Saturday, December 20, 2008

Molly Saves the Day

Being a virgin blogger, I debated long and hard over the topic of my single guest blog. My first instinct was to stick with the routine of the blog (odd videos and Apple news); however, I decided that I would make this entry distinctively mine. 

On Halloween of my fourth grade year, I woke up to a surprise from my mom. My grades had been high for the first six weeks, and she decided that I needed to be rewarded*. She bought me an outfit for my "Molly" doll. It was perfect. For many years I asked for new Molly items for birthday and Christmas. 
Flash forward sixteen years... I came home from work last week to find an American Girl catalogue on the mail. I devoured it. I adore looking at the fancy dresses, detailed furniture, and mini musical instruments. American Girl creates products for middle class little girls and little gay boys. They started by creating a few select dolls, and each doll has stories that go along with her. Kirsten Learns a Lesson, Happy Birthday Samantha, and Molly's Surprise** are all examples of the historical literature. 
My doll, Molly McIntire, was from the World War II. Her family had to conserve sugar and tin. I remember wishing my family had to ration like Molly's family. Isn't that terrible that I romanticized war sacrifices?

 These dolls are classic. They ooze class and quality. My best girlfriends all had one. Amy had Kirsten, a blonde pioneer girl. Stephanie had Samantha, a Victorian brunette. Amy was better about leaving Kirsten's hair the way it came, whereas I brushed and abused Molly's hair until it was dry and broken.
 My Molly doll had a huge presence in my childhood, impacting many of my daily decisions and thoughts. Would Molly cheat on her book report? Does Molly shave her legs? Do boys ever get crushes on Molly...or me for that matter? This last question deserves an entire blog post. 
American Girl is retiring Samantha doll this spring. I suppose there is a higher demand now for dolls that look like girls today. This is earth shattering to me. I cannot believe that it has come to this. I am typically very progressive in my thoughts, and believe that change is a good thing, but this is one change I can't get behind. I'm saddened by dolls like Bratz which aim (in my mind) to teach girls to wear makeup in order to attract boys, talk back to your parents, and act like a brat to those around you. 
 Though I always viewed Samantha as the weakest link of the American Girl collection, I can't help but feel like a chapter of my life is closing. The fact that Samantha will be bid upon for months on Ebay at escalated prices is disheartening and scary.

Goodbye, Samantha. I will forever cherish your memory.

-Mary H.

* I was rewarded a total of one time in my life for my grades. 
** Why can't I underline in blogland?


AmyL said...

OMG. Awesome post Mary! RIP Molly. That is such sad news. Thanks for giving me cred for not messing with Kirsten's hair, however, one Christmas I was given the American Girl curlers set and poor Kirsten's braids finally came out (sadly, this was probably 7th grade). Do you remember when there were only three dolls available? I found it so exciting when Felicity and Addy were released. I just checked American Girl's website and now there are SO many to choose from it's overwhelming!

P.S. LOVE your moniker
P.S.S. down with BRATS!

duderone said...

Incredible Mary. Although I do not understand doll culture, (which is why we needed more "girl" comments on here) fantastic. Please blog as much as you want. I think my sister had a Molly doll. Awesome.

Kate said...

Mary (it's Libby)-

Wow...Changes for sad.

I was a HUGE AG fan. I had Samantha and many of her accessories that were accumulated over years of birthdays and Christmases. I take slight offense to you calling her the weakest link, but maybe that is because she just didn't have to work for her life. I also had Kirsten, but no accessories (I did have her "work" dress- and like you wanting to ration tin, I wanted to work in the fields in two-tone boots and panteloons while mourning the loss of my friend to cholera). With Samantha, I just wanted to live in a mansion and pester the cook.

Anyways, I could blog more about your blog here, but just wanted to say thanks for sparking this nostalgia. I did like Molly (and wanted her yellow raincoat in my size). Who's up for a game of capture the flag at camp!?!