American girl

September 11, 2009 at 3:46 am (Uncategorized) (, , )

We can file this under the category “some people have real problems…” (and yes, I know that the president gave a speech on health care last night, but I haven’t seen it because Wednesday is choir night, and has been forever, or at least since 1994, and OK! I admit that I watched “Glee” this evening after the kids were in bed instead of the president’s speech but come ON! It was “GLEE” and I have been waiting all summer to see it, so yeah, saving the world is just going to have to wait until tomorrow.)

Anyway.

In addition to our gardening adventures, Riley and I also found time this past weekend to get down to Chicago for a birthday party. It was big fun; we drove down with two of her friends and their moms, who coincidentally happen to be my friends, so it was really a treat for all of us. The ride to and from may have been my favorite part of the day – I’ve forgotten how much I love road trips when I’m not singing endless verses of “Old MacDonald,” mediating sibling turf wars, or playing Peek-a-boo for the bazillionth time.

The party was at American Girl Place in Chicago, and if you don’t know what that is, then you don’t have a daughter/niece/cousin/whatever between the ages of 3 and 23. The girls brought their dolls with them, where they (the dolls!) were provided with chairs at the table, festive headgear and their own plates and cups.

Afterwards, as we walked through the store, all of the girls wanted to get their pictures taken next to the big displays of the dolls. However, Riley’s doll had been “retired” last year, so we couldn’t find the display. Riley started to make those “I’m about to cry” noises, so I found an employee and asked where the “Samantha” display was. “Oh, Samantha’s retired,” she responded. “Well, yes, I know, but surely you have a picture of her somewhere or something, right? It’s not like she never existed.” This poor nine-dollar-an-hour employee stared at me, and mumbled something about being sorry. I grabbed my daughter’s hand and hissed at the employee, “That’s so mean. That is So MEAN!” and before Riley could lose it, I said, “We’ll write a letter to the company and tell them how we feel.”

So yeah, cry me a river, I know, but I do think there’s something quite rotten about a TOY COMPANY breaking the hearts of hundreds, maybe thousands of kids, first by “retiring” the dumb doll and then by not having even a stinking picture of her in the Doll Mecca. You know, Longfellow said, “There is an honor in business that is the fine gold of it that reckons with every man justly; that loves light; that regards kindness and fairness more highly than goods or prices or profits.” I guess that’s why Longfellow was a poet and not a businessman, but I wish it were true. I’m looking at YOU, American Girl.

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