Best of 2017: Things I’m Willing To Believe About Logan Everett, The Boy American Girl Doll

It’s 2017. A bi-racial girl American girl named Meghan is becoming a British royal. 54-year-old John Stamos is going to be a first-time father. Donald Trump is president. Lit’rally anything could happen. That includes American Girl expanding its product line to include boys. American BOYS? Or boy, really. When the folks at American Girl announced that they’d be mass producing a white boy named Logan Everett earlier this year, we had some questions. And a lot of comments. Here are some of them.


Things I’m Willing To Believe About Logan Everett, The Boy American Girl Doll

There’s something different about the newest American Girl doll. It’s a boy. Which is a fine thing to be, if you’re a human, but I have to admit that my knee-jerk reaction was more like:

As if white boys couldn’t already be EVERYTHING, now they’re an American Girl doll? Ugh. What would Felicity think? (Trick question, she’d just note whether they wore the same britches size in case she had to steal another pair under cover of darkness.) Okay, also the boy looks like this:

Of course he does.

Anyway, the Boy American Girl is named Logan Everett.

Of course he is.

Logan is apparently the drummer for the doll version of 2008-era Taylor Swift. As the latest addition to our series Things I’m Willing To Believe About, here are some things I am willing to believe about Logan Everett, Boy American Girl:

His working name was Logan Bruno because he was 100% based on Logan Bruno, boy associate member of the Baby-Sitters Club. He’s even Southern.

Not to put all Logans in a box but all Logans are exactly one way, right?

Not to put all Logans in a box but all Logans are exactly one way, right?

Logan would like to invite you to a fun laser tag outing with his youth group.

His dad is in the worship band. Logan’s first performance was Lord I Lift Your Name On High.

Things I’m Willing To Believe About Logan Everett, The Boy American Girl Doll

There’s something different about the newest American Girl doll. It’s a boy. Which is a fine thing to be, if you’re a human, but I have to admit that my knee-jerk reaction was more like:

As if white boys couldn’t already be EVERYTHING, now they’re an American Girl doll? Ugh. What would Felicity think? (Trick question, she’d just note whether they wore the same britches size in case she had to steal another pair under cover of darkness.) Okay, also the boy looks like this:

Of course he does.

Anyway, the Boy American Girl is named Logan Everett.

Of course he is.

Logan is apparently the drummer for the doll version of 2008-era Taylor Swift. As the latest addition to our series Things I’m Willing To Believe About, here are some things I am willing to believe about Logan Everett, Boy American Girl:


His working name was Logan Bruno because he was 100% based on Logan Bruno, boy associate member of the Baby-Sitters Club. He’s even Southern.

Not to put all Logans in a box but all Logans are exactly one way, right?

Not to put all Logans in a box but all Logans are exactly one way, right?

Logan would like to invite you to a fun laser tag outing with his youth group.

His dad is in the worship band. Logan’s first performance was Lord I Lift Your Name On High.

 

The original plan was for Boy American Girl Doll Logan Everett to be a historical character from 1994. He would have had the requisite Cute Boy In The 90s Haircut (see: Rider Strong), a plaid flannel with a heather gray hood, and you could buy him a scaled-down, working Talkboy for $19.99.

Like this.

Like this.

In a frozen pioneer cemetery in Minnesota, Logan’s great-great-great-great grandmormor Kirsten is rolling over in her grave due to his coddled and simple lifestyle.

He calls his dog a rescue dog but it’s just a regular dog.

Logan rarely looks up from his Nintendo DS when he is forced to visit his great-grandma Molly. To be fair, all of her “harrowing war stories” are, like, “one time I curled my hair when it was wet and I got a cold” and “I ate turnips, once.”

Get a grip, Molls.

Get a grip, Molls.

I’m not saying Logan smirks mockingly at people, I’m just saying that doll is smirking mockingly at me, right? 

That face where you dropped something on your shirt and he's not gonna laugh, he's just gonna stare at you.

That face where you dropped something on your shirt and he’s not gonna laugh, he’s just gonna stare at you condescendingly.

His parents buy Lunchables.

And Sunny D.

And maybe Cheez Wiz?

Logan’s instagram is all skating pictures he stole off of other people’s instagrams (he doesn’t skate) and quotes.

Just really wants to bring hacky sack back.

Is the main character’s older brother who the best friend has a crush on on a Disney show.

If his name wasn’t Logan, it would have been Hunter. Or Kyler.

Was the first kid in his class whose parents didn’t care if he watched PG 13 movies.

Was in a commercial for a local amusement park 2 years ago and finds way more ways to bring it up than you’d think.

Boy band role: the one moms are OK with

Logan “thinks you look prettier without makeup,” but also thinks “no makeup” looks like concealer, light, well-blended foundation and bronzer, neutral eye shadow, lightly smudged dark brown liner, full mascara and lip gloss

Also “Tthinks you look prettier when you don’t do you hair;” hot rollers and highlights.

I understand this is supposed to be a country musician but I still kind of feel like on Myspace c. 2005 his favorite music would have been “anything but country lol.”

 

Always has to show you this hilarious video he found on YouTube.

Class of ’04: In Memoriam – Things That Existed in 2004 & Don’t Now

When you still feel young…ish, it’s easy to feel like high school graduation was just moments ago. But let’s face facts: a decade has passed, and we aren’t even living in the same world we were in in 2004. Queue up Wind Beneath My Wings and get ready to clap disrespectfully when you get excited about one of these – it’s time for our In Memorium.

Ecto Cooler

If you’re an ’04 grad, Ecto Cooler was probably a staple of your childhood. I can still taste it now – a thick, corn-syrupy, vaguely citrusy drink that was almost always room temperature, because I was usually drinking it from a Hi-C juice box that had been sitting in my coatroom for 4 hours. Now Ecto-Cooler really is but a slimy green ghost: it was renamed in 2001 and discontinued entirely in 2007.

I have a hunch that if I used organic ingredients, set myself up in a hipster enclave, and started making artisinal Ecto-Cooler, I could make a killing.

The WB

For us class of ’04 kids, The WB was our entertainment hub as soon as we became old enough for teen entertainment. From our middle school days watching Dawson’s Creek, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, and Felicity, to our high school appreciation for Gilmore Girls and Smallville, this was essentially the TV network version of Teen People.

Teen People

… which also no longer exists. Although, when I read regular People, everyone is so damn young that I feel like it may as well be called Teen People, anyway. Get off my lawn, Ariana Grande.

The Mary-Kate and Ashley line at Wal-Mart

It was a big freaking deal when MK&A launched their “lifestyle line” at Wal-Mart, and it’s kind of hilarious now to realize that they were schilling maribu-lined bedside lamps for tweens while doing coke on the weekends. Now they are real-life designers, and although some MK&A items are still lingering on Wal-Mart shelves (according to the internet – sorry, I do not love you all enough to go to a bona fide Wal-Mart to find out), the full-fledged cosmetics/bedding/bath/clothing panoply is no longer.

Which sucks, because I can’t be the only ’04 girl who bought the best lip gloss of her LIFE from that brand.

Guys Who Were Born In The 1800s

RIP. Like, literally RIP. Ten years ago there were a pretty good number of folks alive who were born in the 1800s, but now the Lost Generation is… well, you know. The world’s oldest man just died (am I supposed to still call him that? Such a confusing honorific). Anyway, he was born in 1903. There are no more living World War I vets, either.  Shout-out to the five still-living women holding it down for the 19th Century ladies. I can’t help but hope that one of them is actually Samantha Parkington.

Samantha Parkington (And Molly, Felicity, And Kirsten)

Speaking of Samantha Parkington, everybody take your $30 doll-sized tea service and pour a little out for our homie. American Girl has discontinued those 90s girl status symbols Samantha, Molly, Felicity, and Kirsten. But that doesn’t stop us from wanting to dress like them. (1, 2, 3)

The Bush Administration

It seems like we’ve spent a lifetime listening to Conservative pundits complain about the president. Those eight years when it was Liberals complaining seem like but a whisper of a memory.

Kazaa

Today’s high school grads will never know that thing where you download a song to find that it has been replaced with a loud, static-y buzz due to copyright issues. They will also never know what it’s like to have their parents’ desktop computer crash every six months because you just can’t stop downloading illegal John Mayer tunes. Sorry, mom and dad.

My workplace recently sent out an email warning us against using Napster on company computers, and I was like “that’s cool, I didn’t know we had time-travelers from the early 2000s working here.”

Your Childhood Pet, Probably

If you had a beloved dog or cat in your childhood, it may have lived to see your 2004 graduation, but Bootsie or Spot has probably crossed the rainbow bridge by now.

Shea Stadium

Am I the only Mets fan in the house?

Blockbuster Video

How many middle school and high school sleepovers started with arguing about whether to get Titanic or Clueless on a trip to that blue-and-yellow rental house? Now all kids have to do is scroll through Netflix.

The Ball Pit At Chuck E. Cheese’s

Chuck E. Cheese: where kids were set free in a complex network of large PVC pipes and a pool, deeper than we were tall, filled with plastic balls, and expected to survive. It’s no wonder today’s helicopter parents don’t allow this. But really, as with Discovery Zone (also RIP) what we were discovering was ourselves. And, inevitably, a used band-aid.

Sun-In

Psych! I assumed this no longer existed, but I Googled it, and it does. Good. Today’s teens should be part of the time-honored tradition of saturating your hair, basking in the sun, and finding that either nothing happened or your hair turned orange and you got a sunburn.

Celebs Who Are About To Get Killed By Their Exotic Pets

One of the earliest lessons of childhood is that certain animals don’t belong in your house. This message was reinforced everywhere. In the American Girl books, Kirsten’s house got destroyed because she brought a baby raccoon inside and he went HAM and burned their house down using his tail as a tiny torch of destruction. Children’s books teach lessons, and I guess the American Girl company thought that “don’t bring weird-ass animals into your house” was still a relevant one in the early 90s. In that one Full House episode, Danny’s heretofore-unheard of sister showed up with her monkey and it got lost. There are even real-life community standards against owning odd-as-shit animals:  the family on my street with the ferrets were treated to open scorn, because ferrets were illegal in our parts. Besides, those animals were little weaselly assholes.

Despite these lessons, some people just don’t get it. Remember a few years ago when that guy owned a menagerie and he set them free and they all got shot? Or that woman whose face got mauled off by her friend’s chimp? Sure, she got a face transplant, and I’d say all’s well that ends well, but there’s somebody else’s FACE on her FACE now and I’m not ready to act like that’s okay.

Here are some famous pet owners who should know better. But since they don’t, I’m here to tell them: you’re bouts to get killed by your exotic pet.

Mike Tyson: You’re Bouts To Get Killed By That Tiger

Recently Mike Tyson got head butted by his pet tiger. The cork at the top of this champagne problem? It knocked the gold teeth right out of Tyson’s mouth. Still, the fighter has reported that he sleeps with his tiger, answering the question posed by the 90s tv movie “Mother, May I Sleep With Danger?” with a resounding YES.

Kristen Stewart: You’re Bouts To Get Killed By That Half Dog/ Half Wolf

The only surprising thing about Kristen Stewart owning a dog/wolf hybrid is that I can’t imagine Kristen Stewart caring enough to go out and buy a dog/wolf hybrid. I sort of picture her out on her porch smoking weed with a dog/wolf watching her longingly from the side of her yard. She turns to go in and the dog/wolf is at her heels. Stewart looks at the dog/wolf, shrugs, and lets him in behind her. They live apathetically ever after. Until he freaking KILLS her because that is a WOLF Kristen. It’s a wolf. And in real life, wolves don’t turn into handsome muscular teenage boys. They turn into a thing that is eating your still-living flesh.

Justin Bieber: You’re Bouts To Get Killed By That Capuchin Monkey

Justin Bieber bought a Capuchin monkey, abandoned it in Germany, then was ordered by the nation of Germany to pay monkey support. If there’s one country that I would NOT want to get into a child support relationship with, it’s Germany. They’re stern. That, or one of those countries that people always parental-kidnap their children to. Now Bieber’s monkey is a stern German, too. Plus monkeys are crazy. Watch your back in Berlin, Biebs. That Capuchin monkey is going to revenge kill you.

Nicolas Cage: You’re Bouts To Get Killed By That Octopus

Octopuses are kind of cute. Until they squirt ink in your eye and strangle you with their tentacles. Before you know it, the last thing you see before you die is the undercarriage of an octopus. And the only time that should be the last thing you see is if you’re an old, married octopus having an affair with a young female octopus and you have a heart attack during octopus sex and that’s how you die.

Melanie Griffith and Tippi Hedren From The Past: You’re Bouts To Get Killed By That Lion

In the Wizard of Oz, there’s a good reason that the song didn’t go “Lions and Tigers and Bears, You Know, Those Would Be Fun To Have Live In My House With Me.” The Griffith-Hedren clan loved a good lion photo op. Lions in bed with the child! Lions roaring at us in the pool! Lions taking up too much space on the kitchen floor as the maid gets juice from the fridge! Only by the grace of God was the final photo op not “Lions Eating All Of Us With Their Enormous Bone-Crushing Jaws.”

Tracy Morgan: You’re Bouts To Get Killed By Those Sharks

I saw that movie Soul Surfer. It made getting your limb torn off by a shark seem normal, inspirational even. But I ALSO saw that movie Sharknado, so I know that Sharks could kill you – and the fact that sharks live in water, and you’re on land, doesn’t help you. Some day, that tank is going to break and then Tracy Morgan is bouts to get killed by that shark.

Michael Jackson From The Past: You’re Bouts To Get Killed By That Chimpanzee

It’s all fun and games until a chimp eats your face and you have to raze all of your original facial features and rebuild them and regrow your skin in goodness knows what color. Actually, you know what? Never mind. As you were, Mr. Jackson.

Vanilla Ice: You’re Bouts To Get Killed By That Wallaroo

A wallaby/kangaroo hybrid sounds like a really cute pet, right? Especially when you name him Bucky Buckaroo, like Vanilla Ice did. But you know how you get a little nervous when a large, friendly dog jumps up on a tiny person because it could knock them over? Imagine if instead of a large, friendly dog the jumping animal was a mutant kangaroo. Vanilla Ice, you’re bouts to suffer extensive head trauma when that wallaroo knocks you over.

Audrey Hepburn From The Past: You’re Bouts To Get Killed By That Baby Deer

Whenever I find myself looking a little TOO Etsy-and-twee, I think to myself “girl, you look like you would have a pet baby deer that you feed out of a mason jar. And that baby deer only listens to vinyl. Shit. That baby deer wears a loooot of ModCloth.” Sure, a tiny fawn seems like the perfect Manic Pixie Dream Pet. However, those of us who live in deer country know how un-cute it is to get a deer-sized dent pounded out of your car. Audrey Hepburn from the past is bouts to get into a driveway crash because of that fawn.

Steven Tyler: You’re Bouts To Get Killed By That Raccoon

Well. SOMEONE didn’t read Changes For Kirsten. Hide your oil lamps, Aerosmith.

American Girl Outfits I’d Wear Today: Samantha & Molly

My generation gets a lot of flack for being overly nostalgic before we’ve really earned the right to be. But first of all, as a kid in the 90s, I remember all of the gen-Xers were into 1970s childhood nostalgia. This is hardly new. Additionally, we were pretty much doomed to be nostalgic. I blame the American Girls Collection. It made all of us long for the past before we had even been in the present for more than 7 years. We never had a chance.

Here is our final installment of the American Girl Outfits I’d Wear Today series – Samantha and Molly. If you missed it, check out our coverage of  Felicity and Josefina and Kirsten and Addy.

Samantha Parkington

Samantha was really the it girl of the American Girl world. If you had at least one American Girl doll, it was probably Samantha. I mean, I didn’t , but that was because my teacher’s daughter had Samantha, and their dog ate it, so she passed the outfits on to me. My Molly doll was the same thing as Samantha, but with grey eyes, so once I had the outfits I was seriously all set.

I’ve read several articles and fashion blogs discussing the influence of Downton Abbey on today’s fashion, and the general consensus is “who would have thought that Edwardian style would ever be the thing?” Um, how about all of us who grew up in the 1990s and idolized Samantha Parkington’s well-tailored outfits, sleek furniture, and bangin’ Victorian mansion? Sidebar, since I was about five years old, with the exception of  high school and a few stabs at bobbed hair, I’ve had Samantha’s hair ‘do. Forget Zooey Deschanel. Samantha Parkington’s are the bangs that defined a generation.

Samantha’s Middy Outfit
This outfit just kills me. Usually when I wear nautical-themed outfits it’s more on the lines of navy stripes and a jaunty scarf, maybe with some kelly green pants or Nantucket reds. But this dress is a great reminder to try out the sailor look – keep the collar smallish so you don’t look costumey. I had a red sailor coat when I was little, and I practically cried when I outgrew it, because it reminded me of Sam’s summer dress. I mean, I probably did cry.

Samantha’s Plaid Cape and Gaiters
Thus began my lifelong love affair with Black Watch plaid. So classic and gorgeous! I think Susan has a coat like this in the ’90s Miracle on 34th Street. I was so annoyed with my school uniform, which was almost black watch, but with stupid red and yellow lines in it (which clashed with our baby-blue Peter Pan collar blouses). The real beauty of this is in the adorable gaiters she has. Anyone know where I can get a pair? Also, did anyone else carry a muff as a kid because of this, or was that just me? I never realized what a vintage-obsessed child I was, but I toted around my aunt’s 1950s fur hand-warmer like it was going out of style (which it probably was).

Molly McIntire

Molly McIntire always had a place in my heart, primarily because we are both named Molly and are both sort of awkward, yet also driven and optimistic. She was like a nine-year-old, wartime Leslie Knope that way. She made me really want wire-framed glasses, although my eyesight wouldn’t deteriorate enough for that until my mid-20s. Molly had a tomboyish yet preppy style, and if you were born in the ‘80s, your mom probably liked her because the outfits reminded her of her childhood in the ‘50s and ‘60s.

Molly’s Camp Gowanagan Outfit
High waisted red shorts, sassy scarf, and crisp white button-up? Yes, please. Molls looks like such a 2010s hipster here. Like, I can practically tell which Brooklyn neighborhood she lives in. As I mentioned before, thanks to Molly, I dragged my mom to about five stores in third grade, searching for saddle shoes (I found them, and they were everything I’d ever dreamed of. And I’m pretty proud that I was thinking for myself, fashion-wise, at such a young age, because I’m pretty sure they weren’t in style. And I’m pretty sure that I want another pair right NOW.)

Molly’s Slicker And Rain Hat
Yes. Yep. This is it. This is how you dress in the rain. I’ve actually not gone with a serious vinyl raincoat since I was probably in the single-digits, age-wise, but I would definitely wear this. Also, how amazingly practical is it to have a rain hat? When did we, as a people, stop doing that? You’d still carry an umbrella, probably, but think of the hair damage you could avoid! This is also a nice reminder that while novelty wellies are adorable, the classic reds and yellows will never fail you. An aside: I taught one of my nephews to call his boots like these his “galoshes” because it is adorable.

Molly’s Pajamas

A lot of the time, my pajamas are fleece pajama pants or pajama shorts, and then some sort of t-shirt that I got for free. But when I wear legit pajama sets, I always feel way more put together and cute. It’s somehow less embarrassing to answer my door in p.j.s when my pajamas are also an outfit. Miss MacIntire understood this. While any kind of pajama set will do, these red stripes are so cheerful yet dignified, I think they’re really the ultimate in classy yet comfy, child (or adult) appropriate nightwear.

Molly’s After-School Outfit
Plaid shirt, high waisted cords? So, this is pretty much how we’re all already dressing, right?

Molly’s Regular Outfit
The argyle sweater is pretty cute, and the preppy knee-length wool skirt is great. The rickrack trim around her Peter Pan collar is killing me, in a good way.

What do you think – did we miss any great outfits? Did you try to dress like these characters as a kid (or adult)? Did your parents buy you the kid-sized outfits? We’d love to know!

American Girl Outfits I’d Wear Today: Kirsten and Addy

Last time around, we brought you (potentially) wearable outfits from American Girl characters Felicity and Josefina. Now that you’re – hopefully – done seething about unfair taxes on tea, we’re bringing you two more. Use this as a shopping guide if, like Angela from The Office, “sometimes the clothes at the GapKids are just too flashy. So, I am forced to go to American Girl store and order clothes for large colonial dolls.”

Kirsten Larson


On Christmas day in first grade, I opened a small box from Santa. There was a note to look under my bed – and there, in a maroon Pleasant Company box, was Kirsten Larson. If you got a Kirsten doll, it may have been because you were blonde, or of Swedish descent, or from the Midwest. For me, it was because Kirsten and I were both fairly outdoorsy. Granted, for Larson it was more of a default situation, since she lived in the Minnesota wilderness. As such, Kirsten’s outfits are casual and practical, but there was a budding fashionista under her pragmatic Scandinavian exterior.

My fourthhand claim to fame is that this character was named for my friend’s aunt (?) or something. If you’ve ever wondered about the historical accuracy of American Girl main character names — well, first of all, we should be besties forever, and second of all, they’re almost all statistically quite unlikely for the place and time the books were set. I’m terribly sorry to tell you that the name Kirsten is Danish/Norwegian, and wasn’t really used in Sweden in the 1840s when our girl K. would have been born.

Kirsten’s Summer Outfit
These faded blue pinstripes are soft, crisp summer perfection. And those red booties! What is Kirsten, some sort of Swedish-Minnesotan fashion genius? The red is echoed in the fresh berries on her hat, because Kirsten Larson is brilliant and I’m still really sorry that she lost her friend Marta to cholera (…spoiler?).

In third grade or so, I was sorting through a trash bag of hand-me-downs from my cousin (did everyone get those or was I just poor? They were the BEST). I pulled out a pale blue striped number, and could not believe it. It was Kirsten’s summer dress! On closer examination, it was no dress at all – it was culottes. This was probably the first of many times that I was disappointed to find that what looked like a skirt or dress was actually culottes or a skort. It’s like taking a sip from what you think is Sprite and finding out that it’s water. And it’s a life lesson that I think all of us have learned. [This was also my first time thinking that I could alter a clothing item, and failing miserably.]

Kirsten’s Winter Outfit and Scandinavian Woolens

If this were a catalog for adult humans, she’d wear that outfit on a dock with an adorable Yellow Lab. Her gentleman friend would have a coordinating sweater set. And I’d hate them.

Damn, Larson. Look at you. Cozy and adorable. When I wonder if it’s too cold to wear a skirt, I just remind myself that Kirsten did it, and Minnesota is probably colder than upstate New York. For real, a full wool skirt is a great addition to your winter wardrobe, and the ribbon detail is just bonus.

Addy Walker

Addy was a truly groundbreaking American Girl character. No, I don’t mean because she was the first African-American girl featured – although that was a big deal. I mean, she had pierced ears. This was HUGE. I think if I’d had one more American Girl doll, it would have been Addy. In an age when everyone had Samantha, Addy owners were real originals.

Addy’s School Dress
Look at what a professional Addy is! Little kids in suits kill me, probably because – according to photographic evidence – I wore a little pink skirt suit for Easter when I was 7. I wouldn’t wear this whole thing head to toe, but the cropped blue jacket with skinny jeans? Absolutely.

Addy’s summer dress
Cute floral, adorable peter pan collar, waist detailing – what more could you want in a summer dress? Maybe leave off the visible pantaloons if you are an adult in the 21st century.

Hope you enjoyed our stroll down sartorial memory lane! Check back for our final installment – Samantha and Molly.

American Girl Outfits I’d Wear Today: Felicity & Josefina

The American Girl catalog was probably my first fashion inspiration. I pored over every page, and even tried to incorporate the style into my real life. I wore Kirsten’s looped braids in first grade, and insisted on saddle shoes during back-to-school shopping when I was eight. When denim sunflower hats were the rage, I also had a straw hat with a ribbon, inspired by Felicity. I wore a long, floaty cotton nightgown in the summer, like I was a spunky Victorian girl. Chances are, if you’re a twenty- or thirty-something who loves classic fashion and accessories, your love affair with vintage clothing began with the Pleasant Company Catalogs.

To be fair, you probably got the catalog because you read the books. One of the best things about  American Girl books is that they’re full of great little details about the characters’ special outfits and accessories. Of course, my cynical adult self realizes that this is because each book had a tie-in outfit in the catalog, even though most of these characters would have had maybe two dresses, tops.

When I started this post, I didn’t realize just how great these outfits would be – props to Pleasant T. Rowland. The list grew so long that I had to split this into three separate posts. So, sit back and get ready to travel through time – we’ll start with Felicity and Josefina. If you want to continue on and read about Kirsten and Addy, that post is over here.

Felicity Merriman

Felicity was my gateway drug into American Girls. My mom was a fourth-grade teacher, and ordered me some Felicity books from her Scholastic catalog (man, I miss the Scholastic catalog). If any of you were kindergartners with a fifth-grade reading level,  then you were probably one of the American Girl trendsetters in your class, too. [Why do I get the feeling that our target demo includes a lot of adults who were once really precocious five-year-olds?] I was hooked. This girl had red hair, like me. She had adventures. She had spirit. And, damn it, she had OUTFITS. Felicity was my first American Girl doll, and I probably continued to play with her long after it was socially acceptable to do so.

Felicity’s Spring Gown With Pinner Apron

I mean, I’d take elements from the concept. If you can pull off a pinner apron, more power to you.

The dainty floral apron is perfection, and kudos to Lissy for sticking it to those people who say that redheads can’t wear pink (we can). While I keep meaning to wear more aprons in the kitchen because (1) they’re cute, and (2) I’m a mess, the tiny floral pattern would be really  great on a sundress. By that, I mean I own an H&M sundress in almost this exact print.

Felicity’s Summer Dress

Again, the concept. Not the ruffled bonnet underneath the straw hat tied under the chin.

I almost ordered Felicity’s Summer Outfit for my First Communion, until I found the white satin sailor dress of my dreams (ahh, 1994). I still think it’s super-fly, though.

Felicity’s Riding Habit and Hat

What’s that? Military styling before there was even an America? Menswear inspiration two centuries before Annie Hall? Well done, Miss Merriman. I’m not in favor of a head-to-toe evergreen skirt suit, but the jaunty riding coat with jeans? Of course.

Josefina Montoya

By the time Josefina came out, I was in sixth grade and too old to get into a new American Girl character. But, I was young enough that I was still on the Pleasant Company mailing list — and the new doll did not go unnoticed. Trust me, she was big talk around Sacred Heart Cathedral School. A good gauge of how culturally sensitive you were as a kid is whether you pronounced her name like Josephine-a or Ho-say-fina. While I just missed out on Josefina, I could totally see buying this doll for my niece in a few years, because it has been a chore to find Hispanic dolls for her. Well, and also because I have five nephews (five!)  and can’t help but buy her girl stuff.

By the way, my research (read: poring over the American Girl website) reveals that there have been like a million new dolls introduced since this one (not counting the modern ones). If I don’t have kids, my goddaughter is going to be one spoiled lady.

Josefina’s school outfit

I was really into this peasant blouse and multicolored skirt I had in first grade, so I obviously would have worn this as a kid. But as an adult? Maybe at an outdoor concert in the summer? Yep. Definitely.

Josefina’s Christmas dress

I remember seeing the kid-sized version of this in the catalog and thinking “I want that dress!” This is probably because unlike most children’s Christmas dresses, this is not puffy, iridescent, nor red and green. Thus, it would make a pretty nice grown-up holiday dress, too. I love accessories as much as the next girl, but maybe skip the mantilla.

Josefina’s riding dress

Orange maxi-dress! So cute! I’d leave off the leather vest because it reads sort of costume-y, but if you’re really sassy maybe you could pull it off.  Maybe if you’re in a rodeo. Yes to the boots, though.

Josefina’s party dress and spencer jacket

With the professional cropped blazer, I could probably get away with wearing this to the office. You could also get away with this if you were a spritely nine-year old in 1824, but I digress. I feel like Josefina is really riding the line between 19th century southwestern child and late ‘90s urban tween here, but I’ll let it slide because – fun fact – according to the website, Montoya and I are both the youngest of four.

That’s all for now! Check back another day for our analysis of Kirsten, Addy, Samantha, and Molly. None of those new characters, though, because they are strangers to me.

Good Blog Alert: This post was inspired by a comment from Amelia at New Old Fashion. Stop on over there if you like vintage fashion, in particular, or pretty things, in general. We’re fans!

Occasional Confessional: The time I conned my parents into buying me an American Girl doll

When I was younger, I loved pulling out the random catalogs that we got in the mail. From Oriental Trading to Lillian Vernon, I flipped page through page picking out the items I wanted that I would never get. The best catalog by far was the American Girl catalog. Back in the day, there were only about 5 historically themed dolls, including Felicity, Kirsten, Addy, Samantha, and Molly. Then they added on girls like Josefina and Kit, and past my age of appropriate doll playing, the company soon introduced the likes of the ‘make your own doll to look like you’ and the ‘itty bitty babies’.

But me? I wanted Samantha. She was perfect. The year is 1904, and she would have her majestic chestnut trunk to pull Edwardian clothes out of and bring a gold pail lunchbox for school. And because I am a nerd, my favorite scene of hers was the school scene, complete with a classic desk and books bound together with a leather strap that were actually mini books/notebooks you could write in!

I risked my life for you.

Anyways, I was maybe eight or nine when I finally told my parents, “Look. I need this doll. Like NEEEED. I will do anything.” So they made a deal with me that if I took swimming lessons and actually learned to swim, they would buy Samantha for me. Deal.

I proceeded to take swimming lessons at the local YMCA, from a personal swimming teacher. It was going ok… up until I was forced to go into the deep end. I remember stopping right on the line where the shallow end starts to fade away into the darkness of the deep end, and I couldn’t move. I physically couldn’t move. I was too scared. My coach kept saying it was ok, but I didn’t step one foot or arm into the other side. I guess I was there for a long time, because my coach had to call my dad to come get me because I wouldn’t leave.

The rest is a blur, but I guess I finished taking those lessons. Not like they really helped, because I’m not Missy Franklin or anything. But I do remember the night I was presented with Samantha in a well-wrapped box. It was the best night. I did it. I got what I wanted. And still managed to not really learn how to swim. So I mean, win-win for all, right? … I wonder what Samantha’s up to now*. Miss that bitch.

*Apparently American Girl decided to discontinue Samantha in 2009, so I should really find her and try to make some money off her. I need to redeem myself from all those Beanie Babies I bought.

Things I Irrationally Wanted As A Child (But Didn’t Get)

  • A turtle. [I was 5, and my mother told me that they don’t sell turtles anymore. That was a 100% lie.]
  • A real, adult shopping cart. [There was an Ames shopping cart in a swamp near my church for a while, and I wanted it so badly. ]
  • A robot who would clean my room. [I know, the Roomba exists now… and I am too poor to afford it. But also, I think I speak for all of us when I say I don’t need a robot to vacuum, I need it to file my bank statements, match my socks, and put my clothes away.]
  • That skating rink thing from Lillian Vernon that you could freeze in your yard.

    Does this child know how lucky she is? Evidently not. Her mom is selling this on ebay.

  • Teddy Ruxpin. [Sources say they were less cool than you’d think in real life]
  • Porcelana. [This was a cream that vowed to fade your freckles, but the label said that it was for people over age 12. I actually did get some in high school, but all it did was give me a maroon rash like this for a day or so. I discontinued use immediately.]

    Skin bleach. I wanted skin bleach.

  • Glasses [Briefly, in second grade or so. I blame Molly McIntyre. Now that I have them I rarely remember I’m supposed to wear them.]
  • To marry Jonathan Taylor Thomas someday [I can’t be sure, but I don’t think that would exactly work out well.]

    Found this on my work computer (lunch break) and probably going to have an uncomfy convo with HR later.

  • One of those Barbie/Hot Wheels cars that you can drive [My nephew has one now and it goes at like 2 MPH. I think my parents realized that I could walk faster than those things went.]
  • A pogo stick [My dad always wanted a pogo stick as a child, but never got one. Thus, my siblings and I didn’t, either. I can’t wait to withhold things from my kids out of bitterness someday, too.]
  • A doll that looked like me [Because I didn’t yet think that those would probably come alive at night and try to take over your body – now I do. Also, I was essentially Felicity with Kirsten’s haircut, and I had both of those.]

    Horrific. But I do wonder if they’d agree to make a painfully honest one of my current self, including my under-eye circles and nose-scar.

  • A hanging porch swing in my bedroom.
  • A bedroom with a slant-ceilinged alcove so that I could write things at a cozy desk. [I wanted to be Jo March but am probably more of an Amy if I’m honest with myself.]

    C+S Fun Fact: This is how we write all of our blog posts.

  • An E-Z Bake Oven [My mom was more into having me help bake real cookies in a real stove.]
  • Muzzy [No, those children weren’t French, they were American! I wanted Muzzy so badly that I became a foreign language major in college. I was terribly disappointed when I learned that I was too old to walk around saying “je suis la jeune fille.” By the way, my grandmother’s first language was French, so I don’t know why I didn’t realize that she could teach me for free, instead of this sketchy BBC cartoon.]
  • For scientists to re-animate one of those Egyptian child mummies, like Jurassic Park or Encino man, so I could have an Ancient Egyptian friend. [I was a weird kid.]
  • Ballet or tap classes. [I used to pretend that my soft shoe Irish dance was ballet and hard shoe was tap. I wasn’t allowed to take tap because my older sister did at one point, and my mom thought the costumes were skanky – so I got to competitive dance in woolen frocks with ringlets and poodle socks.]

    Really hard to feel like a cool kid when you look like a living Madame Alexander doll.

  • To be somehow declared “the next Shirley Temple. ” [I went through a phase where I was like a very toned-down version of  this kid. Lots of local theater, commercial auditions, and retrospective embarrassment. Who would even be in charge of selecting the “next Shirley Temple?” Shirley herself? Or would it be a succession after she died? Because she’s still alive.]

    My 6th-7th grade headshots. While I preferred comedic roles, my physical type was more “creepy haunted girl” or “orphan from the past.” Also I looked like I was 8.

  • An enormous chair like Edith Ann. [Edith Ann was a 1970s Lily Tomlin character who people my age have never heard of. My parents stopped keeping up with pop culture when they had kids, and I’m the youngest of 4. Thus, although I was born in 1986, I grew up somewhere in the late ’70s. I mean, my GPS is named Ernestine because the voice sounds like this character.]

    Comedy ladies 101: Lily Tomlin in Laugh-In

  • The Disney Channel.  (They would have free trials every once in a while, and every day after school I would turn to channel 98 to see if it was time. It always cut out at the worst moment, like right in the middle of Fern Gully. I think that little Molly would be thrilled that her 26-year-old self watches Disney Channel like crazy. Thrilled or maybe confused.)

What ridiculous thing did you want as a kid? And if you got it later on, did it live up to your dreams? [I’m especially interested in hearing from whoever snagged JTT, you lucky lady or gentleman!]