When I was 10, I was big into American Girl dolls. Back then, there were only 3: Kirsten, Samantha, and Molly. When the catalog arrived at our house, I would peruse it for hours, looking at all the clothes and accessories and wishing that I could dress like them. (By the time American Girl came out with outfits for girls to match their dolls’, I was too big to fit in them.)
My favorite was Samantha. She was the girl from 1904 who had beautiful, curly brown hair and dressed exquisitely. Her Meet Samantha dress was maroon and brown gingham, complete with black cotton stockings and a low-slung matching belt. She had a velvety pink coin purse and a maroon hat with long, flowing ribbons. Her other dresses were just as beautiful. I not only wanted her, but I wanted to be her.
As my birthday and Christmas neared, I prepared my list for Santa. I wanted Samantha badly, but my spelling was poor and I didn’t know how to spell her name. Instead, I wrote down Molly, thinking that Santa would know that I really meant Samantha.
About a week before Christmas, I off-handedly said in front of Mom, “I hope Santa brings me Samantha!”
My mom (aka Santa) stopped dead. “Didn’t you ask Santa for Molly?” she asked cautiously.
“I didn’t know how to spell Samantha,” I replied, oblivious to my mom’s pounding heart (she already had Molly stashed away in a closet upstairs).
“Honey, I don’t think Santa knows that you want Samantha because you put down Molly.”
“Oh! I would like Molly anyway!” I said, still very oblivious to the relief Mom must have felt.
Come Christmas Day, I opened a long, skinny box to find Molly waiting for me. While she was the lesser of the two dolls that I wanted (I already had Kirsten*), I was still happy to have her.
*Can you say spoiled? Thanks, Mom and Dad!