What recession? I just visited the American Girl Store

Blind doll comes with service dog.

The recession is over! At least it appeared that way to me when I recently visited a new store called American Girl at the Falls Shopping Center. I had heard and read about this fabulous place but had to see it for myself.

I suggested to my grandchildren’s grandmother, who happens to share my checkbook, that we perhaps buy one of these dolls for each of our granddaughters. She asked me if I had any idea what I might be getting into. I thought “what the heck?” I can certainly afford a couple of dolls for my darling grandchildren. I even mentioned to my son, who is the father of one of these children, that I was considering the purchase. He very firmly told me, “No way!”

Now I know why. The cost of the doll itself is slightly over $100. Of course you must have the doll’s hair styled. Then there is a facial treatment for the doll. Naturally you must have several clothing outfits for the doll. If the doll happens to have injured herself playing soccer or gymnastics there is a doll wheelchair available. Should the doll not be able to see, there is a service dog that you can purchase for her. There is a hospital for the dolls and every doll that comes to the Doll Hospital will have her hair brushed and her skin cleaned before she is discharged. They have an ear piercing facility as well.

You can choose from several furniture items available including a living room set that costs somewhere over $300. The little girl that you are presenting this to must also have a matching dress to what the doll is wearing which is available at the store. There is a restaurant within the store that serves food for real people but also offers small chairs and dining setups for your doll as well.

Folks, this is expensive stuff. I saw a bed that also costs more than the one I sleep on, but I am only a real person and not entitled to such luxuries. The dolls are each unique in their own way. Some come from broken homes, others from single mother homes, and some have religious backgrounds and of course all of the “stuff” that goes with it. One even had braces on her teeth. No kidding!

Before entering the store I had gone through an intersection on Dixie Highway where one of those men with a cardboard sign begging for food was parading up and down between the cars. The woman ahead of me handed him a bag of what looked like old pieces of bread. He seemed very pleased with this gift.

It was after witnessing this that I arrived at American Girl. Of course I waited a respectable amount of time before visiting this new phenomenon. People waited in line overnight for their grand opening so I thought it best to wait a week or so. As usual, I was wrong. The huge store was literally jammed full of people standing in line to make their purchases. In the restaurant portion, there was hardly an empty table, most of them filled with real people but at least 35 percent of the customers were actually dolls. I remember the days of the Barbie and Cabbage Patch dolls and thought that they were pretty cool. (Not for me of course; I had my army of GI Joe soldiers.) At least the clothing and accessories for Barbie and Cabbage Patch were within my means.

I guess that if there are enough people to fill this American Girl store and buy the incredible variety of stuff available as well as having the doll’s hair restyled and of course getting a facial treatment, then our country is really not in as bad a shape as some people seem to think. Perhaps if that guy on Dixie Highway with the cardboard sign had the right kind of doll he might even be invited to lunch at the store. Who knows? Once again I am in the minority on this issue and really felt out of place in this store, but I am sure that I will be back once I check my lottery numbers next week. You probably think I am making all this up, so I urge you to go and see for yourself.

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