December 13, 2011

Julie


Meet Julie, the doll my almost nine year-old daughter found on the Internet last week.
"I saw her at Walmart the other day!" I exclaimed when she showed me a picture of the doll.

"I want a real one," she warned. "Not a fake."

I know what it's like to covet something trendy and expensive. When I was in middle school, I wanted a pair of Guess jeans so bad that I would have sold my soul to the Devil. Fortunately, it didn't come to that. My mom knew of a shop in the back streets of Tijuana, Mexico that sold authentic Guess jeans for $15 cash.

For that same amount today, I could buy approximately half of one of Julie's outfits.


"Julie's clothes cost more than mine," I observed.

"What' your point?" she snapped.

I've been riding the decision making see-saw for the past several days. On one hand, it makes me nauseous to spend so much money for a doll that doesn't excrete gold pellets from its rectum. On the other hand, I'm grateful that the object of my daughter's desire is a doll. It could be much worse, I know.

"Just order it," my husband told me in exasperation this morning.

I felt every bit the proud and indulgent parent for about 15 minutes.

That's when my daughter marched in my room and handed me a revised Christmas list.

"I don't see Julie," I said nervously.

Camber yawned and rolled her eyes. "Dolls are for babies," she replied. "I want to get my ears pierced instead."

As you can imagine, I'm in a pretty good mood right now.

43 comments

Anonymous said...

Thinking about how much video games/consoles are for boys makes this seem fine to me.

Angel said...

After a year of begging and pleading, I finally bought Kanani for my almost 9 yr old for Christmas this year.....I pray she doesn't want to return it! LOL Looking forward to hearing how your daughter likes the doll :)

Meg said...

Ugh. Exactly the gifting disaster I dread. My boss just bought a signed basketball players card and swatch of his jersey for her nephew and has been gloating about it ever since. Until this afternoon when someone told her that he was being traded to a different team....woops

Sherron said...

I wanted Guess jeans so much, but I knew that they were way out of my budget. While shopping for clothes at the thrift store, I spied a pair of Guess jeans but they were too small. I paid the $4 for the kid-size Guess jeans, picked the triangle off of the back pocket and sewed it onto a pair of my jeans. No one was the wiser and I was so happy!

Marydon said...

Brings back many a memory ... I am sure you are relieved.
Merry Christmas
TTFN ~
Hugs,
Marydon

Reese said...

I have had the same dilemma with my girls. I did buy a fake version from toysrus.......after telling my girls that as soon as they started looking and acting like the girls in the magazines, then they too could have a "real" American girl doll. Never gonna happen.

Anonymous said...

For what it's worth, I still have my American Girl dolls--I wasn't exactly gentle with them when I was 5, and that was 16 years ago. I know they're expensive, but the quality is worth it (all my other dolls have long since fallen apart.)

Sandra Kozlowski said...

My daughter coveted one. She saved her money and ordered the doll. I questioned her over and over about it. She just never was one for dolls. BUT, it was her money. She ordered the doll and waited with excitement for it to arrive. She liked it for about 10 minutes and than realized she made a mistake. The good thing, American Girl doll company guarantees their product and when I called to see if she could return it and get her money back, they happily agreed to refund it completely!! My daughter took that money and went on a shopping spree at the mall. Everyone was happy!!

Emily Heizer Photography said...

When I was about that age, I fell in love with Samantha. The dolls were pretty new to the market; Kirsten and Molly I think were the only dolls they had. I begged, pleaded and wished for that doll for a year. But I didn't just do that. I WORKED and saved. I coveted every penny, dollar of allowance and anything extra I got for christmas and birthdays. (The bulk of that money was required to go to the college fund.)

After a year, I think I had $46. A fortune by a 7 or 8 year old standards, but not the $88+ I think the dolls cost at the time.

My mom came to me that early summer and told me if I got Kirsten instead, my Swedish grandmother would pay the rest of the money for the doll. I hesitated. BIG TIME. I wanted Samantha like nothing else. I had ripped the picture of her out of the catalog, tacked her to the bottom of the bunk bed above mine so I could stare at her as I went to sleep.

But I agreed. I called The Pleasant Company almost every day after school to check on the shipping status after we ordered her, and I stood in the front yard bouncing on one leg to the other waiting for the UPS man on the day she would arrive. I snatched her from the man, ran through the gate on the side yard, to the back yard pool and opened that BEAUTIFUL dolly up with my sweet Grandma there to see all my joy and excitement. It wasn't the doll I planned on, but I was so happy just the same.

And Santa brought Samantha for me that Christmas. :)

I eventually got Felicity too, and I lusted after her super hard too, in the same way I had for Samantha, and I still have all my dollies, in pretty decent condition. They would have been in better condition had I not allowed my freaking nieces to play with them. They only have cheap crappy toys (they had the knock off dolls from wal mart or target or whatever... they RUINED Kirsten's hair by tangling necklaces in it. No concept of care at all. And still don't at almost-adults now.)

I had very few clothes for those dolls, and the few I got were coveted and well taken care for. I was a sloppy, messy, disorganized child, and am the same as an adult, but THOSE precious items have been treasured and cared for.

My grandmother died when I was 10. I'm so glad I have that memory and gift from her and I will always remember it. Today is Santa Lucia day, the Swedish Holiday, and I have my Kirsten dolly decked out in her St. Lucia outfit. I don't have kids, and it's the only trace of holiday decor in my home.

I'm glad to have it.

Becky Brown said...

I just did break down last August and purchase one of these dolls for my newly six year old. Same thing, she wanted one and wanted one and when it came, she was dissappointed because she actually wanted a DS.

But it is an absolutely BEATIFUL doll and it's one of those things that you just have to do at some point.


Your daughter will love her.

Stef said...

Girls. Aren't we so finicky!

The Practical Planner said...

I am cracking up at this...who didn't want an American Girl doll? Just like Emily said, I coveted a doll and scrimped and saved for it with every penny. I waited on the porch everyday waiting for my Molly doll to arrive and when I finally saw that big brown box I thought I would die of excitement. I still remember the way she smelled when I opened the box and she was warm from being in the sun. I still have her, packaged up with all her miscellaneous gear that I received in the following years for various holidays and birthday's. My nieces each have one of their own and went to the American Girl store in Chicago for one of my nieces birthday's. It was her mecca and she'll remember it forever.
The nieces on the other side of the family are all about the wal-mart dolls, and no doll they own must be clothed; they are all immediately stripped of their wardrobe and put with the rest. So weird, but no one can stop it!
They will change their minds a million times and then within a year or two you'll realize they can't even come up with a Christmas list because they already have it all!
This year my step-son told me he wanted "a baby". I said, "Santa doesn't bring those and I don't want one for Christmas! Choose something else!"

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Diane said...

My friend gave her daughter Julie last year for Christmas and she loves her. She is beautiful. I wish I had a daughter to give an American Girl doll. I do own Kit. My husband bought her for me when I was 30 something.

Mom of 12 said...

This is why we don't let our kids make lists. If they ask for anything, they absolutely don't get it. I'm sure she will love the doll! Don't worry so much.
Sandy
www.twelvemakesadozen.blogspot.com

Katie Jensen said...

I'm with Emily! I got my Samantha doll when I was 9, and she was my prized possession for years--probably the only "toy" that taught me what it meant to really take care of something. I took her everywhere. I even changed her into a nightgown at bedtime and tucked her into a knock-off doll bed next to mine. My mom took my to American Girl Place one year while we were in Chicago visiting my grandparents, and I actually cried with happiness. I'm a married "grown-up" now, and she still sits on top of my bookshelf in her pinafore.

I really hope Camber gets the same magic out of her doll as I did out of mine! I'm sure once she sees Julie in all her glory, she'll remember how much she wanted her.

Linda L. Zern said...

Just wait! When our first granddaughter told everyone that she absolutely knew that Santa was going to bring her a puppy and a kitten for Christmas, my husband lost his mind. He bought a puppy, stuffed it in a stocking, and then felt bad when he couldn't locate a kitten. The "puppy" lives at our house, has a tartar problem, and is a serial chicken killer. I only wish that she'd asked for a "Julie."

My Songbook said...

haha, oh my goodness, I am so sorry.

Susan said...

My 7 year old has wanted one for ages. So I've been saving my change the last couple years. This year there's enough. Should be interesting when I go to the bank to deposit the rolls of coins...

Anonymous said...

Bought Julie for my 7 year old last Christmas. Best gift I've ever given her. My 9 year old - she got Felicity. Ditto. Those girls have spent hours playing with, changing, and admiring their dolls. Plus - how can you argue the good message of the American Girl doll to little girls? I'm all in favor of them over the many countless things kids could ask for these days!

Anonymous said...

Emily, you can Kirsten in to the "doll" hospital at pleasant company and they will give her new hair. :)
My mom bought the dolls for my girls and they stay at her house. Talk about sheer brilliance now I don't have to feel guilty if something happens to them... They are three years old and still look beautiful by the way.

Christine said...

This makes me so happy that my now 23 yr old was not into dolls, but rather loved to read. She wanted all the books, which fortunately between the school library and public library she was able to read most and birthdays and Christmas brought some of her own.

Dawn said...

I'm debating the same thing. My daughter wants Julie sooo bad. The problem is, she doesn't play with dolls but she says she would if she had that doll.

I'm trying to figure out if she would like one of the knock offs just as much or if she is under the influence of the American Girl hypnosis.

AlsoMean said...

I've bought the knock-off doll at Target, since my daughter said that would be fine. $25. No regrets.
If there was an American Girl doll that had her style hair, skin and eyes, then there would be no compromise. She wants a doll like her.

CCK said...

I had to nix any Christmas list revisions starting this week. We're just too close to Christmas. Luckily any time they've made/remade their lists they pretty much stay the same, but with maybe a couple of new items. My daughter has one of the dolls (one of the ones that look like her, not one of the ones with the book sets) and while she likes it, its not what she mainly plays with. I'd probably be frustrated, except my mom & MIL were the ones who paid for it.

shirl said...

I would totally call and cancel the order. I lusted after American Girl dolls my whole childhood, and would drool over the catalogs that I called to request every month. My parents never gave me one. And, even though all my friends had several of them, I grew up fine and I'm not bitter. Eventually, I did save up my money to buy another doll (a Lee Middleton cuddle baby, which costs $100). I worked hard for that money, really enjoyed the doll, and took excellent care of it.

Becca said...

Ah, Jana. This was ME last year!! My girls begged (BEGGED) for Elizabeth and Felicity, who were about to be retired. I bit the bullet and got 'em, only to have them change their minds the week before Christmas. &%$#! BUT, when they opened them Christmas morning they were absolutely in love. Those dolls have seen more play than any other toys this year, and that includes my 7 year old who NEVER played with dolls before. I hope Camber will love it. If not--hawk it on e-bay in a few years when she's retired and buy a new car. ;)

melanie said...

My cousins always had the american girl dolls and I remember being a little girl and wondering what it would be like to live in a house where your parents bought you something like that instead of being "the family that doesnt get stuff like that". i say get it for her!!! She'll never ever forget it : )

Janet's page said...

Ohhhhhhhh DANG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That stinks!! Hopefully you can cancel the order????

I wanted a pair of GUESS JEANS soooooooooooooooooooo bad! Never got a pair, not EVER!!! I got Chic, stupid jeans!

MainLineMothers said...

Classic!

Melanie said...

We also rec'd a revised list: -sewing machine, +Barbie house! Unfortunately, Santa's elves just can't get the house done before Christmas!

A Musing Mother said...

Pssst! I can sell you a Velvet doll. Gold from the rectum? Not so much. But GOLDen hair growing from the crown.

She comes with a purple velvet dress.

Anti-Supermom said...

Hilarious, I mean, not for you, but darn funny for us :)

Laundry Girl said...

LOL! We have 2 girls, 2 1/2 & 18mo, and I'm pretty sure you just gave me a glimpse into my future! I also got a chuckle about the Guess jeans...I too HAD to have them!
www.laundrycare.biz

Anonymous said...

I love this post! I have 2 girls, 36mo & 18mo, and I think you just gave me a glimpse into my future. I also have to admit I too HAD to have a pair of Guess jeans! I think my mom found some at our local Goodwill store for me and nobody knew the difference ;)
www.laundrycare.biz

StrawberryBlond said...

I've had a similar experience this year. Back in October I figured out the PERFECT Christmas gift for my in-laws. We had taken a family photo in January when the entire family was together and I decided to have the photo transferred to canvas. It turned out fantastic and I was so happy that I was done figuring out the perfect gift.

Then in November my stupid sister-in-law decided to leave my brother-in-law. So that perfect gift ain't so perfect anymore. I want to punch her lights out.

Jaye said...

Lol nice post

arlingtonienne said...

I was a little bit too old for the American Girl dolls when they first came out, but we just found out we're having a girl this spring. I would be lying if I said I wasn't already thinking about which one I want to get her :)

Mirinda said...

My daughter has loved the books for a few years now. This year for her 10th birthday, she wanted a look alike doll from AG and we caved. When SHE noticed that the doll and all her pricey items were made in China, my brilliant 10 year old decided that was the last thing we'd buy from AG- seriously, American Girl is made in China?! We went to Target and got things from their 18 inch doll line.

Jill F said...

Last Christmas my 6 year old saw an american girl doll in pottery barn and cryed so hard when I refused to by her. Not normally prone to tantrums she cried herself to sleep that night. The next morning she came to me all bright eyed and cheerful with a solution.... Santa would bring her the doll because money doesn't matter to santa! Needless to say the next day I was at pottery barn buying her a very expensive doll. One year later she still loves her and takes her everywhere and believes in Santa so I guess it was money well spent!!

BARBIE said...

I got all the dolls for Christmases and Birthdays around your daughters age. They are still in good shape at my parents house 20 years later. They are the only "toys" that survived my childhood beatings. I'm sure she will still be thrilled to get it once she opens the package. She probably just removed it because she knew there was no chance of you getting it for her...

Leah said...

My 9-year old daughter had Julie on her list too. We did not buy any extra clothes-that is what her allowance is for!
And I am with you on the Guess jeans. As a single mother I knew my mom could not afford them, but that did not lessen my want for them. I was thrilled to get a pair from "Santa" when I was 15!! It may be materialistic, but that is my favorite Christmas memory. It was truly a "Christmas miracle!!!"

Bethany said...

Oyyy...and these dolls are expensive too! My sister actually ended up finding one in great condition at the thrift store- talk about a lucky find!