December 4th, 2013
The End of An American Girl Era

For many of us, American Girl Dolls were staples of our childhood. Whether you preferred the spunky Revolutionary War-era Felicity Merriman, the brave Civil War-Era Addy Walker, the kind Swedish immigrant and Western settler Kirsten Larson, the lovely Victorian Samantha Parkington, or the totally dweeby World War II-era Molly McIntire, which dolls you chose said a lot about you. (No one wanted Molly, obviously.) In addition to the dolls, there were accompanying clothes, accessories, and book sets of historical fiction that told their stories at different times in American history. But recently, the American Girl corporation has decided to archive these historic dolls, in favor of more modern dolls that young girls can model after themselves. Since we’re the nostalgic type, The Gabbler decided to meet with the historic American Girl Dolls one last time, before they’re all packed up and banished into the darkness forever.

The Gabbler: Ladies, I am so honored to be sitting here with you today. This is like a reincarnation of my childhood! I was obsessed with American Girl Dolls – I totally owned you, Samantha!

Molly: I knew it. Another Samantha lover. Just what we need. It’s my glasses, isn’t it?

Samantha: Thank you ever so much for your support! Grandmary was so worried that I wouldn’t act like a lady during my interview, but I promised her that I’d remember my manners! My pinafore was unraveling on my way here–

Molly: Stop being such a suck up, Samantha. Ugh.

Kirsten: Will someone help me? I think one of my braids got stuck in the back of my chair.

Felicity: Do I have to sit here the whole time? I’m getting antsy. This is worse than when Mother makes me embroider.

Addy: White girl problems. I escaped slavery, and these chicks are worried about their ponytails and embroidery.

Kirsten: Actually, it’s a traditional Swedish braid, called a—

TG: –Okay, let’s all settle down here. I take it you five ladies don’t often spend time in one room together?

Felicity: No ma’am. Molly, how come you get to just sit there in your breeches? These stays are fucking killing me. I want to wear breeches!

Samantha: Oh my goodness! Mind your tongue, Lissie!

Kirsten: Seriously, can someone please help me with my braid? It’s really starting to hurt!

TG: Okay. Now I understand that there are a few other “historical dolls” that were added by American Girl later – Josefina, Kaya, Caroline, Cécile, Rebecca, Kit, etc. – but I didn’t invite them because I wanted the original group.  I wanted to talk to the five of you about what happened. So let’s get right into it. Why have you been archived?

Samantha: (Bursts into tears.) I’ve never felt so wretched in all my life!

Addy: I think it’s because people don’t care about history anymore. I blame it on Facebook. Narcissism is spreading, and people are only interested in seeing their story reflected in the world, instead of other people’s stories. Hence, girls prefer dolls that look exactly like them, instead of other dolls with real stories.

 Samantha: Pardon me for saying so, but I think that Facebook is kind of over.

Felicity: I did just get Instagram, though, and I can’t stop snapping pics of me and Penny, my horse. I named her that because she’s the EXACT same color as a bright—

Addy: — Copper penny. Yeah, yeah. We know.

Molly: Are they archiving us because of a war? We barely had anything fun during the war, you know. Is World War III finally happening? I can help darn socks for the soldiers!

TG: Well, there are kind of a few wars going on at the moment. But we don’t really like to officially call them “wars” anymore. We just sort of let our drones strategically kill people, and then deny it.

Molly: Oh, boy. We’re going to need a lot of socks, huh?

Felicity: Don’t make me embroider! I just want to spend time with Penny again! Can I borrow your pen? Is there any tea? Do you have sugar cubes I can bring back for Penny?

Molly: Maybe after the war ends, they’ll be able to afford to sell us again! By the way, are there turnips in this salad? I really hate turnips, in case you haven’t read Meet Molly, the first book about me?

Samantha: Now, now. Don’t be difficult, Molly. This is why people don’t like you.

Kirsten: I’m going to be stuck here forever, aren’t I? Just when I thought I was getting out of those dark boxes in that creepy basement, my braid gets stuck in a chair. Typical. This is worse than when Lars was born and I got stuck with all the chores for months.

Addy: Isn’t that your little brother? Seriously, girl, my brother Sam was SOLD. Get some goddamn perspective.

Samantha: But selling well is a good thing, right? In my heyday, I sold extremely well. I think it’s because of my pretty Victorian dresses and long, silky hair – don’t forget to use a wire hair brush with me! 

Molly: I think she means sold as in slavery, you miserable Victorian priss.

Samantha: Oh. Well, I once befriended a maid!

Addy: Did you really!? Would you like a medal, or a monument?

Samantha: Oh, that’s really not necessary! Perhaps just a small medallion? 

TG: Girls. Let’s just settle down. So what exactly do they mean by “archiving” you?

Kirsten: They’re discontinuing us, like we’re Life Magazine, or print newspapers.

Addy: Like floppy disks.

Felicity: Like the copper penny!

TG: Well, let’s look on the bright side. This could be a chance to start fresh! To do something totally different. What’s your plan for the future?

Addy: I’m going to be the first black, female president!

TG: I love it! Samantha?

Samantha: I think I might try out for Barbie or something. Everyone always tells me I’m the prettiest American Girl!

Molly: I hate you, Samantha. When I take off my glasses, I LOOK EXACTLY LIKE YOU.

TG: Well, let’s not get ahead of ourselves, Molly. What about being a scientist or something?

Molly: I hate science. Almost as much as I hate turnips.

Felicity: I’m going to be a horse!

TG: That’s not really an option, Felicity. And can you stop galloping around the set? I think you may have undiagnosed ADHD.

Addy: That would explain a lot.

TG: Well girls, is there anything you’d like to say to real life American girls, now that they won’t be able to have access to the historical American Girl Dolls to teach them about history, hardships, and growing up?

Samantha: I’d just like to say, thank you so much for your support for all these years. Please keep me in your hearts always. And please don’t hesitate to buy me, along with all of my accessories, used on Ebay. I have a feeling that I’m going to be very valuable in a few years.

Molly: I’ll build off of that: thanks a lot, assholes. I’m already self-conscious enough with my stick-straight hair and glasses. This isn’t helping my self-esteem.

Addy: I’d like to say that if you really don’t want us anymore, at least try to understand that Bratz Dolls aren’t the solution – they’re the problem. Also, try to read once in a while, Okay? 

Kirsten: This is worse than the time my house burned down, as told in the ever popular book, Changes for Kirsten.

Felicity: I still get to keep Penny when I’m archived, right?


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