You can't look away

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

AGoholics Anonymous

Hello friends, and happiest of holidays! I'd like to talk with you about a serious problem that affects many, particularly during this time of year. While the season brings much joy, wonder and merriment, for some it can also trigger certain behaviors in women and girls alike.

That's right--  I'm talking about AGA- American Girl Addiction.

American Girl Addiction (or AGoholism) is a chronic disorder characterized by an obsession with American Girl dolls and accessories. If you don't have a daughter or niece you may be spared this particular scourge (but you and your son probably have a raging Nintendo or Minecraft monkey on your back to deal with, so don't look so smug).

For us it started when my daughter was a toddler. She was lucky enough to receive an American Girl "Bitty Baby" doll from one of her well-meaning pushers grandmothers. (I honestly can't remember who to blame.)
"Oh! So precious!" Nana cooed. "And look at all the cute little things you can get to go with her in this here catalogue... catalogue ...catalogue."
"Hi! I'm Mia. Hand over your wallet."

Famous last words. I didn't know it at the time, but Bitty Baby is the gateway drug to full-on AG addiction. Soon the catalogues and emails started coming. And we started buying. My daughter scours the catalogue and AG website every month planning what we'll get next. We make monthly pilgrimages to the AG store in the mall. Should we pay the mortgage or get the Spa Chair With Hairstyling Kit?! Once they have you on the mailing list, you're a lifer. It's like you're in the most adorable mob ever. Oh, sure, it's fun at first. The outfits, the books, the matching PJ's. The historical dolls are very educational and the American Girl message is a great one: "Follow Your Inner Star" *Inner Star sold separately, page 21*.  But then you completely drink the Kool-Aid and find yourself on hold, ready to bitch out an operator because you're still on a waiting list for "Ivy's Rainbow Romper with matching charm bracelet!" and you have to have it by Christmas Eve. Stop the madness-- put down the phone and the tiny monogrammed hairbrush. You don't want to do this. I'm here to help you recognize the signs of AGoholism and make steps toward recovery.

Step 1- Admit you are powerless over American Girl and your daughter's room has become unmanageable. 
Do the names McKenna, Kit, or Addy ring a bell? Of course they do. Your daughter has one or all plus the books and outfits.  Do you often find tiny, rounded shoes all over the house? Are the shoes nicer than your shoes? Can you walk through your girl's room without tripping on Julie's wooden four-poster bed with silky scalloped canopy? Shhh! Julie's pet bunny, Nutmeg, is sleeping!
p.s. Ask yourself why in holy hell a freaking DOLL needs a pet BUNNY?!

Step 2- Believe there is a power greater than yourself.  With a wallet greater than yours... Namely, the grandparents. Clearly this is their fault anyway. Let them buy this overpriced crap! Restore your sanity. And your credit score.

Step 3- Make a decision to turn your will over to the care of others.
Again, "Let go and let Grandma." We just went over this. Pay attention!

Step 4- Make a searching and fearless inventory... of all AG accessories.
Really? You actually bought Saige's Art Easel and matching Hot Air Balloon?? Damn, you're sicker than I thought.

Step 5- Admit to Grandma, yourself and others that you have a problem, and you are a real sucker. She knows, honey. She. Knows. It's gonna be okay.

Step 6- Remove defects of character, (and your name from the AG catalogue mailing list).  
This will be a tough one, because American Girl seems to send out a catalogue every frickin' week. They are like the cockroach of the catalogue world. You may kill one but, oh, there are more lurking in your mailbox.

Step 7- Humbly ask for help.  Ask grandma if the catalogue can now come to her house. Nanna loves getting mail! Boom, you just took out the middle man. Genius.

Step 8- Make a list of all persons harmed by your crazy addiction.  Hmm.. my son did have to go with us to the American Girl store that one time. For about 30 minutes... We didn't make him sit and drink tea or anything, but still, I guess that's pretty traumatic for a 10 year old boy.

Step 9- Make amends. To my son? He got to go to Gamestop afterwards. Whatevs, he's fine.

Step 10- Continue to take inventory of doll crap, and when you accidentally buy more, promptly admit it. (Or, hide the receipt from your husband.. whatever works.)

Step 11- Seek to improve your daughter's contact with other toys. Remind her about Barbie, and coloring, and, hey, look! It's a Rainbow Loom! Omg, did I just say that out loud?! Vacuuming rubber bands is still cheaper than a $150 doll armoire.

Step 12- Help others. These days, whenever I see a friend or little girl with an AG catalogue, I immediately walk up to them, slap the catalogue out of their hands and stomp on it. Because I care. These poor suckers need to recover, too. They just may not know it yet. Perhaps at one time your daughter even begged for play dates with these other AGoholics just to check out their doll loot!
It's a sickness, I tell you. Cut all ties with these people, for they are evil enablers.

I hope these steps can help you break the cycle of addiction and help you and your daughter develop a healthier relationship with American Girl.  I've been there, friend. I understand and I want you to know there is hope.
Actually, Hope is on page 53 and OMG look at her cycling outfit! Precious!

Hey, one day at a time.

Happy Holidays! ;)


  1. I totally did buy Saige's art set and our family vacation is planned around going to an AG store. But I can stop anytime I want. Great post!!

  2. Fortunately, I mostly dodged this one. I have nieces that were into AG for a short while, but their parents soon put an end to it. Ha! Lucky for me! Funny post, Rach!

  3. Love it! Very clever. We were lucky that grandparents did most of the AG shopping for us. We knew the phase was over when K and a friend cut off all the hair on all the AG dolls. Thanks, kid. I was gonna resell that shit.

  4. My mother in law is my dealer? Pusher? For the last few years she has purchased my daughter a doll plus lots of extras for her Sept birthday. AND for Christmas. Christmas btw means even more extras.... Yes that's right 2 new dolls every year for the last idk how many..We have 11 dolls now. Not all from