Saturday, December 28, 2013

It's Not Kitty Carryall, But...

I have been coveting my daughter's American Girl doll.  Not the doll itself but the fact that there exists a 70s doll with such groovy accessories that I drool each time a catalog arrives.  My daughter has the 1930s Kit doll and Kanani, the doll of the year from Hawaii she picked out on our trip to the American Girl Store in Chicago.  They both sit on her dresser shelf.  I mean, they just sit there, gathering dust.  I thought that was a shame when I could easily change Kanani's name to Marcia Brady.  My daughter suddenly decided she liked her dolls when I showed a keen interest in one of them.  I had my mother sew a fab dress for "Marcia" from the material of one of Foghorn's toddler dresses (a gaudy flowered pattern Carol Brady would be proud of) and left the newly attired doll on the shelf.  It was less than an hour before Foghorn appeared downstairs, eyes full of fire and demanding to know what this was doing on Kanani.  I said, "Her name's not Kanani.  It's Marcia, Marcia, Marcia!  And she's mine."  That dress was whipped off so fast it was just a psychedelic blur and my hopes of taking over her doll were dashed.

I don't really want the 70s American Girl Doll.  I can think of lots of better things to do with $100.  I do, however, desperately want those accessories.  How I long to have that little record player and tape recorder and bed with the beads hanging around it and the tiny plastic terrarium.  If I can't live in the real Brady Bunch house, I want it in miniature.  Well, my yearning apparently was heard by Santa because on Christmas Eve my sister presented me with this little beauty:

She's an American Girl-sized knockoff from JoAnn's.  She has the long 70s hair and it's reddish, which I much prefer to the genuine blonde Julie doll.  The outfit was crocheted by my sister from a vintage pattern meant for a Barbie-sized doll.  This means my sister did math to adjust the pattern to fit my new toy.  You have to understand, my sister is a complete loss with numbers.  On several occasions she's attempted to open the wrong hotel room door because she got confused about the number to her own.  It's a kind of numerical dyslexia.  She also can't add or subtract easily, as evidenced by the befuddled look on her face when trying to calculate the tip on a restaurant bill.  Very similar to the expression I saw on a chimpanzee with a Rubic's Cube on Nova.  Anyway, she successfully redid the outfit and I'm only minorly miffed about the yarn.  No, I'm not bothered by the colors.  They are just, just...groovy.  My umbrage comes from where she acquired it.

Who wouldn't love these?
Every fall we celebrate Aunt Nancy Day (or now known as Uncle Chester Day).  In 2012 my mother and I took her to lunch and an excursion to the James Thurber House in Columbus, Ohio.  As an extra little gift, I knit her a collection of dishcloths in the 70s avocado and tangerine colors that she loves loathes so much.  Yes, the gift was designed to make her scream and writhe in pain.  I thought about writing a blog post on "101 Ways to Torture Your 70s-Hating Sister" and this would have been in the top ten.  They were handmade, so her conscience wouldn't let her just throw them away.  They were, to her, too ugly to use.  So, they sat...for over a year...untouched and unloved.  Until she got the last minute, bright idea of the faux American Girl doll and quickly unraveled all my hard work to make my doll's dress.  I must say, though, the outfit is just...just...groovy.  Then again, so were the dishcloths.

The most obvious choice for a name for my doll would have been Marcia, of course, but some reason that didn't seem to fit.  I bounced around various other Brady Bunch or Partridge Family character names, but nothing was quite right.  She needed a hippy-sounding name.  The Mark Lindsay song "Arizona" kept going through my mind.  My sister asked about the name of the runaway in the Patridge Family episode where they sing "Point Me in the Direction of Albuquerque," but it was something ordinary like Maggie.  Then I thought of David Cassidy singing "Echo Valley 26809" (with a brief flashback to the concert where he almost took my cellphone for the spoken portion of the song, but some other bimbo shoved her phone right under his nose while he was reaching for mine and ruined the whole thing...not that I'm bitter).   Foghorn is furious, but I think the name Echo totally suits this doll.  My daughter, may I mention, also hauled my doll around all Christmas Eve at her grandmother's, insisting it was hers.  Fat chance.  And I want my flower power dress back from Kanani.

Echo got her first accessory the day after Christmas when I sat down with Foghorn and her awesome Shrinky Dinks jewelry set full of yellow smiley faces and peace symbols and flowers.  I made my new best friend a necklace which says it all.


Anonymous said...

Echo is the perfect name for this doll and the necklace is perfect, too.

Nancy said...

There's still one dishcloth unraveled. And I didn't need math for the size adjustment--I'd just hold what I was working on up to the doll to see whether to add or subtract. It was more instinct than math (thank God).

Corinne said...

I love Echo and all her grooviness! Thanks for bringing back the memories.

Marcy said...

This post is filled with all kinds of groovy. You got me to remember the dishwasher we had that was avocado colored, and we had a shag carpet in that shade of orange. I wish I could dig up a photo of them, but even if I could our prints were usually in black and white. I think it was brilliant of your sister to repurpose the yarn in this way. I just visited some YouTube clips of the Brady Bunch--I always feel sorry for poor Jan.

steph said...

echo is a great name....I just spent a few hours with the new AG catalog....trying to convince my grands that Julie and her stuff are just way cool and their girls (Emily, Kit, and Josephina) need some. Not their thing, either.

(There is a birthday coming up soon----they may get some stuff anyway---so Grandma can play when I next come!)