Kirsten is an 18-inch-tall girl from 1854, and Nellie is
an 18-inch-tall girl from 1906. Mini Kit is a 6-inch-tall doll
Kirsten's birthday only comes once a year (thankfully), and so they had a party!
Kirsten, however, seemed a bit sad. She didn't invite Pegleg
Sally to come to the party--they had a bit of a falling out earlier.
I wonder why.
The girls decided to play the game of Life!
Being from 1854, Kirsten, of course, remembers the old Art Linkletter
version of Life, which was much simpler. This version takes too
much thinking. Kirsten draws her career card...
She's a teacher? Does that sound right? She skipped college, too.
"Miss Cheap Lady, why didn't you just skip college?" Kirsten asked.
"Then you could make $60,000 every time you went forward 8 spaces
or so. How many days is 8 spaces?"
So Kirsten gets her financial planning ideas from PBS and her concept of money from board games. Sigh.
At least she didn't think the money in the game was real. She
could have gotten me in real trouble with the folks on eBay.
"This game is not very doll-friendly," Kirsten complained as she sat on
the game board to spin the wheel. "And that office building is
Mini Kit and Nellie got their degrees. All the girls were rather
hesitant to get married. Mini Kit took about twice as long as the
Nellie got a job as tech support. It really seems a good job for
her, with her patience, even though a tragic "salary switch" play cut
her pay to a third of its original level! Mini Kit ended up changing
jobs so often I'm not sure what she was.
Kirsten was the red car. When she landed on this space, she
changed her job to a police officer. I think she should have
changed her job to proofreader but that wasn't an option.
You have to pay the police officer some money every time you spin a 10.
I'm sure that's meant to be for when you're speeding, but it
sounds to me more like it's a corrupt police officer.
Kirsten didn't mind either way.
Despite her fears of marriage, Nellie was overjoyed to land on the
"Adopt twins!" space. She loves the idea of bringing people into
her home and taking care of them.
Perhaps the oddest moment was when Kirsten landed on the "You're a grandparent!" space, considering she had no children.
But perhaps you can guess how the game ended.
Kirsten moped again.
"You came in second," Nellie said, "and you had over a million dollars.
You even had grandchildren while skipping having regular
children. I've heard comedians say that's every parent's dream!"
Mini Kit frowned. She knew why Kirsten was so sad, and it wasn't just that she got beaten in a game of chance.
But maybe she could still cheer Kirsten up.
"The Cheap Lady brought you these cookies all the way from the Swedish Embassy!" Mini Kit said.
That coaxed a tiny smile out of Kirsten. "But...I don't think
there's an embassy nearby, is there? And the Cheap Lady didn't go
on a trip recently. Wait a minute. How old are these
"She got them yesterday!" Mini Kit said. "At IKEA. That's a Swedish Embassy, right? They have the flag!"
Kirsten considered. "I don't know."
The girls shared some cookies.
"Don't you feel better now?" Mini Kit asked.
"Only a little," Kirsten said, still looking listless.
Mini Kit sighed. Kirsten had a wound that even sweets couldn't fix.
"Let's bring the presents out!" Nellie said. "Happy birthday, Miss Kirsten!"
Mini Kit brought over something too.
"This is just my old pirate shirt from a couple Halloweens ago, isn't it?" she asked.
"Yeah," Mini Kit said. "That Cheap Lady told me to bring it to you."
Nellie nodded. "But your real present is in the box."
"That's the problem," Kirsten said.
"What?" Nellie asked.
"I really wanted to know the secret you were hiding from me," Kirsten
said. "Mini Kit said she knew the secret, so I promised to give
her the Roth IRA that I'm getting for my birthday so she'd tell
me. Mini Kit can cash it in and buy a Wii."
Kirsten took a deep breath. "And Mini Kit told me the secret was
that the Cheap Lady got a new girl and that she'd probably like her
better than me!"
They heard some strange coughing come from the corner.
Nellie cleared her throat. "I think this scheme might have some
flaws. Miss Mini Kit, I think the Wii's controller is as large as
"If it's good exercise for people, I'll bet it's great exercise for mini dolls!" Mini Kit said.
"And Miss Kirsten," Nellie continued, "even if there were another girl
here--which I maintain there isn't--no one could replace you!
Also, your Roth IRA is intended for your own retirement.
While you could cash it in for Miss Mini Kit, there may be tax
consequences on the earnings, as well as a 10% early-withdrawl penalty.
And besides, you didn't get a Roth IRA...although your present
does have something to do with retirement.
"I still get her present!" Mini Kit said, secretly hoping it would be
worth something on eBay. "She promised!" She opened the
"What is this?" Mini Kit asked.
"Miss Kirsten," Nellie said, "it's a version of your retired
dirndl outfit! Miss Cheap Lady didn't want to buy one on eBay but she
made you one! The vest is reversible and it's all made out of some
fabric that the bargain fabric store claimed was wool!"
Kirsten's eyes lit up with delight for a moment as she looked at the
outfit. But then she sighed. "It doesn't matter. It's
Mini Kit's now. I promised. She can sell it on eBay if she
Mini Kit saw the sadness in Kirsten's eyes, and sized up the mediocre
workmanship on the dirndl vest. She came to a generous decision.
"Kirsten," she said...
"I want you to keep your birthday present. It won't fit me, and it IS your birthday."
Kirsten's eyes lit up again. "Really? You can't take it back once you've said it!"
In a flash, she'd changed into her new outfit! Much to Nellie's delight, Kirsten didn't mind the pirate shirt a bit.
"Look how pretty I am!" Kirsten bragged.
Nellie chuckled, glad that Kirsten was finally happy. She went to put Kirsten's birthday dress away.
Nellie paused when she saw something amiss. "I didn't leave a shoe there..."
Then she realized it wasn't a shoe at all, but...
"Miss May!" Nellie whispered. "What are you doing here?"
"I didn't like hiding under the bed," May said. "Could you bring me a cookie, please?"
"Miss May," Nellie said, "Miss Kirsten's going to find you--"
"Who are you talking to?"
Kirsten appeared behind Nellie.
"No one!" Nellie said. "No one at all! Eeek!"
May appeared beside Nellie. There sure is a lot of appearing today.
(Please don't mind May's hair. Yours would be mussed, too, if you had been hiding from Kirsten for the last few months.)
"It's time I faced my fears," May said. "Kirsten, my name is May
Douglas. I come from the 1920s. I'm not here to replace
anybody, and it's quite obvious you are the favorite doll here.
But as long as Miss Cheap Lady allows it, I'm staying."
Kirsten staggered back in bewilderment. "What?" She
took a minute to collect her thoughts. "Why would the Cheap Lady
want someone new to come?"
"I don't know," May said. "But I like it here. Nellie has
been very friendly, and I think if I don't have to hide in closets and
under blankets, it will be a nice place to live. I never would
have gotten to meet an Edwardian girl like Nellie in my time."
"You can be pen-pals, then," Kirsten said. "Just go home!"
"I already told you, Kirsten, I'm not going. This is a better place than home, at least in some ways."
Mini Kit secretly thought that the 1920s must have been really terrible
for May, if she would rather live with Kirsten than go back there.
Kirsten stayed silent for a minute. But since it was her
birthday, she was feeling generous. "Okay. You can probably
Kirsten brought Pegleg Sally over. "Can you get along with Pegleg Sally?"
"Pardon me?" May asked.
"She's my friend too," said Kirsten. "Even if I got mad at her
earlier, since she didn't tell me anything about you. But looking
at her expression, I can tell she never saw you before. I'm sorry
I doubted you, Pegleg Sally!"
Pegleg Sally's silence said she forgived Kirsten too.
"But May," Kirsten added, "if you don't like her, you'll have to leave."
May blinked and glanced at Nellie. "That's a mannequin, isn't it?"
"No," Nellie said with an encouraging smile. "It's Miss Kirsten's friend, Pegleg Sally."
May slowly nodded. "I think I can get along with her."
"Okay!" Kirsten said. "Then welcome to Kirsten's Adventures!"
Kirsten glanced up at me. "But you will keep making me more
clothes than May has, right? That's in her contract, isn't it?"
"Wait, wait, wait!" Mini Kit said. "If that's the new girl, then what happened to that mysterious purple fabric?"
"What mysterious purple fabric?" I asked.
"The fabric seen in this file photo!" Mini Kit said.
"Ah, well, that is, you see, budget constraints, and the schedule, and
the high price of cotton, coupled with historical issues and
transportation challenges, made the making of a garment unfeasible at
the present, past, possibly future, pending further research and time
wasted on Google..." I tried very hard to talk my way out of it,
but Mini Kit wasn't convinced.
Red herring, or potential upcoming new dress for May? You be the judge!
("I get a new dress first!" Kirsten yelled.)
On to 8.3.08