When my daughter, Lexi, turned four my wife and I decided to do something big for her birthday. We had a couple reasons for doing this. The first being that we hadn’t done anything “big” in about four years (the last “big” thing being have a child). The other was because we had managed to keep another human being alive for four years. No easy feat in today’s world of war, hardship, and famine. I mean, good grief, our car doesn’t even have wi-fi! It was an event worthy of celebration. My wife, Lindy, thought it would be a great idea to take Lexi to the American Girl doll store in Atlanta.
For the uninitiated, American Girl dolls are a brand of impossibly expensive dolls. Each doll has its own name, personality, time period, and hobby. For example, the popular one this year was named Isabelle. She lived in modern times and liked to dance. There was also Kit, who lived during Great Depression and whose favorite hobby was not starving to death. Then there’s Caroline, who lived during the war in 1812. She went on a mission to rescue her father from the British. Her favorite hobbies included sneaking around military facilities and snapping the necks of British soldiers. My favorite was Amelia, the Cyborg Demon Vampire Hunter who lived in 2065. One can only imagine what her favorite hobbies were!
Anyway, off to Atlanta we went. Before the American Girl store, my wife had to stop at Target. She loves Target. We do not have a Target where we live – a fact that greaves my wife to no end. I don’t have the heart to tell her it’s the same stuff as Walmart only five to ten dollars more expensive. While shopping for odds and ends we bought Lexi a musical magic wand. It was from the movie Frozen and when activated played about five notes of “Let it Go.” We also got her a slinky for a dollar. Remember these facts because they will become relevant later.
Eventually, we showed up at the store which contained an estimated seventy-five thousand little girls and their mothers. That’s not to say there weren’t some fathers there, because there were. And all five of us just nodded to one another in solidarity. As the day wore on our nods became more haggard and desperate. We briefly threw around the idea (through silent nods) of starting a fight club. With the dolls. The benefit being that they would never be able to talk about fight club.
After having been shown several dolls, Lexi decided on Isabelle, the dancer. Also, some outfits and a pet cat because we weren’t spending near enough money. When it was time to pay, the cashier led me to the back and showed me the barrel I was about to be bent over. To their credit it was a nice barrel. It was pink (of course) and lined with soft fur. It also had molded rubber handholds which I thought was a nice touch. The cashier cheerfully explained that I was not required to squeal like a pig. No sir, I was free to squeal like whichever animal I deemed appropriate. I chose octopus.
At the end of the day, both Lindy and Lexi had a great time. Now, pop quiz – remember how I said we’d bought some toys at Target? Out of all the toys we bought that day which do you think she played with the most? If you said, “Why the American Girl doll, of course.” You’re an idiot. I swear I have never in my combined thirty-five years seen a slinky played with for so long.