I told Sunny a long time ago, that if she saved half the cost of an Am. G.irl doll, I would pay for the other half. Over Christmas, the secretary at our agency and Sunny’s special birthday friend, donated 50 dollars so she could get her doll. Sunday was finally the day.
I have to admit, I am not really into this sort of extravagance. I believe just as much fun can be had with a 10 dollar doll as with one of these expensive ones, that being said, this turned out to be such a special experience for us. I was glad to have driven all that way and to have spent all that money.
It was quite overwhelming when we walked in. The store was crowded and there was so much to look at, it was hard to know where to start. We found a “personal shopper” and the adventure began. The clerk wore lots of blue eye shadow and her eye lashes were glittery. I could just read Sunny’s thoughts, “I would follow you anywhere, glamorous mentor”
She took us around the store and showed us all the historical dolls first. She told a bit of their story and explained about their clothes and accessories. For example, why the Native American doll is not showing any teeth and why this or that doll has a certain accessory. Seems like a lot of them got their special items from their grandmas. This woman talked about these dolls as though they were her best friends! Sunny just ate up every moment.
The shopper was patient in helping Sunny pare down the dolls to those which she really liked, checking in every so often to ask if she still liked “L.ea” the best or was “Mary Ellen” now the favorite. There was so much to look at…Sunny was nearly vibrating with excitement the whole time.
At one point, Sunny was really admiring a doll that had a pair of skates as one of her accessories and Carmen smoothly asked her if she liked to skate and went on to explain that the skates could be bought for any of the dolls and to not let that influence the choice of the doll itself. Carmen somehow got Sunny to chose her four favorites of the historical dolls. L.ea, the “girl of the year” and Mary Ellen, from the 1950s were front runners.
Over to the T.ruly M.e section of the store, where rows of dolls in many different skin and hair tones. It was a little freaky, all of them lined up like that in an ombre rainbow of skin tones. Carmen guided Sunny in picking out 4 of these as well. I was surprised that Sunny did not pick a doll that looked like her but rather was drawn to the dark blondes and red heads. Carmen said that a lot of little girls pick out dolls that look like their mothers or grandmothers without realizing. I’m not reading too much into that as I sit here with dark blonde hair thinking of my red headed mother.
Next was the hardest part. Carmen asked us to sit in a corner and wait while she gathered all 8 of these dolls. Folks, this is not a world I’m a part of. I’m not used to having multiple choices of products brought to me, what I’m used to is fighting my way through the clearance bin and settling for the one that’s ok.
She brought the dolls and lined them up in their boxes but without lids. Sunny carefully inspected each one. It was so sweet to see her studying each one, looking into their faces and paying close attention to details.
When she had it down to four choices, Carmen brought out samples of each of these outside of their boxes and let Sunny play with each one for a short time.
The T.ruly M.e dolls were the first to be culled and two of the very first dolls we looked at ended up being the final round. Finally, she chose the G.irl of the Y.ear, L.ea. Just when I thought the choice was made, Carmen brought out 3 versions of Lea in their boxes and took off the lids, explaining to Sunny that each one looked just a tiny bit different and that the fabric of their dresses was cut so that the pattern looked different. She asked Sunny to look at each one carefully and choose just the right one for her. She kept saying, “Your doll”. The Lea with the most blue stripes on her dress ended up being the one we took home.
Carmen offered to take “our” L.ea to be kept at the register so that we could continue shopping but Sunny just couldn’t and wouldn’t let the doll out of her sight and insisted on lugging the big box around while we finished shopping. We looked around the store and my mother did a fine grandmotherly job in picking out a few things Sunny just had to have.
Am. G. has quite the hook….L.ea’s own special earring set are only available this year so you better get ’em now along with so many other “must haves”. You can spend a young fortune and surprisingly I wanted to. I wanted to give my daughter anything and everything there was in that store for her doll. I’m usually not like that so I’m not sure what came over me. Maybe a little bit of “Take that, Biomom and your gift of a phone.” I actually had to hold back tears a few times because I was so overcome to see Sunny so very, very happy and excited. I can say that I was happy and excited too.
Mom and I chuckled when Sunny zonked out on the way home. No one can sustain that level of excitement for too long. I hope this will be a day that Sunny treasures the memory of forever, I know I will.