Monday, March 1, 2010

The Doll I'll Never Admit is Better

There was a rule. It was unspoken, but it grew from a childhood of scorn for all things branded. Whether it be chips, toys, or electronics, if it was a popular brand, our family probably didn't have it. Despite my attempts, I did not inherit this rule. Not me. I do not believe cheaper is better.

Not me. Really.

I have not broken this rule. I did not break the no way will anyone in our family ever own an overpriced, over hyped doll rule.

I did not let my daughter buy an American Girl doll. Not me. What a waste of money. It's just a doll.

Now, when I want to feel better about myself and my silly rules, I remind myself that at least I didn't buy it for her. Nope. She bought it herself.

Megan  literally vibrated with excitement while I grabbed a Starbuck's mocha (conveniently across from the store entrance) to help me survive the experience. Mocha in hand, I followed Megan as she marched in to American Girl with her wad of cash, fresh from her birthday card, hand in mine, and with a bit of prodding, approached a gentleman and asked, "Can you show me where Lanie is?"

He  led us to the middle of the store, past fantastic glass encased displays of dolls, to her choice: this year's doll that looks amazingly like my own girl. Blond with long curly hair. And a penchant for outdoor adventure. And bugs. At least, that's what the book about her says.

Megan took her time. She looked at the accessories, weighed the cost of doll plus one extra. Is the doll laptop worth $26 or is the hammock? If she had a couple hundred more dollars, would she buy Lanie's camper and where would she put it? She made a full sweep of the store, admiring doll couches, puppies, sunglasses and endless matching outfits.

She chose carefully. The doll and the hammock. Oh, the decisions of a nine year old.

She filled her big red bag and checked out, chatting comfortably with the cashier.We made our way to the van, and I clicked the light on so she could immediately open the box. She fretted that the doll's hair would be mashed in the back just like a Barbie's straight from the box. No worries. Lanie came complete with a hairnet, and bouncy hair.

For days, she's done her schoolwork with Lanie nearby, admiring each detail.


It turns out you often do get what you pay for. But I will never admit it. Not me.


Joyce said...

Just popped over from MckMamas...sweet pictures. My daughters are in college now but we have many happy American Girl Doll memories here : )

melicity said...

I, too, came from MckMama's blog. This is one of the sweetest posts I've read all morning. It reminds me of my mom, who could not afford to buy me a Cabbage Patch doll when they were so popular. Instead, she made one for me complete with a whole wardrobe. I still have that doll today and am so thankful for the memories. Not only does your daughter have the exact doll she wanted, she has the wonderful memory of shopping with her mom to get it. :)

Crystal said...

How sweet - she is really cute and does look like the doll.

Anonymous said...

this is precious...and you will always cherish it. no matter how much the american girl cost. i said the same thing and all of my girls own one. crazy, i know.

Faith said...

I'm another visitor from MckMama's blog. It sounds like we grew up in similar families. My parents would NEVER buy us an American Girl doll and when my daughter went through the "I have to get one" phase, I got her a LIV doll instead. But I love this story you shared about your daughter. Maybe there is something to those crazy over-priced things.

Chick Hatchers said...

I hopped over from MckMama and really enjoyed this post. My oldest (same age as Megan) bought her own doll in the same way 3 or 4 years ago. She saved for a whole year (and even wrote a short story called "The Long Year") with birthday, Christmas, and chore money to buy Elizabeth. I had been throwing away the catalogs because I didn't even want her to know about those dolls, then hubby checked the mail one day and handed her a catalog. The look on my face had to be classic "What are you doing??? We used it as an opportunity to teach the value of saving.

If you want some inexpensive clothes for the doll, there is a seller on Ebay that I highly recommend. I have bought from her repeatedly and the clothes are great quality and less expensive than many other sellers. Her ID is doodaba. Feel free to tell her that pknm recommended her; I don't "get" anything for that comment, she just knows that she's getting referrals rather than stray buyers.

Have a great time with that memory of doll shopping!

Kelli @ RTSM said...

I feel the same way about name brand over price stuff...but if I had a little girl we would be at the American Girl store as soon as she was old enough to hold a doll:) Your little girlie looks like she is really enjoying her new doll!

Kaz and Amy said...

So sweet! She loves it! I love your blog and post! I'm now a follower! Hope you have a great Monday!

your other half said...

First, why is there a gentleman working at the American Girl store? Second, next time you go take me with you. I have never been there, and Victoria's too young to be jealous. Third, don't be ashamed. Sometimes, as I've discovered, you can save a pile of money by buying the quality the first time, rather than buying several of the cheaper item. A good lesson from my husband... :) Sometimes it matters. Sometimes it doesn't. Can't wait to see Meg's doll!

SafeHomeHappyMom said...

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Recovering Procrastinator said...

That hammock is pretty darn cute. She chose well.

I love the description of her chatting with the cashier and weighing her decision. Sounds like it was a good experience.