Chinese Dolls and Crazy Pills

Anna was waving the American Girl gift card in the air and losing her mind:  I WANT TO GET MEGAN’S EARS PIERCED!!!!  WILL YOU PLEASEPLEASEPLEASE TAKE ME TO THE AMERICAN GIRL STORE?????

[Reaction inside]:

3Usiw - Imgur

[Reaction outside]:  Of course – that’s a fabulous idea!  

I called American Girl to get the details.  You know the deal:  if you don’t call, you should have made a reservation in 1982.  If you do call ahead, it’s first come first serve.  Note:  there is no phone number listed for any American Girl store in a specific city.  It’s like calling the Mafia.  You can reach someone at the place, by the deal, who knows things about certain locations.

No reservations required – Anna, her bestie and I got in the car and headed for North Point Mall in Alpharetta, GA.  It took 25 minutes to get there and 25 more to find it because it’s in a SEA of retail cancer.  Having a mall the size of Kansas isn’t enough; it’s surrounded by North Point Commons, which holds another 9,386 stores and restaurants.  The store’s address is on North Point Circle, but it becomes North Point Drive in some sections, and shouldn’t be confused with North Point Parkway, which they both bleed into.  I did 37 u-turns, most of them illegal, and wanted to stab myself in the face before I finally laid eyes on the giant red and pink store.


We parked as close as possible – Louisiana – and began our trek to pay homage to the great American Girl (that’s made in China). People inside were dressed like they were attending a Holiday Ball:  velvet dresses, patent leather shoes and beauty-pageant-style hair. Conversely, I looked like a hammered bag of shit, like I do every year after crossing the yuletide finish line. I’m professionally and personally spent by the time Santa finally hauls his fat ass into our house to spread the joy of Christmas.  My face and clothes mirror this exhaustion.  This year so did the personal hygiene of the two children with me.  None of us had bathed or brushed our hair since the 24th, we were wearing holey jeans and yesterday’s t-shirts.  To complete our refugee look, we all had runny noses and wet coughs.

We fought our way through high-strung mothers and grabby children so I could hear myself ask this question out loud, “excuse me, where do we go to have the dolls’ ears pierced please?”

We were directed here:

salon sign

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We got in line to “check-in” our dolls here:

check in

Naturally we ended up behind two little girls you can only expect to behave like complete ASSHOLES because they’re wearing sequined berets and have suffered through hot rollers and enough hairspray to make them human fire hazards.


Meanwhile, an assembly line of diligent employees tends to the spa needs of dolls :

assembly line

Here’s the list of services:


Here are the ONE HUNDRED possible hairstyles:


Here is my reaction to all of the above:


The gift card mysteriously didn’t work, so I politely paid the $48 it costs to have professionals do what I did with a safety pin for free when I was a kid.  The salon lady disappeared behind closed doors to disfigure the dolls with staple guns.  Anna and her friend couldn’t have been more thrilled to dump the dolls and run.  All children begin to resemble tiny sharks in bloody water after five minutes in this store.  I waited at the counter and watched grown women play with dolls for money.

Ph6Ei - Imgur

In the seven minutes it took to have the dolls’ ears pierced, the girls filled their arms with approximately $384 worth of stuff. I reminded them they had $50 to work with and encouraged them to use their math skills to decide which items they wanted to put back.  That’s when Addison’s mom, with her perfectly coiffed hair and Marc Jacobs bag (I know the child’s name because her mother said it 19 times trying to keep her under control), looked at me with pity. Apparently $50 for doll earrings is a sad state of affairs – my poor neglected kids.  Thankfully this happened after my showroom showdown epiphany.  I smiled at her warmly and wondered how old Addison would be the first time she needs bail money.

The gift card debacle continued at the second register. I paid 52 more dollars so we could move on to the American Girl Bistro for a snack. The hostess, in a tone that should truly be reserved for someone working at Spago on Oscar night, asked if our dolls had a reservation.


She offered to put our name on a list.  Please note how busy they weren’t:


I asked the girls if they wanted to wait and they shouted “McDonald’s!” in unison.  As we headed for the door Anna whispered to me, “the food sucks here anyway.” I shut down the use of “suck,” but was proud of her for not buying into the bistro hype. We got back on the highway after 13 more u-turns and then ate nasty burgers in the car.  The sun had set and we had six more miles to go when the girls started chanting, “I really gotta pee – I really gotta poop! I really gotta pee – I really gotta poop!”  I was too tired to ask them to be quiet.  I just kept driving and hoped they didn’t shit in my car.

Somehow in the 35 minutes it took us to get home this…


Morphed into this…


Que en el mundo?

The girls cleaned up the wreckage and ran upstairs to play with their dolls.  I collapsed on the couch and thought:  I spent the afternoon, and $100, in a hair salon for DOLLS. That’s the dumbest shit in the history of EVER.

What’s the dumbest thing you’ve spent money on?


  1. Thank you for making me so happy that I have a son. Legos rule! (except when you step on them in bare feet).

  2. What absolute INSANITY! And I don’t just mean the girls in sequined berets. I laughed all the way through this. And cried for you in the appropriate spots, Molly.

  3. That store and its dolls scare me. And that was before I knew about all this other shit you outlined. Hair salon? Spa Services? A Bistro?? What. The. Fuck???
    When do the girls outgrow this madness?


  4. I sent Bitty Baby-part if the American Girl Family-to the hospital after Megan drew on her face. Not sure how much that cost me, but we made a Welcome Home sign when she arrived in the mail-hospital gown and all! “The thangs you do for ya kids!”

    • Okay I don’t know how I never heard this story but I’m DYING. Now THAT is more amazing than hair salons and bistros. I’m terrified. Please don’t tell Anna this story. She’ll want laser removal services for the tattoos she’s done on two of her dolls…

  5. You spent the money on your daughter for childhood memories – maybe if you think it this way it will feel less stupid.

    • That’s a good point. Also, AG does contribute to K.I.D.S., Save the Children, Americans for the Arts, and Children’s Hospital Association, which makes me feel better. They also have a Shine On Now program that encourages girls to give back to their communities. But bistros and hair salons for dolls are a little overboard haha.

      • To be brutally honest – for girls below teenager age hair salons are overboard, too, not only for their dolls. I think girls who play with dolls do not need to behave like adults. But hey, I do not have a child, what do I know?

      • I agree with you. We grow up fast enough – no need to rush things…

  6. This made me laugh!!! Out loud!!! Thanks!!! So thankful for boys!!!

    • That’s what I’m here for! My crazy will make you grateful for your not-crazy : )

    • I am thankful for tomboys. Married a tomboy, who bore me a tomboy, and then bore our Sweet Boy Force of Nature. Why do I say “Force of Nature”? Because: he put slashes in our yard shed with a 3 lb. axe, and has nearly destroyed his bedroom door with his feet. But he’ll still love you to death.

  7. You are hilarious! Also, you are a much better mom than me. My daughter really wanted an American Girl doll when she was Anna’s age, but I didn’t have a 401K that I could cash out in order to purchase one for her, so I refused. I’ve probably scarred her for life. Gaelin is 20 now, and I don’t think they even had the American Girl hair salon, or the American Girl Bistro when she was 10.

    P.S.That shit is scary! I’ve had some crappy jobs, but working as a cosmetologist for inanimate objects hasn’t been one of them. Oh well, I guess I still have time.

    • Oh it’s totally absurd. If we collected all the American Girl stuff on our street alone we could feed a third world nation indefinitely. I wish I hadn’t typed that. Now I feel like shit. Sigh. But I’m glad you got a laugh at this nonsense. America is so weird. American Girl is even weirder. Is that a word?

  8. A hair salon for dolls? I’m definitely too much of a cheapskate for that. I’ve never spent $100 on myself, never mind a doll.

  9. This post has made 2013 for me. That is all.

    • Hooray! Thanks a million!!!

      • Seriously though Molly – if I may call you that? I know it’s actually your name but this is my first time commenting so it feels a little strange – I loved it. All of it.

        I just hope that (or a similar) chain never makes it across the pond…

        PS – I remember thinking this when I first came across your blog and read your ‘about’ page and having just re-visited it, I stand by my initial “damn she’s hot” assessment.

        The words were pretty awesome too I must add!

      • Of course you can call me Molly and I hope you remain safe from that chain also haha. Thanks for the compliment and for reading my foolishness : )

  10. Ugh. Dreading American girl. Dreading. Hilarious post!

  11. Oh Molly, this is both hilarious and sad at the same time, dear. You’re a great mom for sure, no matter how stupid we all know this to be, right now Anna loves it so that’s all that matters. You tell a story wonderfully. I’m so glad Ace could give two shits about this. We were actually at a mall with an American Girl store last week and Ace says, “You know those dolls are like $100, dad?” My butthole puckered but then she said, “that’s stupid” instead of “I’d like one some day.” Wheeew!

  12. Oh my gosh, okay I had no idea such a thing existed– and this is so weird and frightening. I give up on motherhood now. Years before actual conception. You are clearly a rockstar mom for even darkening the doors of such a place! And I am 1000X with you on the whole bail money comment!

  13. So glad I have two boys, I guess. I couldn’t cope with that kind of thing. I won’t spend money for makeup or jewelry for myself, let alone for my children’s dolls. I did buy a very overpriced, lousy meal at the Rainforest Cafe, so my boys could be scared of the moving animals, though, so there’s that. And I bought portraits of them screaming, terrified, on Santa’s lap after waiting two hours for the privilege. And a thousand other wasteful things, too…

  14. I am ready for Vicodin after that. LOL

  15. I now have to begin googling to see if there is a Canadian version of this. Amazing.
    That may or may not beat the $50.00 I spent on plumping lip gloss the day after I quit my job with nothing to fall back on.

    • Hilarious! I’m ashamed to say I’ve bought that lip gloss too. It burned like hell and then gave me dry and cracked lips two days later. Sigh. Will we ever learn???

  16. christymimi says:

    Thank you for making me laugh out loud . A LOT.

  17. christymimi says:

    Thank you for making me laugh out loud. A LOT. And thanks for Nathan Fillion.

  18. I paid for a mediocre blowout in an unairconditioned Venice Beach hair salon on an usually hot LA day.

    I’m sure I have spent more on worse but I have the kind of brain that wipes out the I-was-dumb memories.

  19. Oh Lord! Between this and Build-A-Bear I am okay not having kids yet. Thanks for the laughs and so sorry your spent $100 at the doll spa. SMH

    • I thought Build-a-Bear was a nightmare, but at least those only cost $40. This American Girl stuff is cray zee. AND crazy expensive. Enjoy your cash while you have it – kids take ALL OF IT haha

  20. My wife and I once wandered the streets of Las Vegas for four hours looking for these “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” sweaters that we had seen at some point the previous day. They were for our twin sons. We started at Mandalay. Spoiler alert: They turned out to be on Fremont Street. That’s Old Las Vegas, homes!

    • Those sweaters sound amazing – please tell me you a pic! I haven’t been to Vegas since I spent that summer with drag queens when I was 14. No wait – I was there one time in ’98 also when I was moving to CA from SC to escape an idiot stalker guy. I have so many charming memories of Vegas…Sigh.

      • We don’t have many pics of our walking around times, because walking around. I think I have a post with nighttime and interior pics of all the coolest spots on the strip. We got on the overhead screen on Fremont Street, and got interviewed by a radio station. I’m world famous! In my world!

  21. This hilarious post made me so happy, that all painful memories — including my spending money on dumb things — left my brain. So thank you for all that.

    • Hooray! I’d like to forget all the dumb things I’ve spent money on, too. I would have only three memories left though, so I guess I’ll hang on to all of them.

  22. I put myself through this exact same misery. $100 dolls that were quickly discarded. American Girl is dumb, crass consumerism that’s masquerading as an innocent childhood rite of passage. It’s all the wrong lessons.

    But I’m not so smart, either. I walked into a casino once, bellied-up to a craps table, took the dice in my hand…and that’s as far as I’m going to go with that story. It didn’t end well.

    • Amen. They call it “enchanting play” on the website but seriously, doll hair salons are beyond dumb and wasteful. I’m glad she had fun, but it’s totally obnoxious. I’ll be glad when this stage is over…Meanwhile, you’re not getting off the hook that easy – we want details about the craps table saga!

  23. This. Is. Amazeballs. My parents were lucky that we didn’t have a store when I was growing up. Everything had to be ordered from a catalog. She could have been lying though. That’s what I would have done.

  24. Don’t worry, I was a stupid mom, too (well, I still am). We took my daughter’s chinese made American Girl doll to Manhattan with us one spring break. Luckily we could walk to the AG place and didn’t have to torture ourselves with illegal u-turns. She got her hair done and the “four” of us ate at the cafe. I agree with Anna, the food did suck! 🙂

  25. Holy hammered bag of shit, did this make me laugh! My husband asked me what was wrong because I was simulatenously crying and laughing. Thank you for this and I’m also, so so sorry you had to go through that.

  26. Follow you, follow me?
    I’m from Brazil, I loved your blog

  27. Loved your post. This summer I blogged about our trip to the American Girl warehouse sale and that was a real eye-opener. People brought Uhaul trucks!

  28. Love it and I snorted out loud. My daughter asked for AAGD one week before Christmas. I tracked down the “friend” who had corrupted my daughter, cornered the Mom in the school parking lot and told her she was dead to me and then spit on her shoes while brushing my hands against each other. (I then laughed it off and said “Just kidding! Did you get your hair done?! Super cute!!” but I think she knew I was serious about the doll crap.) I need my kids to love those dolls never. I’m hoping to buy myself a year with the cousins’ cast-offs and hand-me-downs. Thanks for inspiring. Good to know cool moms get their dolls pierced, too. Do they do nose rings? 😉

  29. Almost every purchase I make competes for stupidest one ever.

    But reading this and seeing the American Doll set up and prices, I realize…I’m in the wrong line of work.

  30. Reblogueó esto en luisa freyre propone.

  31. The dumbest thing I spent money on? Probably both marriages…

  32. I don’t even know where to start with this one. There is a doll salon?! And people get dressed up to go to the doll salon?! And it’s a legit job that probably pays more than what I get paid to save the world to style said doll’s hair?! Why can’t the dolls wear clip-ons just like every other little girl (AKA PinotNinja) whose parents were too cheap to pay the $15 to have her ears pierced at the Piercing Pagoda?

    You are a damn good mom for soldiering through this experience with just the right amount of disdain.

    Oh god lord — just when I think I’ve heard everything shocking about having kids, another gem crosses my path. This might be more traumatic than the whole pooping on the table thing…

  33. Ok, this is my first visit to your site, found you via the awesome Aussa…and I was laughing out loud at several posts, but this one forced me to comment. My hub and I escaped the suburbs surrounding North Point mall about 6 years ago and moved to the mountains. We hadn’t been to North Point in as many years, but in a moment of insanity, went there in December. A bit of background: my first marriage, his second. He has two grown sons, and now we have FOUR granddaughters from 8 months to 6 years. lol

    Anyway, back to the mall, in December, before the big day…we had heard of AG before, but had no clue as to the cost, much less, the HYPE that is the AG store/salon/bistro! We seriously gaped, open-mouthed, at the moms and girls in their pageant-worthy glitter, spending bags of money on plastic dolls!

    Fast-forward to Christmas day, at #1 son’s house…the other Grandmother (hubs ex) shows up with 3 identical rectangular boxes. Yup, you guessed it: AG dolls for the 3 oldest. And would you believe those 3 dolls ended up on the floor, in a pile of discarded wrapping paper, along with many more less “desirable” gifts. Ugh, just Ugh.

    Sorry for yammering on…so glad you can laugh at your own experience with this AG phenomenon. America is truly becoming a scarier and scarier place. Looking forward to reading more of your funny stuff! Lynne

    • Oh wow – it’s such a small (and sometimes absurd) world! Thank you for chiming in about your grandchildren and their AG Christmas. America is getting stranger by the second. We should probably all start drinking more. Or less. Or something. I’m so glad you wandered over through Aussa – she’s super awesome. I can already tell you are too – nice to meet you Lynne : ). Muah!

      • Absurd, indeed! There are certainly going to be a lot of suburban Atlanta elements we can share. Yes on the drinking more…ha! I am so glad to meet you too, Molly! XXOOXX

        What an awesome blogosphere we have here!

  34. Remember the days when we used to brush our own doll’s hair – and sometimes give them a cute haircut (or, in my case, my dolls ended up looking like they were ready to join the Marines). When we wanted to eat with our dolls, we just had tea parties with whatever food we could scavenge/steal from the kitchen.

    I never had to deal with American Girl dolls — my girls were always more interested in Barbie & Ken dolls – they found boobies and boyfriends much more glamorous. I’m not sure what that says about my parenting.

  35. Oh my new Gemini friend…This was… wow. WOW.. the photo .. of the women doing the doll hair… and the looks of concentration on their faces!!

    You are a much braver soul than I, but then again I have boys, and I am a boy, and so I’ll shut up now and not talk about the $200 afternoon spent playing arcade games, bumper cars and laser tag – and what percentage of that money was spent on my own play.

    Awesome to discover you! Loving what I’ve read so far 🙂

  36. I am new to this site and came across your blog and I have read 4 posts already. You write well and have good timing with your humor and you keep me laughing throughout. I look forward to reading the rest of your posts and the posts to come. Kudos.

  37. Reblogged this on rcropper and commented:
    Haven’t read anything quite this funny in awhile.

  38. My daughter Princess is full-on tomboy, but she had a few dolls she adored. The only doll that would even come close to an “American Girl” was an “Our Generation” doll we got one Christmas:
    Princess likes Sandie very much
    She decided Sandie was made to terrorize her brother’s dolls… erm… “action figures”. I seem to remember she loved her ragdoll “Pollyanna” more, however.

    I worked for Toys ‘R Us shortly before Princess was born, and I never liked much how the toys were specifically gender-segregated. I mean, honest, the boys’ section should have been relabeled “Adult Collectors’ Zone” and the girl’s section “Everything Else”. I remember a childhood that wasn’t so strictly segregated and my kids don’t seem to care, either. Moreover, they have fun with dirt, cardboard boxes, and all sorts of things way cheaper than this.


  1. […] “If you want to be in my family you have to be a drug smuggler, pimp or circus performer. That’s why I lead a quiet life and work with my hands.” –Molly @ Mollytopia […]

  2. […] real life American Girl nightmare.  Well now Anna is almost as terrified of the dolls as I was the day we went to the salon for DOLLS.  Correspondingly, for the last two months all the AG dolls and paraphernalia have been stored in […]

  3. […] The next morning (read:  three hours later), she woke up and beamed with joy over her $5.  Clearly that’s why we do all this ridiculous stuff, but I will forever maintain that the Tooth Fairy is the dumbest shit in the history of EVER.  Possibly with the exception of paying to have dolls’ ears pierced. […]

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