Why Am I Still Attached to My American Girl Dolls?

Yesterday my mom texted me to let me know that a family friend was trying to buy some gently used American Girl dolls for her kids. My mom suggested that I might sell some of mine and make some money. I cannot tell a lie, I have a pretty extensive American Girl Doll collection. I’ve got Molly, Kirsten, Josefina, a bunch of Bitty Babies, and some “create your own” dolls that I named Lottie, Zoe, and Heather. Among others. The perks of being an only child, I suppose.

I'll never let go...

Here are two things I don’t have right now: 1.) money 2.) a need for a doll collection in a small apartment (probably any apartment). I’m 24 years old. I live with my boyfriend. I have a job and hobbies. What do I need a bunch of dolls for, right? I should sell them and make money, right? But the idea of selling them to a family who would love them and care for them seriously makes me feel like I’m participating in human trafficking. I can’t SELL these dolls. They’re like people! They were like my kids when I was growing up. I made my parents spend ridiculous amounts of money on outfits and tea sets and rocking horses and glasses and other items for my dolls. I gave them piano lessons even though I could barely play piano. I taught them exactly what I was learning in school so they wouldn’t fall behind in their homeschooling. I used my plastic kitchen set to feed them. I had a doll that was Claudia from The Babysitter’s Club (how good were those books) and assigned her to be the nanny to the other dolls. Hello, she was a babysitter! She was qualified! This was not your ordinary imagination game setup. I was serious.

Let me take you back to an incident that occurred circa 2008 or so. My doll collection was probably double in size. Without asking, my mom donated half of the dolls. I came home from college, noticed half the population had been wiped out and went ballistic. I didn’t care that I spent my weekends at frats. I didn’t care that the dolls were in a good home. They were GONE. Without my permission! My parents still mock me for my reaction. You can imagine that my mom was not up to her old tricks again when this offer came around. But she was trying to drive a hard bargain. See our conversation about the issue. This first part is when she suggests the sale (yes, I call her Pammy Pie. It’s a long story):

The conversation continues, and includes me checking and double checking that she’s not selling the collection out from under my nose:

If you don’t think I was more excited than my little cousins to go to American Girl Place, you are wrong. I take this stuff seriously. I know I need to get a grip. But I think it’s reasonable to hold on to one or two of my dolls that have particularly strong sentimental value to me. As I mentioned, Molly would be one of these. I feel slightly insane putting so much value in an inanimate object, but this might just be part of being a girl….or maybe I really am going crazy. I swear that I’m a well-adjusted adult in other ways!

Are you attached to a childhood toy like I am? Or do you see the value in cold hard cash like I probably should?

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  1. Michelle says:

    I totally would’ve flipped out if my mom tried to sell my American Girl doll (I’m almost 23 and I just graduated college). I don’t even let my 4 and 6 year old nieces TOUCH her. But I do get it, it’s hard to let something that was that important to you in your childhood just go.

    And plus, what if you have a daughter of your own someday? I think it would be a nice thing to pass down (possibly).

    I know that they’re *just* dolls, but if they mean that much to you, then they’re priceless.


  3. Elizabeth says:

    I totally agree with you. I have several American Girl dolls and they are like family to me. I could never part with them, ESPECIALLY not Molly. (She was the first one I got) She was like a best friend. Hey, maybe I’m a little crazy, too.

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