This Christmas season, inflationary pressures have forced dads like me to have difficult conversations with their offspring. A recent comment from my daughter asserting that one could buy almost anything for a hundred dollars prompted an overdue conversation about the value of money. Putting on my wise old dad hat, I informed her that there are actually a lot of things you can’t buy for a hundred dollars. She promptly came back at me with the American Girl Doll. At this suggestion, I confidently assured her that a hundred dollars could easily cover the cost of a silly little doll, only to start hyperventilating when I discovered that American Girl Dolls start at around $119 retail.
Immediately I pivoted to other options, hoping to get her interested in something a little less expensive. “Hey, how about we check out some of these other dolls?” I suggested, frantically scrolling as American Girl Doll prices escalated to levels rivaling the price of an ounce of gold. After a while, I came across some more reasonably priced knockoffs that, while cheaper, were also a bit strange and disconcerting. I quickly moved past the Downtown Lisa doll, trying to momentarily divert my daughter’s attention until we found something a little more wholesome.
Next we stumbled upon Patriot Girl Doll. “Look at this one, sweetie. Patriot Girl comes with a cute red, white and blue camouflage outfit, an adorable little tactical vest and an AR-15. Okay, maybe that one’s not for us. Hey, check out Moscow Maria. She’s a hard bitten Muscovite who dreams of marrying an oligarch when she grows up.” Neither of these options seemed to deliver quite the same magic and fascination as the American Girl Doll.
Sensing a vibe of rapidly growing disappointment coming from my daughter, I hurriedly searched until I came across a doll that I hoped would be the clincher. “Look, sweetie, here’s one that’s right up our alley. This little darling goes by the name Hoosier Sally. She lives in a late model luxury trailer home just like we do! Sally lives there with her mother, her brother and 14 cats. Oh, and here’s the best part, Hoosier Sally Dolls retail for a very reasonable $39.99.”
Once again, dad’s pragmatism failed to glide in for a successful landing and a hint of disappointment began to reveal itself on my daughter’s face. To her credit, she shook it off and sauntered away to watch some cartoons. Looks like Santa’s going to save the day again and come through with that American Girl Doll this Christmas.