Have any of you heard of something called the American Girl doll? Last year I went to my cousin’s house and her (at the time) 11 year old daughter was raving about a particular gift she had received for her birthday. I laughed it off inciting phrases such as, “oh its just another Barbie…just bigger.” She didn’t seem to trilled with my response. So I watched her meticulously play with her doll. Combing each strand. Showing me the story behind the particular doll (each doll receives a little book about the life of the doll). For instance, she had a doll from the 1900s. As I looked through the book, I noticed that one could even send in a picture of a child and have the company create a likeness. How freaky. But my cousin’s daughter found it perfectly natural. All of a sudden, she says, “oh we HAVE to go to NY soon!!” My reply, “why?” She then proceeded to tell me about the American Girl Cafe and Salon on 5th Avenue. “Salon?”, I said. Her eyes got more wide and she began to relish in the thought of going there and taking her doll to get her hair done….a new outfit or two…and have tea. I asked how much a salon visit for the doll would be? She replied, “Twenty dollars.” TWENTY DOLLARS? That’s about the price of a Barbie doll. Then I asked. “So how much do these dolls cost usually?” And without hesitation or the slightest flinch she said, “they are about one hundred dollars I think.” You think???!!! Since when does a 11 year old girl need a hundred dollar dress-me-up doll??!! It was like crack for 11 year old girls and older. What will they think of next?