Noah For President

American Boys

For many many MANY years now, the American Girl company has sent me their catalog, at least once a year, without fail. 


The very first catalog arrived at my parents' house when I was 12 years old. I think I turned 13 just a few weeks later. Too old for a doll, especially such an expensive doll, but I remember my mom and I snuggling up in bed one morning to ooh and ahh over the dolls (AND THE ACCESSORIES. DEAR SWEET GIRLY PINK JESUS THE ACCESSORIES) and I thought that maybe...just parents would spring for a Samantha doll, for one final nostalgic hurrah of childhood.  

They did not. Woe and alas, but also: I WAS 13 YEARS OLD. PUT DOWN THE BARBIES, CHILD.

Yet the catalogs kept coming. And coming. They followed me to my first apartment in college, and then to my first apartment with Jason. To his immense credit, he never judged me for the hour or two I'd spend on the couch with that catalog, staring at the dollsssss and the clothesssss and the teeny tiny historically accurate tea party foodsssss and gaaahhhhhhhh. 

He did notice, though, and a couple years later he surprised me out of the blue with...a Samantha doll. 

Right? I know. I KNOW. I can't even with that man. He's that good, and none of us deserve him in the slightest. 

Obviously, that purchase only made the American Girl company double-down on the mailings, as it probably triggered some internal marketing radar. DOLL-BUYING GIRLCHILD IN THE HOUSE. DOLL-BUYING GIRLCHILD IN THE HOUSE. MAKE SURE SHE KNOWS ABOUT THE ACCESSORIESSSSSSSSS.

(Also not helping: The purchase I immediately made of a base set of outfit accessories for Samantha, including her hat, locket, purse, hanky and a reproduction of an authentic Victorian-era coin. Because she simply would not be COMPLETE without her hat, locket, purse, hanky and a reproduction of an authentic Victorian-era coin. Duh.)

(They don't even make Samantha anymore. Even though she was so obviously the best.)


My boys have never seen my Samantha doll. They have other dolls and I've seen how they treat those other dolls, so Samantha remains safely packed away in her original box. I take her out every once in awhile to make sure she's not being eaten by mice/snakes/stinkbugs/squirrels/ohmygod, then re-wrap her in tissue paper and put her back on the shelf.

It's probably the only time I allow myself to feel...well, not sad, but a bit wistful about my lack of a little daughter to give her to. Someome who might actually want to join me on the couch and ooh and ahh over the catalog, instead of looking at it like it came from outer space:


Da helllllll? I love me some tiny toy food but this shit? This shit cray.

Woe and alas again, I suppose. Not meant to be. Despite the fact that my boys will occasionally play with dolls and dollhouses and tea sets (to the exxxtreme, with a destructive vengeance, often involving zombies), the American Girl offerings are apparently a gendered bridge too far. I certainly could have had girls who had no interest in any of this stuff either, but in the end I have boys and they are boys.  


One of them better give me a freaking granddaughter, though. No pressure. I just have something for her, someday.


*This post was NOT sponsored by the American Girl company. If anyone knows anybody who works there please ask them to stop sending me their catalog. Send me free tiny adorable doll accessoriesssssssssss instead. I will hoard them in my basement like a crazy person, thank you.


Diary of Why

I remember back when you had your choice of I think three or four historically "accurate" dolls, and yes, Samantha was clearly the best and oh how I wanted her. Oh to be a little girl in the Victorian era, like Samantha. My parents also did not spring for the crazy expensive doll. All of which is to say, HOW CAN THEY NOT MAKE SAMANTHA ANYMORE?

Liz M.

Samantha was totally the best! And it's such a bummer she's now gone. I coveted high button boots. Should have been born in 1895.


I too crave the eventual granddaughter who will be so overwhelmed with things from her crazy granny. Take notes, owe me.


Have you seen the Hairpin article about what your American Girl doll says about you? I actually blushed when I read it, because it was so incredibly accurate about me--I had Kristen. Who they don't make anymore, either. When I read your post, I thought that you are definitely a Samantha.

Call Me Jo

I think my MIL feels that way. She loves both her boys, but then the oldest went on to have two boys and now her youngest is expecting a boy. I wonder if she has a doll stashed away in hopes that our next child has some estrogen.


I had Kirsten, who was clearly the best, because she was blonde like me, and Swedish, and reminded me of the girls from the Little House books.

Miss Banshee

Um. My Kirsten doll (which they ALSO don't make anymore, WTF?) is safely tucked away at my parents' house. With all her precious clothes and accessories. I saved up ALL my babysitting money to buy EVERYTHING. And I was 12-13. Oh god, now I want to go over there and change her clothes...


Your post made me sad because my daughter is turning 13 next month and we JUST (as in, the past week) packed all her American Girl doll stuff away into basement storage. My kids are 15 and 12, and I say to them, probably more than I should, "I'd better have grandchildren some day." I do amend that with, "But not for at least 15 years."


Don't feel too bad. It's entirely possible that a daughter would be just as destructive as your sons to doll-like things. I know that my daughter, at age five, would not be allowed within 10 feet of any doll that expensive, especially an heirloom. She has 50 million Barbies (and Barbie accessories OMG), and when they are not "marrying" the one Ken doll in her collection, they are usually dangling by their ankles half-naked playing "circus". Half of them are missing limbs. One has a chewed-off toe. One has no head. So, girls can be destructive too.

Mary Lou

What! They no longer sell Samantha!! She was the best! I'm going to call my mom and see if she still has my Samantha doll. Do they still write the stories accompanied by each doll and the time period they represent? I loved those books. I hope to have a girl one day too, we have two boys... Here's hoping!


My parents surprised me with a Kirsten doll for Christmas at age seven. I was floored, absolutely floored. I had the books, but did not expect the actual doll herself. She remains among the best Christmas presents I have ever received.


I am such an evil mum. I have two daughters (and a son) and I recycle that catalog as soon as it arrives, before my 5 yr old gets her hands on it because I am not ready for the American Girl invasion yet. It's bad enough with the Barbies/Disney Princesses/stuffed animals/Lego/superheroes/Bey Blades/Bakugans/Playmobil/play food that makes the house look like a toy store has thrown up everywhere. Maybe someday.


I have the same problem, 3 boys and no one to give my grandmother's ring and necklaces to! No dolls though, I was always a teddy person. My boys are allowed to play nicely with my big teddy(FROM AMERICA)(TO NORWAY)(I think it needed it's own ticket on the plane). We need granddaughters.



Good thing I already have mine. I also have Addy and one of those ones where you get to make them look like you. Also the bunk beds. And a shit-ton of clothes.


I had Molly. She was made of defective plastic and had blue spots all over her limbs like a clumsy person. When my parents called American Girl, they said they would send a new one if I sent her back. I HAD BONDED. So I still have the very bruised Molly doll.

Miss Banshee

It wouldn't be weird to go to my parents' house and just brush Kirsten's hair just one more time, would it? No. Not weird at all for a 35 year old woman.


Never had an American Girl doll, I just had Barbies, Glamour Gals, Rose Petal dolls, Strawberry Shortcake, etc.

In 2001 I had a little girl and lo and behold she wouldn't touch a doll with a 10 foot pole. She's not fond of pink either. We get the American Girl catalog (how? why??) and the even creepier "My Twin" catalog (the company will make a doll that looks just like your daughter).

Sometimes we sit and laugh at the My Twin catalog together, I consider that good bonding time.

Lately she's been plastering her walls with the latest posters from Tiger Beat of her favorite boy band, so I'm not missing out on ALL the fun girls stuff. ;)


Have you seen this:


I guess i'm the only one that thought Samantha seemed like a total bitch? I don't know why I had that particular judgment but it stuck with me to this day. I was a Kirsten girl all the way. I'm pretty sure she is safely tucked away in my parents house. My younger sister was the example of a girl who maybe should not have been given such a preshus leeetle doll. Her version of playing with Molly involved ripping off her head.


I just want to know if Jason teaches a husband course. My sweetie could use some help! Seriously - he bought me Tupperware for Christmas...


I love my Samantha doll more than anything and desperately hope to one day have a little girl to pass her down to. My sister has a daughter who will, no doubt, inherit her Molly collection. Maybe my barren womb is my niece's good fortune and she will get TWO discontinued American Girls? (I'm assuming Molly is discontinued too... along with Kirsten, the original three. So sad.)


3rd picture down? Beyond perfection! Best facial expression for the win.


I have 4 boys. Totally understand. I love them all, I'm a very good "boy mom", but every once in awhile...


3 boys too. I also get the catalog- at Christmas- when I am already weepy- my husband knows when the catalog comes, he sees me deep in thought on the couch and calls out to "sound the all clear on your sanity" when I am done. Then i talk about 4th baby for about 2 weeks, rinse and repeat.... its practically a Christmas tradition- yeah for future granddaughters.


You make me laugh! That pic of Ez and the caption is priceless!


There was an audible gasp when I read that they don't make Samantha anymore, and now my coworkers think I'm extra awesome. I never had an American Girl doll but always wanted Samantha. It's one of those vows (lies) I told myself when I was a kid: "my parents are terribly abusive for denying me an AG doll, but my daughters will have as many as they like. And they'll never wear hand-me-downs, neither."


Such perfect timing, Amy! My parents came to visit last week and brought my old Molly doll to give to my 6-year-old daughter. I didn't have any of the other outfits for her, but I did have the locket, eyeglasses, purse, embroidered hankie, and 1942 steel penny. I won't lie, while she was at school yesterday, I went up to her room and made sure all the pieces were there, Molly's hair was brushed, and her shoes were on the right feet. Amazing how those dolls captured us Gen X women and haven't let go yet!


As the mother of a boy, and expecting a girl this spring, after reading your post I immediately emailed my mother to make sure she still has all of my American Girl stuff - Samantha, Kirsten, Felicity - all the good ones that aren't available anymore!!


My older sister had Molly, & I started with one of the babies. I also got Samantha at some point. And I played with them for a loooooong time. Longer than I should have, probably. We got our money's worth, which is good because my parents spent a boatload of money on that stuff. The baby had to be sent off for surgery at some point because a friend of mine shook her hard enough to mess up her eyes. I still think it would be cool to go to the giant store in Chicago (I think?) & I'm 23. The dolls are, of course, stored in the closet for future generations.


House of boys over here, too, and I also get the American Girl Doll catalog. Didn't start coming until I had all the boy children though. Weird.


So I have two tabs open on my browser right now, and one of them is the Star Wars section of thnikgeek, because I'm looking for something for my nephew. The other is this. I get that it's all sad and . . . stuff . . . that the doll has to languish, but I have found something perfect for your no artificial colors diet and your boys and summer:

Seriously. Light Saber popsicle maker. That is pretty dang awesome as well. I offer this as a blow-their-minds Easter basket possibility.


THINKgeek. THINKgeek. I am an English teacher. I can spell. I promise.


Girls here but neither was ever interested in more than a regular old nasty ass peeing Baby Alive. And the boy plays with those dolls like they were only meant to be drawn on, driven over, and harassed by Hulk.


So... I am only kind of kidding here... Do you want to meet me and my 5 y.o. daughter in Tyson's at the Americn Girl store for a play date? I am obsessed with the place. You absolutely must go eat in the bistro. Seriously. It is heaven. And all the dollssssssss... With the accessoriesssssssssss. And the racks and racks of books!! It is my happy place.


Felicity was hands down the best, and of course, they don't make her anymore either. WTF American Girl? Oh, for the hours I spent staring at that catalog (it used to be bigger too, now it's just all regular magazine size) and wishing for a Felicity doll, her horse Penny, and the green riding habit. Sigh. I can't even force a love for Felicity on my future daughter because they apparently discard the classics like old trash. I bet all of their parents are languishing in nursing homes.


Omg, they don't make Samantha anymore!?!? I used to envy all my other friends with those dolls but it was like, waaaay too expensive for my mom to get for me. Here kid, have another barbie.


I also got the catalogue as a child and wanted a Samantha doll sooooo much! I never got one, sadly.


Aw, man. Me tooooo. Three boys here, and I adore the crap out of them, but nobody in this house wants to paint toenails and play dolls with me.


I'm 37 and I don't think I'd even heard of these dolls until I was already in college and they had stores and whatnot. Wikipedia tells me they existed when I was young but I never even heard of them! I had Cabbage Patch dolls, Barbie, Rainbow Brite, My Little Pony, Care Bears, Strawberry Shortcake and many others. Still confused.


OMG I love me the American Girls! I had Felicity and Addy, and freely admit I had alllll of Felicity's ACCESSORIESSSSSS. By the time I got Addy, I was growing out of it. But I'll be damned if my daughter is getting her hands on any of those bitty babies or "just like me" monstrosities. I'm a purist - historical figures ONLY please (and that excludes the 70's and 90's girl. please.)


I don't know, even if you have grandchildren you might not give her up.
My mom: "You need to come get a bunch of stuff out of your old room- I need the space for my quilting rack."
Me: "Oh I can take Kirsten and all her stuff for R" {7 yr old daughter}.
Mom:... "Uh. Nevermind. I'll figure something out."
She still changes her hair and outfits for the appropriate seasons and does the same with my sister's Samantha doll {who was pretentious, Kirsten ALL THE WAY :)}.


YES SAMANTHA WAS THE BEST!!! I had forgotten all about her, poor thing. Jelus.


I have Samantha, too. I have a daughter, but I kind of doubt she'll ever want to play with her - I absolutely destroyed her pretty hair. (When I was a child! Obviously! I hope.) Anyway, you can actually order replacement parts, including new heads, but now that they don't make Samantha anymore I guess I'll just have to deal with her ugly hair!


What do you mean, THEY DON'T MAKE SAMANTHA ANYMORE?! This is inconceiveable! However, I, too, get the American Girl catalog at least once a year. I have never ordered anything from them, and I also have boys. Someone isn't doing a very good job screening their maling list.


I got my first American Girl catalogue when I was ten. I fell love with the entire collection, which at that time was only Kirsten, Samantha and Molly. I wanted all of them but I especially loved Kirsten because she was a pioneer girl and I already had a Laura Ingalls obsession! My parents couldn't afford any of it then but I never stopped wanting it. I finally got Kirsten when I was 14! Too old? No way. I loved her dearly. When I was 18 I got two more dolls. In college, I started making my own doll clothes. When I began working, I spent all my spare money on buying AG stuff.

Now I am 33. I have 23 American Girl dolls. I have oodles of outfits and accessories. The historical dolls each have their own hatbox full of their things. I change their outfits for different seasons and holidays. When my nieces are old enough to take care of them, they will have their pick! I also hope and pray for my own daughters to pass some on to.

But my original Kirsten will always be mine! And my original Felicity. Oh yes I have Samantha and Molly too among others!


Just spit Campbell's southwest-style chicken chili all over my monitor, thanks to picture of Ez and caption. You now have a new reader--my co-worker--who says she has to see what in the hell caused that reaction and the following cackles.
And please tell me that effing snake lives in a pet shop and not your house!


I would be thrilled to have a child with no interest in the American Girl rip-off machine. We have one doll and some knock off clothes, but I recently broke down and got Kit's dog, after many pleas from my daughter. I was in shock when the $35 dollar dog arrived--and was simply a plain stuffed animal smaller than a Beanie Baby. Never again, American Girl. We are done.


Um is that your corn snake? I had one for 16 years. Morgen was the best. Your boys must looove you for that. I want another but I'm not willing to commit to another 16 years..of mice.. a dog is good... but I'm jealous.


All I ever wanted was Samantha, because yes, she was the best. I have a much-younger-than-me-sister and right about 8 she started asking for American Girl dolls and my other sisters and I may have complied in a slightly-obsessive, living-vicariously sort of way. Ahem. I have a two year old girl and she will be getting an American Girl doll a few birthdays from now. She already has 10 other babies and she plays with the very nicely, and she's played with her aunt's (now 10) AG dolls pretty well. Sigh. I can't wait for her to get her own.


For the record: That is not our personal snake. I took that photo at a local nature center that we went to recently for a birthday party.

There were snakes everywhere and then Jason was all, "Go look in that aquarium over there! It's so cool!"

That aquarium over there was full of goddamn motherfucking cockroaches,

Good thing Jason bought me a Samantha doll that one time.


Oh good! I'm glad I'm not the only 30something with dolls packed carefully and stored in the closet, a) because I have no daughters and b (I can't bring myself to give them away. There they will remain until... Uh. I have no idea until when.


Hey girl, I don’t comment very often. However, I wanted to tell you how much I love your blog . . . definitely in an extreme stalkerish sort of way! Seriously I probably check at least three times a day to see if you have posted! No pressure! ;) It started with your pregnancy calendar and now (my son is eleven months old) I have read every single one of your blog posts, all of your alpha mom posts and most of your momapop posts. Too far?? Anyways I just love you and your crazy self! Your boys are so cute and so so sweet! You’re a great momma and an awesome writer! I wanted to say thanks for showing me all the great things I have to look forward to as a momma to a boy!


I actually do know people that work there as American Girl is based in Middleton, WI (just down the road). I could tell you to take them off the list, but you would be sad. I get the catalogs too, have a daughter, but just let her look at the catalog. They are just soooo expensive. She hasn't asked for one yet, and I'm not going to push. However I did receive some free clothes from one of my friends. Fortunately, they fit on dolls we already have. You should come for American Girl's annual sale where they have deep discounts. You have to buy tickets to get in.


Oh man, I loved my Kirsten doll. I had the summer fishing/picnic set and the entire St. Lucia Christmas outfit and other accessories. I heard that she, too, has been discontinued. :(


Like Zoe above I recycle that magazine the instant it arrives. I don't even bring it into the house, it goes directly to the bin. I have two girls and one thinks she wants an AG doll but I'm pretty sure it's peer pressure, not actual desire. They never really played with I refuse. Way too expensive, it's crazypants.


About 2 weeks after I told my parents I was pregnant, they brought over my Samantha doll & trunk full of clothes. Also in there? The Samantha-sized quilt that I hand-stitched in 3rd grade. Along with all the preshus baby girl clothes saved from my childhood, I'm pretty sure it ensured that my fetus went boy instantly. (I'm 35 weeks now, and keeping it a surprise!) Anyway, those catalogs are like crack. Adorable, preshus crack.


My mom possibly sold a kidney to get me the Molly doll for Christmas when I was 10. Oh how I loved her. Found her in a box last weekend and she's been through the ringer, but she's in pretty good shape despite being moved a dozen times. For a second I considered sending her in to be cleaned up and whatever they do at AG hospitals (yes, it's a real thing) but then I smacked myself in the head and moved on.

I do have girls and I swear to you my oldest got a catalog the second she turned two. Not sure how, but it had her name on it. AT TWO YEARS OLD! It's wrong and expensive, but wellllll we love them. Ha. There are five in this house. My one and each of my girls has one historic doll and one of the odd new ones.


OMG. I also get the catalog and spend some quality time thinking about my future little girl and what she will want. I told my husband that I wish I knew which one she will want (we have an 8 month old boy and another baby is most likely a year or so away) so I could start buying doll stuff now. Because daaaamn. They haven't gotten any cheaper since I had one. I had Felicity (loved the red hair, am not a redhead, but my baby boy is!), and like most of the other comments, I was maybe possibly probably a little old for dolls when I got her. But she was awesome.


OMG! I had Samantha, too (although I got her at a slightly more appropriate age) and she WAS the best. Because she was the fanciest. I also had Kirsten, and they don't make either of them anymore.

I recently ordered some American Girls stuff for my little sisters and I'm now on their mailing list, which means yes I spent an hour the other day looking at all the new dolls and critiquing (none of them compares to Samantha obvs) and mainly pining and planning for the day when my new little one will be ready for one of these. She's a month old today, so . . . what, like a few more months or what?


Oh also . . .my little sister's list this year was SEVEN PAGES long and just filled with word-for-word item descriptions from the American Girl catalog.

Amy Lee

How can they not make Samantha anymore?

I had a Samantha doll when I was little. That doll was magic.

liz belt

personally i think this just means you need to try one more time!!! maybe this time will be a girl?!?!?!?!?!?! PUUUHHHLLLLEEEEEEEAAAAASSSSEEEE??? you make such cute boys!


My 8 year old daughter absolutely agrees that Samantha is the best ever - and whoever is responsible for discontinuing her is beyond crazy. And probably stinky.

OMG, we could not love those catalogues more.


Samantha girl here! My aunt got her for me one Christmas, I think I was about 8, and I slowly accumulated a Samantha trove. I even had the "my-size" clothes! A friend just posted a 20-year-old picture of me (and Samantha) and her (and Kirsten) with all four of us wearing our AG nightgowns.

I loved Samantha's stories, which I think you can still get. As an aside, I never understood the girls who owned multiple dolls. I read a Felicity book ONCE and felt so guilty about cheating on Sam I never did it again! The one exception I could have made would have been Nelly. Oh how I wanted Nelly to keep Samantha company while I was at school...

Annie Vandehey

Omg are you telling me I missed out on my chance to buy a Samantha doll??? Ack! I mean, I know I'm too old for the matching nightgowns but come on! I don't want a gymnast, I want a tiny Victorian !


My eldest daughter had Samantha and Felicity, and a whole bunch of accessories. And we had the "original" dolls, before the Pleasant Company was sold to Mattel. The clothes we had for her were more "authentic," not a piece of velcro anywhere. Over a few moves and the years, and annoying little brothers, many of the accessories got lost. My younger daughter has one of the AG dolls you could customize, and lots of the modern accessories. Not quite as awesome as the historical accessories, but still fun. But she's 14 now, and it's all packed away :(

Bailey R.

After reading this I so desperately want to go get out Felicity, brush her hair, and make sure her clothes are seasonally appropriate. I took her absolutely everywhere, even proudly displayed her in my college apartment. I hope I have a girl one of these days to pass her along to.


I have Molly. I bought myself the first Samantha book with allowance, but my sister is a dead ringer for her, and I have straight (blondish) hair and glasses, so Mom replaced my Samantha book with the first Molly book. I was too old to play much with Molly, but I have a carefully packed storage tub with her clothes and accessories in their boxes. She lived on my bookshelf and changed clothes every season, until the children and cat came along. I too love the catalog and have 2 boys. So Molly patiently waits for me to have a niece to spoil.


You and I are the same age so normally I am right there with your 1980's popular culture references. But somehow I missed American Girl when I was growing up. (Which I guess is a good thing since they are stalkers, apparently.)


I wanted a Samantha doll too when I was a little girl. She was my favorite and I read all her books, but she was just too expensive for my parents to purchase. Fast forward to when I was 25 and my mom finally got me Samantha. I can't believe they don't sell her anymore because she is the best. I hope my daughter will appreciate the American Girl Doll collections. Thank you for this post.


My son got a tiny twin who looks like him for Christmas when he was four. At seven, he still sleeps with "Dude" (but don't tell his classmates) and uses the doll to play the bad guy in his Lego battles & to run his other Bley blades. Its pretty cute- & Grandma loves! Making & buying stuff for the doll... Although I see him being put away soon -- but 3 yrs is pretty good ;)


My son got a tiny twin who looks like him for Christmas when he was four. At seven, he still sleeps with "Dude" (but don't tell his classmates) and uses the doll to play the bad guy in his Lego battles & to run his other Bley blades. Its pretty cute- & Grandma loves! Making & buying stuff for the doll... Although I see him being put away soon -- but 3 yrs is pretty good ;)


I was also too old for the American Girl doll but their accessories were AMAZE-BALLS!

(I have a BS in Textile and Appareal...maybe this is why I was/am fascinated).

Katie S.

1. WTF whyyyyyy are they discontinued?! These new modern dolls are not nearly as cool!

2. I had Addy and Josefina! And I was blonde and blue-eyed, but that did not make me like Kirsten...I actually thought she was kind of lame.

3. This is totes a valid reason for you to have another baby. ;)


Wait, WHAT?! They don't make Samantha or Kirsten anymore?! WTH?!


for a brief second I thought this post was going to end with "...until now...guess who is having a baby and IT'S A GIRL"

Liz Tea Bee

I am jealous. I can't get them to stop sending me the catalogues because I never buy anything. Not only do I not girl children, I don't have any children.

I have four American Girl dolls. My grandmother spoiled us. :) I learned to sew so I could make them clothes and spent every penny I got my hands on buying them things throughout my entire childhood. My grandfather made them furniture, my mother helped me make them clay and felt food. You get the idea. I still notice when I see things that are the right scale for them.

My husband and I have agreed that if we manage to have children who have no interest in trains then he gets to have a crazy old man model train room in the basement. If our children have no interest in dolls then I get to an old doll lady. (That's not creepy or anything.)

Gods of Sanity preserve us if our theoretical future children don't want to play with Brio or American Girl Dolls. /crazy

Also, Jason is adorable.


You're wrong, Amy, dead wrong: KIRSTEN IS THE BEST. Yah sure.


I HAVE a daughter and am still wishing for someone to look through such catalogs with me. My kid is a tomboy to the core and would rather have her eyes poked out than have to look at a doll magazine. Seriously - she'd cry if I made her look at it.


I also missed the AG experience, but when I was first dating my now-DH I mentioned that I felt like my childhood was ruined because I never had a Cabbage Patch doll like all the other 3rd graders. The cutest thing - he gave me a CP for our first Christmas (and now our two boys treat it like it's a WWF character).
We do, however, also get the AG catalog - addressed to a friend of ours who has never lived at our house, so WTH?

The "differently-abled" accessoriesssssss are what gets me - I love the idea of a tiny doll hearing aid, wheelchair or assistive dog (which I also just saw at Build-A-Bear last week). is the place to go to get off all mailing lists.

My college roommate posts FB pics of her and her daughters at the AG store, restaurant and HOTEL in Chicago - I didn't even spend that much money on our last Hawaii vacation...


OH EM EFF GEE YES. Samantha, right? She was so the best, and I am an admitted doll-hater! I never wanted to have her, but I read her story obsessively and I totally had the $30 locket that perfectly matched hers.

And don't overestimate your love for your children. I would jump in front of a speeding bus for my two-year-old daughter.... but fuck if she's getting that locket. :)


I, too, have sons and while I would never want to change that I do find myself wistfully wondering who will care about my "things". But, this aside, what I truly loved about this post was how you spoke about your husband. Happy couples always warm my heart.


Just FYI to commenters above...they are still making Molly.


I have 4 grown sons. I gave Samantha to my niece and now I have 2 granddaughters that get showered with American Girl dolls and accessories. I get several catalogs a year from American Girl and I love it!

jill (mrschaos)

Samantha is the best doll. I'm still unclear as to why she got fired from American Girl.


Oh. Em. Gee. I could have WRITTEN THIS. (I mean, not as well, but you know what I'm saying.) My Samantha doll is tucked away in her original box to someday be played with by someone who is not my boy. While sweet and caring to my old Cabbies sometimes, other times he uses their heads as a hammer. (In fairness, they do have some hard-ass heads.) If you ever want to bring your Samantha over to play with my Samantha, we can dress them up and have teeny tiny tea party. (Also, I knew my husband was a good one when he bought me an AG shirt at the store in Chicago. He carried that little pink bag on the L, oh yes he did.)


I desperately wanted Samantha until the day they came out with Felicity. My parents must have pawned something to buy her for me, but they did for my 12th birthday. I was too old to "play" with her per say, but I did enjoy brushing her hair and seeing what tiny things I could make for her since my parents could never afford the accessories. She is PRISTINE. And she is staying that way. When I became an adult I bought Josephina and started buying clothes, but my girls are never playing with Felicity and Josephina, they are MINE and they are staying perfect. The oldest just got her own and she can drag her around by her hair all she wants.


I had Samantha too and Kirsten because my grandma loved them and bought them for me. of course so far I have a boy.Also did you jnow there is an American Girls STORE where you can have tea parties with your mom and doll and buy eighty trillion dollars worth of accessories? There is one North of Seattle where I live and it is very overwhelming.


I worked at American Girl for 10 years. I was one of the editors on American Girl magazine (not the catalog but the bimonthly magazine that focuses on contemporary girls). I'm not much of a doll person, but I sure ordered a lot of them for my nieces when I worked there (employee discount!). AG was a pretty special place. When I started working there back in 1992 I'd just given birth to my first son. I was trying to figure out the whole nursing-while-working thing and was able to persuade the HR dept (with another co-worker who was a recent mom) to set up a nursing mothers area. Back then, nursing mother stations were pretty much unheard of. Cool stuff. I think the workforce at that time was about 80% women. It was inspiring and career-shaping to be around so many smart women who really believed in what they were doing to help young girls. I never get tired of hearing people talk about how much they love(d) their AG dolls and books.


Thirteen was not too old for Samantha. The catalog first came to our house when I was 20 or so. I was a doll collector, so it was fine. My mom got me a Samantha doll with accessories, but she drew the line at the doll trunk. Sigh. She bought me a generic doll case instead.

I really, really wished they made her matching dress in a bigger size. In hind sight, it's a good thing they didn't because I would've bought that dress.


I too have a Kirsten doll and all her lovingly-preserved accessories, furniture and clothes stored away for if I ever have a daughter. Of course, I'm 31 and not in a relationship that seems child-rearing-destined, so, perhaps I will die a childless spinster.

Anyway, I agree with past comment posters who are curious about your girl names. I'm (obviously) not pregnant but am very curious about your rejected names! Saw this in your archives:

"Jason always resisted the Name Discussions until AFTER we found out we were having boys, so we've never once really settled on a single girl name. Two names that I've always liked have unfortunately become tainted recently by various Hollywood and tabloid jackasses, plus I always get this compulsive need to wipe the name slate completely clean with each pregnancy, so our runners-up names from the past rarely resurface. Because...they're used names, now, you see? Hand-me-downs. Previous rejects, so giving them to a subsequent baby seems wrong to me, like "oh, this name wasn't GOOD ENOUGH for your brother, but we couldn't be bothered to come up with anything else for you, so here you go."


Um, I'm at least a year or two older than you and I have Kirsten. I think I was 14 when my sweet mom surprised me with her for Christmas. I didn't tell any of my friends, but I looooooved her so much.

And now I have two boy children and we're done (and I'm cool with that) but poor Kirsten is in the top of my closet (with her accessories) collecting dust. I thought about giving her to my niece, but she already has 3 (THREE!!!!!! good gravy...) AG dolls and I just couldn't. Kirsten needs to be someone's number one doll, right??? So yeah, I suppose I'm hanging on to her for some mythical granddaughter. *sigh*

Emily D

Brings back so many memories of poring over the original AG catalogs with my mom. Like you, I was just a little bit too old for dolls when AG first came out, and I have FOUR younger brothers. FOUR. Needless to say, my daughter, despite being not much of a doll person (sniff) has Bitty Baby and 3 AG dolls (Kaya, Felicity and a look like me). Mostly through the largesse of her grandmother. Lots of accessories and clothes too... those dolls have more clothes than I do. :) She is 9 and ready to give (horror!) or put them away now, while I still change their outfits with the seasons and brush their hair. LOVE.


Adopt a wittle tiny baby girl (would love to see Ezra's squishy face looking at that!)

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