Today, I broke down. I did. After months of avoiding and taking alternate routes and pretending it was closed, I took my eight-year-old to the new American Girl store in St. Louis. If you're not familiar with the American Girl concept, it's actually is quite a good one. Wholesome, normally-proportioned dolls that are maybe 18 inches tall. Each girl is from a different period in American history and has her own story to tell. There's Molly, who lives during the Great Depression. Julie (my daughter's favorite) who is from Berkley in the 1970's. There are Revolutionary dolls, an American Indian doll, one from the 1920's - you get the idea.
But along with being cute and educational, the dolls are quite spendy. I'm talking $100 for a doll. To the point where (I'm ashamed to admit) we tried to foist imitation dolls on my dear child (Target has a great version for a lot less). Unfortunately, once they hit a certain age, they can tell the difference. That's when most of them end up with an American Girl.
Maddie received one for Christmas the year before last. I was glad to see she does play with her doll. And the dog hasn't eaten most of the clothes (shoes are another story). But the store is something else. They have a doll salon - where your doll can get a facial (er - I don't even get those). Your doll can get her hair styled, her ears pierced and you can probably pay to give them a seaweed wrap. I mean, I'm sure I can find some weeds in backyard if we want to wrap up a doll or two.
The shop was quite cute, though. We saw some nice outfits. I posted a pic on Facebook and about laughed my rear off when one of my friends asked if we'd been approached by a personal shopper. What's funnier was that she's was serious.
We even had lunch in the American Girl Cafe (the same place I'd scoffed at an hour before - no way we'd be there a whole hour - ha). It was a fun time, though. Although if there are any American Girl execs out there - I have an idea for you - the American Reader Cafe. Think of it - a giant bookstore where we can get facials, have our hair done, eat yummy food and get all of the latest books. Maybe throw a cover model or two in there. Now that's a concept I could get behind.