She was an American Girl, Tom Petty.

Early last week we drove to Kansas City, where we did a little bit of this.

The Kansas City American Girl Store!

(The girls did eventually enter the store.)

You know, while I was pregnant, I swore that my daughters would not become girly girls. I also swore that they wouldn’t watch a bunch of television and that they would be good eaters. Anyway. Meredith took an American Girl class at her school’s summer enrichment program, and the girls have been reading the American Girl books and choosing their favorite characters (and saving their money, believe it or not) for the past several weeks.

Nicole and Meredith

Meredith knew exactly who she was looking for when we entered the store—Just Like Me Doll #53. She and Jeff headed to that end of the store while Harper asked a sales associate to talk her through the historical dolls so she could make the right decision. (I think she knew exactly who she wanted, but enjoyed “interviewing” the store employee to get more facts.)

Harper and Molly

It’s Molly! Her time period in the books is set during World War II, and I knew that Harper was paying attention to this when she told Meredith that “Molly likes to sleep a lot, because sleeping helps her forget about the war.” Admittedly, I haven’t read the books, but I have to wonder what led to Harper’s immediate need to get a wheelchair for Molly. (“She won’t be able to walk again for at least two years. Or more.”) So, while Nicole (JLM#53) is jumping around and trying on earrings (Yes. Both dolls got their ears pierced at the Doll Hair Salon.), Molly is sitting in a wheelchair wishing that this whole war thing had never happened.

You may think the American Girl thing is crazy. Here’s what I think is crazy:

Crazy Fudge Man

Crazy Fudge Guy. He slapped the fudge and threw the fudge and made bad fudge jokes and although I felt the same level of discomfort around him that I tend to feel around circus clowns and college mascots, he threw me over the edge when he passed his fudge spatula around the room and encouraged everyone to fill their finger with fresh fudge. (If you know me, you know that I cannot touch food like that. Standing around watching people fudge themselves and then lick their fingers threw me into crazy panic mode.)

So, we left and found a miniature waterfall.

Don't go chasing waterfalls.

Later that evening, I was able to evaluate my decision to stick with vegetarianism as Jeff ate one of the only things I miss—big deep fried crazy meat sandwiches sprinkled in powdered sugar with raspberry preserves on the side. Ah, Monte Cristo. (I remained strong. After 12 months of vegetables and beans, I will NOT let a deep fried meat and cheese sandwich bring me down!) ((I dipped my fries in the raspberry preserves.))

Monte Cristo!

Remind me sometime to tell you about when we tried to make a Monte Cristo during the university days. It weighed about ten pounds and was filled with oil and was probably not very safe to eat, but we still managed to eat it, because it had taken so much effort to make—what with our lack of a proper Fry Daddy and all. We also ate a turkey on the roof of our house on New Year’s Eve and danced in the snowy street on Groundhog Day. Those were the days. Speaking of which, after we left Kansas City on Thursday, we went to Columbia, Missouri—the town where I danced in the street and ate a turkey on the roof and attempted to make a decent Monte Cristo.

Shakespeare’s doesn’t carry orange soda anymore, and I think that’s insane because nothing goes with broccoli pizza like orange soda.

Oh, broccoli pizza! How I love you!

(They now carry Coke products. And maybe they’ve ALWAYS carried Coke products. I don’t know, because I ALWAYS HAD ORANGE SODA. Dr. Pepper is NOT an acceptable replacement. Life can be so hard sometimes.)

MC loves Shakespeare's!

The girls didn’t mind the lack of orange soda. They love Shakespeare’s. They love watching the pizza being made, and they love that the guy who was making it flipped some dough over the window for them to play with. Best of all, my love for Mizzou is rubbing off on them. The one thing they wanted to do before we left town was have their photo taken by the columns with their American Girl dolls.

The Girls and The Girls at The Columns

(The quad was blocked off, so we had to stay on the sidewalk. Not a big deal. We’ll be back.)

On the way home, I put about three inches worth of sock on my needles.

Knitting Socks on the Road

I haven’t felt very enthusiastic about socks lately, but last week something happened that suddenly made me feel enthusiastic about socks. More on that later. When they’re done.

(We boarded Scout for four days and three nights while we were gone. When we picked her up, she had been bathed and bandanafied, and we have photo evidence that she enjoyed playing in the pool with the big dogs. Meanwhile, the cats were home entertaining ideas of us eventually returning WITHOUT Scout. Sometimes, it’s nice to dream.)

Back from Puppy Camp! ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

17 thoughts on “She was an American Girl, Tom Petty.”

  1. Wow, you managed to come my hometown and do an extensive collection of things I’ve never done! Although I do recognize that waterfall and I assume the fudge guy is at Crown Center.

    Glad you had fun!

  2. What is it with Columbia and orange drink? When I was there for all-state (or maybe honors) choir, an alto from Rockbridge had a rap about it – yes, a rap – in 80 or 81:
    “Say, Leroy, you wanna go to no disco?”
    “Sh*t. Just want some o-range drink.”
    “Sad. Sad but true.”
    (that last line was pronounced sah-sah-buh-trow)
    I’ve been singing this to myself for 3 decades.

  3. YES! Molly! I always felt Molly was the American Girl who didn’t get any love. My sister had the Victorian one, and I got Molly (whom I loved because she used to come with glasses! Like me! Whee!) and everyone loved the Victorian blah blah that came with (oh Samantha! Remembered it!) and seemed uninterested in my awesome WWII era spitfire. I don’t know, maybe it was to soon?
    All that to say good on Harper!

    wow. That comment gushed a little to much about dolls I owned as a 9 year old. But glasses! Like Me!

  4. “Standing around watching people fudge themselves and then lick their fingers threw me into crazy panic mode.”
    As much as I loathe the term “LOL” in this case, it’s entirely appropriate. Still LOLing.

  5. Um..fudge guy? Stop it now.
    Shakespeare’s? Perfection. (Also Aris’s if you need a second choice)
    Monte Cristo? Sandwich I ate on my first date with the handsome lug I married 22 years ago.
    Off to the Moolah!

  6. That looks like a swell trip. We haven’t gone down the American Girl path yet, but I suspect it’s in our future. Maybe Harper & P can be roomies at Mizzou in 11-12 years!

  7. I am so with you on the hepatitis fudge! I don’t eat samples of anything anywhere because it totally grosses me out. I call them hep samples (short for hepatitis of course)

  8. Damn, that’s one cute dog.

    I’m always surprised to see bloggers’ children grow up as fast as they do.

    I went to Mizzou as well and need to get back someday. Thanks for the quad update! I’ll wait a bit longer, I guess.

  9. Ugh, I hate that thing about the columns falling down if a woman who’s not a virgin walks on the quad. #1: Oh please. #2: How demeaning is that?

  10. Some may say that the whole Amercan Girl thing is a bit much, but anything that can get kids excited about reading just can’t be wrong. So glad you guys had a good trip.

  11. American Girl in Oak Park Mall? Please tell me that you did make it into the Lush store.

    And Shakespeares – YUM! Love them.

  12. Molly looks just the same. Wait! Where are her glasses??? Twenty or so years ago, the dolls had plumper bodies (so plump their skirts wouldn’t fit. But you could untie the neck string, remove the head, and take out some of the stuffing.) and the body was muslin instead of skin colored. The newer models are even more loveable, I’m sure.

  13. Your girls are adorable. My daughter received Molly when she was in grade school. She is now 20, but still has Molly sitting on a shelf in her closet surrounded by some of her favorite accessories ( a bed, crutches and a cast to name a few). She had many happy years with Molly, even making her a Christmas stocking for our tree. I’m sure your girls will be loving their dolls for many years.
    Did the “fudge show” in Baltimore many years ago at the Harbor Mall. There was a team of fudge makers who sang a very entertaining song while they worked. However, there was no passing of the paddle for samples! Yuck!

  14. Ooh – Shakespeare’s is so, so good. My girlfriend had it at her wedding and there should be a pic in the restaurant with her and her husband wearing shirts over her gown and his tux. It took them YEARS to be chosen as one of the people to have their pic on the wall.

    I love how excited and happy your girls look with their dolls!

  15. TODAY! I saw fudge guy on Food Network, just today, probably on Unwrapped or something. My girls thought it was ludicrous that such a place existed so close to us and we’ve never been there. Too bad. I’m going to avoid people fudging themselves and just head to the Christopher Elbow store.

    Where I live, Columbia is the Town Which Must Not Be Named. ;-) (Since I’m not sporty, I don’t buy into that, but that column lore has me scratching my head!) Even at that close distance, we’ve never managed to get to Crown Center. Well, maybe once we have. Hrm. I don’t get out much.

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