doctor, I'm afraid her head is far too loose!

And someday, Felicity will be mine!! :)