"Em called me the other day," my mother says, after we've finished talking about airplane tickets and arrival dates.
"Oh?" I reply.
"Yeah. She told me about how she was taking a sweater off one of her American Girl dolls, and his head popped off, and she wanted to know if I thought I could fix it. I told her that there was no way I could fix it, but that we'd take it to the doll hospital at the American Girl store this summer and get it fixed. She was so relieved." Pause. "I told my friends that I was sure she'd come to you first, and you'd said, 'No way am I spending money on fixing that doll. Call your grandmother.'"
Well, duh. Of course I did. And Grandma responded exactly as I knew she would. Score!
Look. The American Girl doll thing is sweet, really it is. I love that my in-the-midst-of-puberty daughter hasn't yet thrown over dolls and such for more 'adult' pursuits. The longer she plays, the happier I'll be.
But she has eight (or is it nine? or ten?) of them now. And she's already planned out the next two or three she's going to wheedle and cajole out of her grandmother/grandfather/uncles/any stranger willing to buy her a doll. That's well over a thousand dollars' worth of DOLLS. Not to mention clothes that cost way more than I pay for my own kids' clothes (there are, apparently, no Goodwills for American Girl dolls...who knew?) and accessories that are swanker than anything I've ever owned. And then there are the many other ways you can spend money on these little plastic heathens...like the haircuts they get each year the American Girl store. (Haircuts for dolls. Whose hair--I should NOT have to tell you--DOES NOT GROW.)
For me--a woman who defines all of those Jewish stereotypes--that is simply mind-boggling. It's obscene, is what it is.
But it makes my kid happy.
So, rather than laugh in her face--$50 to put a doll's head back on? Are you NUTS?--I cluck sympathetically and say things like, "Gee, I wonder if they can do something about that at the American Girl Doll Store IN NEW YORK which you will no doubt visit WHEN YOU SEE GRANDMA." And then I let the chips fall where they may.
I may be utterly and completely and pathetically predictable...but so is my mother.