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