Joe Cianciotto looks into the abyss of desolation, sort of…

Joe Cianciotto looks into the abyss of desolation, sort of…

Posted by Joe Cianciotto

So somehow my wife convinced me that it was a good idea that we take my daughter Hannah for her sixth birthday to the American Girl Store in New York city for Sunday brunch. And I, Joseph Cianciotto, being of sound mind (well not really) can tell you that I have truly looked into the abyss of desolation and it is the American Girl Store.

Where do I even begin?

Apparently, you can’t really go to lunch at the American Girl Store unless you bring your doll with you.

Why you ask?

Because the freaking doll gets a high chair for herself that fastens to the table you’re now sitting at. And in case you forgot your doll, that’s OK because they keep a box of mini cadavers next to the hostess stand that you can pick from. I was tempted to take one for myself until I realized I hadn’t had my flu or tetanus shot… but I digress.

After enduring a wait time that would make the DMV jealous we make our way to our table in a room that I can only describe as a casting call for Veruca Salt. The menu is about as ridiculously priced as you would imagine, but by now I am so full of self-loathing for even going there that it almost felt like some form of Faustian justice that I paid like $150 for a couple of burgers and two orders of chicken fingers that neither Hannah or Sophie ended up eating.

After we eat, they ask us if we want a slice of birthday cake, but for $15 a pop, we opted instead for the $8 ice cream thimble. But…to be fair…. Hannah and Sophie did love it, so even after the fleecing I took I was happy that they were happy.

From there we walked around a bit browsing so we could pick out clothing for Hannah’s doll. What I didn’t realize is that not only do you buy this clothing for the doll but they also sell the same exact outfit for your kid to wear too. And the only thing that made me sicker than buying this dress for the doll and Hannah, is that I realized I recognized like half the outfits there because Jen had bought them in the last year.

So after Googling divorce lawyers, I then waited on another ridiculously long line to pay for the doll and human clothing. I must have been in some sort of fugue state because it hadn’t dawned on me that I was also holding earrings for the doll as well. I get to the cashier lay all of my contraband on the counter and I then proceed to get asked the most unbelievable question in the existence of humankind. Which is…“Do you want to get your doll’s ears pierced at the salon?”

Yes that’s right, they will pierce your doll’s ears in their salon and even style their hair. Luckily there is like a three week, wait list to even get this done, so fortunately that wasn’t happening.

OK, so besides realizing we now have to pierce this doll’s ears ourselves when we get home, I have to somehow walk clear across Rockefeller Center to the parking garage, holding two large bags that say, “please rip me off’. Fortunately I was so traumatized by the experience that I don’t think I even remember the trip back to the car.

So there ya go.

I still don’t know if it all really happened.


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