She was made in China, but has an All-American heritage.
Her name is McKenna, and she is the American Girl Doll of the Year for 2012.
After years of rifling through the American Girl catalogs determined not to get sucked in by the hype and exorbitant price tags, we finally caved and let grandma give the gift that every eight year-old little girl in America dreams of.
In fact, we were so drawn in by her charm, beauty, mad gymnastics skills and over-the-top accessories, that we decided to take her on a vacation of her own, now dubbed as the Dollcation to the Windy City.
Chicago is home to an American Girl Place which is the mecca of all things American Girl.
On a stroll through Chicago’s Michigan Avenue shopping district, bright red bags with the American Girl logo are spotted being carried by everyone from tween tourists to business men adorned in pin stripes.
They get prime seating at all the best restaurants.
We even spotted a doll life-guarding on the beach in front of Navy Pier.
A lady working the make-up counter at Bloomingdale’s offered me a much-needed free makeover, but no time for human-pampering, we were late for afternoon Tea with McKenna.
What is so special about these dolls that hypnotizes reasonably frugal individuals into spending money like they are a Rockefeller?
Take one step into the American Girl Place and you’ll know why.
The catalog comes to life as each doll is showcased with its complete set of accessories and matching clothes for the doll’s human counter-part.
The dolls can get their ears pierced, be pampered at the salon and have their hair done.
Better invest in some Rustoleum Life-guard McKenna!
The memories…the dollars…the divorce papers…
Luckily, I freed myself from the Julie vortex.
After walking the streets of Chicago in the humidity all day, our hair looked like we stuck our fingers in a light socket.
Yet, we gladly allowed McKenna to get the royal treatment at the salon.
The dolls are even the guest of honor at afternoon Tea with their own special chair, cheery mug and place setting.
McKenna ordered an Ameritini when she sat down. Then, I got really confused and didn’t know if the doll was supposed to be a child or an adult.
However, one thing’s for sure, McKenna was not the only one who was exhausted at the end of the day.
Maybe girls really can’t ever give up playing with dolls.
And just maybe, after opening up my empty wallet, McKenna looked a little bit like the Bride of Chucky…
Just a little bit.
© 2012 Terri Spilman