An American Girl hits the road.

Meet Lanie Holland, American Girl’s latest “girl of the year.” She comes with miniature postcards, and you can buy this camper as an accessory, which means Lanie is a young woman who understands the lure of the open road. Right on, Lanie!

Now, when I was a girl, we had to make do with only three American Girl dolls: Kirsten (spunky pioneer), Samantha 1920s spunky rich orphan) and Molly (World War II medic’s spunky daughter). Actually, if you want to get technical about it, some of us had to make do with zero American Girl dolls – those things were expensive! – but we could read all the books, collect paper dolls and other accessories, and play with the dolls at friends’ houses. We also had to walk to school, we only had a black-and-white TV with rabbit ears, the phone had a rotary dial, and there was a spinning wheel in the living room. These are true facts about my childhood, which was wonderful thankyouverymuch.

However, this is the future, and now I have a cable TV, I take the subway to work, and I don’t have a land line or a spinning wheel. Also, there are 12 historical American Girl characters, a different contemporary “girl of the year” every year, and Kirsten and Samantha have been discontinued. I’m pretty sure this is what that song “The Times They Are A-Changin’” was about.

Lanie’s sweet camper has been getting some negative attention because of its high cost — $295, which, ouch. But that aside, I like it. Lanie’s “thing” is that she loves to be outdoors, which her family just doesn’t understand. She’s a joint production of the National Wildlife Fund, which is using her in a campaign called “Be Out There” encouraging children to play outside. And I like the idea of this little girl tooling around the country in a camper. A noble dream! A goal that’s close to my heart! A worthy cause!

With that, I’ll leave you with a worthy cause from my black-and-white childhood, an ad I watched approximately 7,000 times on Warner Brothers Saturday morning cartoon block, viewed on the aforementioned TV with rabbit ears. This song has been in my head for 20 years now:

Gettin’ into drugs and bein’ high is a stupid thing to do…

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4 responses to “An American Girl hits the road.

  1. Ruth, get that American Girl a Yurt!

    At first, I thought she was standing in front of a trailer, and I thought, “Now there’s a real picture of America for you.”

  2. A spinning wheel? 🙂

  3. I don’t think the spinning wheel was purchased until we were in high school. But the loom was certainly always there.

  4. Yes, I fudged the dates with the spinning wheel a bit. But I still maintain high school is fundamentally “childhood.”

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