Okay, so it's that time of year when the catalogs start to pour over the transom in a cascade of glossy paper, reminding me that a thousand trees died to provide me with a good laugh. Trees who are about to die, we salute you. Where to begin... that is the question: the J. Peterman Company? Something called MacKenzie-Childs, a purveyor of outrageously overpriced ceramics and glassware? Isabella, with its "gifts for reawakening the spirit?" Or the ever-amusing American Girls catalog, which used to be sacred in my household, but now that my daughters have way outgrown its charms, is just for snicks-and-grins?
Decisions, decisions. So let's go for the low-hanging fruit... American Girls.
I confess to having a closet stacked with storage boxes of these dolls and their accessories (saving them for the grandkids, you know). My daughters found many hours of amusement playing with these lovely things, even into their adolescence, when they descended into mockery and condescension, which reached its ultimate expression in the creation of a monumental movie, appropriately entitled "The Tragedy," which starred their brace of dolls, a trio of the dolls' dogs, and the nefarious "Betty Loo," who was a doll of a doll (yes, a doll owned and played with by a doll). Don't ask - it's complicated.
Looks too young to be retired Felicity
Now I haven't perused one of these catalogs in years -- I find it hard to believe the company even found us here at our relatively new address, but to my shock, I discovered that my daughter's first American Girl doll, the original, Felicity Merriman from 1774, has been put out to pasture! And her historical compadres, Kirsten Larsen (Prairie Girl from 1854) and Samantha Parkington (Edwardian maiden from 1904) are also "archived," in the words of the American Girl Company, subsidiary of Mattel.
Julie, love-child of the '70s?
Instead we are now offered Julie Albright, a "fun-loving girl growing up in San Francisco during the seventies." Oh please, a hippie child in bell-bottoms replacing the redoubtable, pre-Revolutionary War girl? And what kinds of accessories will they be selling with her? Bongs and acid tabs?
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