I used to work in Chicago Visitor Information in a prime location on North Michigan Avenue. We were only steps away from what was, at the time, the only American Girl Doll Store. It was, coincidentally, where I met Mr. Hobbitfeet. We both worked there, but that isn't what this is about.
Often there would be families who had come to Chicago only to shop at the American Girl Doll store. These people were easy to spot. The daughter would be cradling an AG bag most likely filled with HUNDREDS of dollars worth of accessories and clothes, the father (if one was present) was looking dazed, and the mother was wearing the EXACT same dress as both her daughter and the AG doll.
I need you to understand how frightening I thought this was. I find matching outfits to be disturbing any day of the week, but when the outfits are mother-daughter-doll it is too eerie to express in real words. Even worse were the Mother-Daughter-Daughter-Doll-Doll outfits. Now, not only is the mother dressed like both of her daughters but there are TWO dolls dressed alike. It is a sea of pink, floral, collared dresses.
I've seen too many scary movies where dolls come to life and kill people to be comfortable with this.
Then multiply this by two-three times a week (more in the summer) and then by a year. Also throw in the yuppie, "I'm better than you" attitude, and toss in a bit of fevered anticipation for a vacation completely devoted to high-end shopping. What I am trying to say is these people scared me because they were devoted to a frenzied feeling that I could never hope, or care, to sympathize with.
I said to myself, "As God as my witness, I will never allow my children to own an American Girl doll!"
And then, if you triple that, you'd know Mr. Hobbitfeet's feelings on the subject.
Now move forward in time seven years.
Girl got her hands on an American Girl catalog, and she can not stop talking about it. All she wants out of life is 17 inches of China-made plastic with ice skates and red hair. Her goal in life is the "Girl of the Year," Mia and the package that comes with three or four outfits all for the low, low price of $168.
And "as God as my witness," I am going to get it for her. We've told her there will be no birthday party. We have told her there will be no other presents. She doesn't care (as long as maybe she gets some balloons too).
Of course she still has threeish months until her birthday, and Mr. H is hoping (against all hope) that she'll forget her obsession and move on. Of course he isn't home all day to see her pouring through well-worn catalog, exclaiming at all the cool accessories that you can get for your doll, kissing the picture of Mia and telling Boy over and over again that she is getting it for her birthday with some balloons, but no party or other presents.
There is NO WAY she is letting herself forget.