Never Say Never: An American Girl tale

Conley on the pink carpet with a borrowed American Doll in hand.
Conley on the pink carpet with a borrowed American Doll in hand.

My grandfather always told me that there were no sure bets in life and because of this I should never say never. Considering he was the town bookie I figured that he knew what he was talking about. Therefore, throughout my life I’ve tried to avoid making dogmatic proclamations about things that I will never do. Of course, from time to time I still do make definitive announcements. During my pregnancy, back when I knew everything about parenting, I once proudly declared that the backseat of my car would NEVER be grossly littered with Cheerios and Goldfish.

Although, I know that there is no such thing as a sure bet and I’ve been made to gnaw on some of my pre-parenting declarations, up to a few days ago I would have still told you that it was an absolute sure bet that I would NEVER be at an American Girl Fashion Show. Not even if it meant that I got to go to do something I love - go to the Ritz and have chocolate mousse in an edible chocolate cup.

Dolls just aren’t my thing. They never have been. It’s not that I find anything wrong with them, they have just never interested me. When I found out that I was having a girl, a well-meaning relative said that my daughter would absolutely need an American Girl doll because all little girls needed an American Girl doll (please note that she did not offer to buy said American Girl doll). I was a little panic stricken because not only had I not purchased my daughter something that she absolutely needed, but the only American Girl that I knew of was the one that Tom Petty sings about. So, I did what any hormonal, first-time mom-to-be would do. I Googled that sh-…stuff. And, then I spent the last six years taking Special Ops-like measures to assure that my daughter never heard of American Girl.

That all changed after a text from Mandy Ravin, the MomsCharlotte editor and a person I considered a friend until she sent me a very hateful series of text. I’ve cleaned them up a little, but this will give you the gist:

Mandy: Could you cover the American Girl Fashion Show?

Me: Umm, yes! I love Tom Petty.

Mandy: It’s a little early to be drinking don’t you think? It’s for MomsCharlotte. So, think a little more expensive dolls and a little less make it last all night.

Me: [Sad face emoji]

Mandy:Come on. It’ll be fun. You and Conley can make a day of it. It’s at the Ritz and it benefits the Jeff Gordon Children’s Foundation Promise Circle.

Me: Yeah, but I’ve spent six years making sure that Conley doesn’t know of their existence…and, so far I’ve succeeded. This will make Operation: No American Girl blow up in my face.

Mandy: It’s for a good cause.

Me: Why do you have to do this to me?

Mandy: They’ll probably have chocolate mousse in edible chocolate cups.

Me: Ok. I’ll go.

Me:Wait! Conley doesn’t haven’t an American Girl. I can’t let her be the only one without one. And, I’m not going to buy one.

Mandy:You can borrow one of ours.

Me: [Crying emoji]

Conley and I went. Of course, it was a lovely event. My daughter got to walk the pink carpet and give her autograph. She got to sugar load on cookies with sprinkles and warm cinnamon buns. She was served chocolate milk by impeccable servers dressed in crisp black uniforms. We talked with our table mates. The girls ranging in age from six to 12 were all very excited about attending.

One of our young table mates, Jordan Cline, said that what she liked best was, “The models showed a lot about history.” She was right, the models and their doll counterparts were dressed in fashions from different eras and the commentators, Karsyn Allege and Molly Green, did a deft job of providing information about the various time periods.

Mandy was right, we did have a great time. The show was incredibly well done and it supported a worthwhile cause. Now, I have not rushed out and purchased my daughter one of these dolls, but never say never.