While you dwell within it,
You are ever happy then.
Mystic, merry Toyland!
Once you pass its borders,
You can ne’er return again.
-- Babes in Toyland, 1903
Certainly I believe it’s true that Toyland is not the same once we grow up. The wonder, the delight, the joy in a new toy just isn’t the same from an adult perspective. The imagination just doesn’t seem to spark the same way as it does for a child. Even so, I think we adults can visit Toyland, and maybe we should. This is my way of announcing my Christmas gift – “American Girl Molly.”
In 2010 I bought a used and naked American Girl doll, Kit Kittredge, the Depression-Era historical doll. Family members who knew that I was bidding on dolls suggested that I should have a new doll and exactly what I wanted. I didn’t mind that the doll was gently loved and naked. I wanted a doll that would be a model for my sewing creations and didn’t care about the collector value because I think that’s mostly a farce anyway. But I did mind that the seller apparently sold the doll before her daughter was ready. When the seller revealed this, I no longer wanted the doll and offered to relinquish the sale, but to the mother / seller, honoring the sale was more important than her daughter’s feelings. In the end, I didn’t feel good about the purchase.
So, when Mike suggested that he would like to give me a brand new American Girl doll for Christmas, I took him up on it and suggested “Molly,” the 1940’s historical doll. And that’s what I found under the tree – a brand new doll from the American Girl store. Of course, I’m delighted with her but not as a little girl would be. To me, she represents participation in a popular doll fad and a reminder of childhood delights.
One thing I noticed immediately about my new doll – no “new doll smell.” Back in my day, a brand new doll had an aroma just as new cars have “new car smell.” I suppose it was the fresh plastic. Eventually the new smell would wear off, as it were, and the doll was no longer new. Well, this Molly doesn’t have that aroma. Perhaps she’s already lost the aroma by sitting on a shelf someplace. Perhaps she never had it. But she’s clean and she’s mine.
P.S. The American Girl Company provides a contrived history for its historical dolls. I disagree with some of that, but evidently it works for them. I re-named my Depression-era doll, "Shirley Anne, American Farm Girl." Will I rename Molly? I'm not sure. KW