Et tu, American Girl????

2020…. I know, right? 

I had high hopes for clearing the insane number of posts in my drafts folder and getting some new posts up once both Gingers were back at school.

Bahahahahahahhahahahahahaha. (Gasp) HaHAHAHahahahahahahahahahahah

Please pardon the hysterical laughter. 

We got five days into the school year, then I got an urgent email from Big Ginger’s school. There was a confirmed case of COVID in his bubble at school so all of the students in the bubble had to go home immediately and self-isolate for the next fourteen days. His school has been amazing, and I’m extremely grateful to have a schedule that was flexible enough to accommodate this change of plans. Yes, the writing I wanted to do got punted back into the holding pattern it’s been living in, but it wasn’t a logistical nightmare/crisis like it is for so many others.

I figured I would just wait and post in a week or so once this surprise bout of home learning was over. (Surprise home learning is the worst kind of home learning.). Keeping things as easy as possible is the name of the game and has gotten me as far September in the year of WTF that is 2020.

Then- I saw this….. the new American Girl from the historic collection.

Something about that Walkman looks familiar…

Let me preface what I’m about to say with a reminder I turned forty shortly before a pandemic started. My three year old asks me daily if I know that my hair is turning white? Often followed with, “But why is your hair turnin’ white?”

“Because 2020” is apparently not an appropriate answer to give a preschooler. I’m just proud my reply hasn’t been “effing 2020”. (Before you ask- Of course I’m expecting the invite to the virtual “Mom of the Year” award ceremony – I’m honestly shocked I haven’t received it yet.)

All of this to say, I may have already been slightly on edge (by which I mean approaching defcon head-shaving on the midlife crisis meter) already last week.

Then- American Girl decided to inform me I’m historic. They unleashed a doll who had the exact same Care Bears shirt I had as a little kid. I feel personally attacked by that side ponytail as well.

I loved American Girls when I was little. I got Kirsten for one birthday. I had a matching dress and matching loopy braid hair. Yes, there’s photographic evidence of this, and no, I will not be sharing it. The internet is forever, after all.

For reference, this is what I considered historic…

Where was I…… Oh, yes, I adored the dolls and the books that told their stories from extremely long ago. Like, far in the past- I mean, Felicity and Kirsten didn’t have indoor plumbing. Samantha was a maybe on that front. I loved imagining crossing the ocean in a boat to a new home, and for some reason still remember that BYOS (bring your own spoon) was a huge part of pioneer culture, as evidenced by Kirsten’s little wooden spoon in her apron. All of these girls in the stories were part of ancient history

The dolls had clothes drastically different to what I wore (stirrup pants, slouchy socks, oversized sweatshirt, with a ponytail firmly anchored by a scrunchy), and lived a shoulder pad-free life drastically different from my radical, tubular, eighties life. I loved imagining what it would be like tying on a sun bonnet to do my pioneer chores like Kirsten or trying to be a proper young lady in the early 1900s like Samantha. I tore through the books as fast as I could get my hands on them, and am certain this was the foundation of my love of history and historical fiction. But they were all definitely firmly set in some version of “the olden days.”

I mean, even Molly, the doll with the story chronologically closest to me, was still a solid FORTY YEARS ago when I was playing with these dolls as a child. She lived during World War Two, coped with her dad being overseas for the war, and rationing. The four decades between my be-scrunchied self and a little girl who had to worry about rationing might as well have been millennia. Forty years was forever as far as I was concerned.

Oh. Wait.

2020 minus 1980 equals…..

If anyone needs me I’ll be laying down. Then I’ll be tending to my grey hair which I’m now calling natural 2020 highlights, thankyouverymuch.