Wednesday, February 28, 2007

The girls will need jobs to pay for their addiction.

The new American Girl catalog came in the mail yesterday. If you are related to, or at least acquainted with, girls between the ages of six and ten, you understand what this means. A new AG catalog is essentially porn for pre-teen girls. My girls practically salivate when they see it on the kitchen table when they come in from school. I have actually found AG catalogs stashed in hiding places in their bedrooms. The AG catalog is the embodiment of all their fantasies.

Looking through a new AG catalog takes time. A LOT of time. The girls usually take turns -- a system they've honed over time. One girl gets to look first, while the other is allowed to look over her shoulder, but not touch or make any notes on the pages. Once the first one is done, they change places. It can take a solid 45 minutes for each girl to go through the catalog. Each page must be carefully examined. Captions read, photos studied. There's a lot to see and so much to learn. Prices are discussed, often with indignation at how greedy the AG company must be to charge so much money. Commentary must be made over how cute a new doll outfit is or how fun a certain accessory looks.

Elegant reads with a pen at the ready, in order to mark anything that catches her eye. Everything catches her eye. She designates each item she likes with a big ink "E" next to it. There are a lot of Es on each page, including items that aren't even for sale, such as a dog that's just a prop in one scene or a bike a girl is riding. Graceful, on the other hand, tends to be more discerning. She only considers items that go with her doll Felicity or that would go with her modern doll. She understands she cannot have everything, so she marks only those items she truly likes and hopes that she'll be rewarded for her efforts.

Elegant was carefully perusing the newest catalog yesterday, pen in hand. Graceful was standing beside her, offering almost non-stop commentary. Griping about the prices. Telling Elegant that thus and such was too expensive or that it didn't go with her doll. Elegant worked hard to ignore the background chatter, but it was pretty difficult. Finally, she looked up from her reading and said calmly, but firmly, "Graceful, thanks for all this information, but I can only concentrate if you are out of this room."

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