If you blink on the Internet, you’ll miss a million blog posts that you wanted to read.

Okay, maybe that’s an extreme statistic, but many lonely blog posts go unread and unloved.  Enter the Deja Vu blogfest, brainchild of bloggers Katie Mills, DL Hammons, Lydia Kang and Nicole Ducleroir.  On December 16th participants will re-post their favorite blog offering, or one that didn’t get a lot of exposure – maybe because it was early blogging days or a holiday – whatever.  So I’m taking the opportunity to re-post one I wrote a little over a year ago for a contest in the Writer’s Platform-Building Crusade.  After a week of serious blogging, I was in the mood for light.  So here it is, for your reading (or re-reading) pleasure.

Julie: An American Girl

You may not know this about me, but they’ve created an American Girl doll and written six books based upon me and my life.*  Yes, you read that correctly.  The worst part is, I only discovered this a few days ago when I came across the boxed set of books and the doll in Costco.  Imagine my shock!  Here I was, innocently looking for the 60-count package of kartoffelpuffers when I saw myself looking back at me in doll form.

Don’t believe me?  Consider the evidence.  American Girl Julie grew up in the 70s.  I grew up in the 70s.  Julie’s parents got a divorce.  My parents got a divorce (albeit not in the 70s, but still…).  Julie has a pet rock.  I had a pet rock.  If that is not enough to convince you, let’s take a look at the photographic evidence.  Here is a picture of the doll and a picture of me circa the mid-seventies.  I rest my case.

The Doll
The Model

Okay, so AG Julie lives in San Francisco and I lived in Northern Michigan.  Obviously the author (the fabulously talented Megan McDonald) had to change some of the details in order to avoid paying me my fair share of the significant proceeds of this series.  Honestly, if I find out that AG Julie has a toy skeleton that glows in the dark after you hold it up to a light bulb, a Lite Brite, Weebles (they wobble, but they don’t fall down), and/or Shrinky Dinks, I might consider a lawsuit.

I just feel so violated…  Lately, I’ve taken to walking down the street under an umbrella wearing sunglasses with plate-sized lenses just to avoid recognition.  Now that they are filming the “Julie” story (out in 2012), I can’t get any peace.  You’d think they would have at least given me a part in the movie – but no.  Apparently I’m now too old for the title role.  American Girl actually dares to put this series in the historical fiction category.  First of all, it’s not fiction – it’s my life.  Secondly, I am most definitely not old enough to be considered historical in any way, right?  Right????

On that note, I’ve often told my mother that the name Julie is so seventies that by the time I get to be 80 years old, it will be the equivalent of Maude or Gertrude or Betty today.  So for all of you fellow Julies out there, we need to stage a comeback for the name.  They’ve done it with names like Olivia and Sophia, so why not Julie?  Who’s got some pull with the Top 100 Baby Names Book publisher? Best get on it.

Otherwise, we’ll all soon be known as Julie: An American Old Lady.

*Some or all of this post may or may not be true…

This post was written as part of Rachael Harrie’s Writers’ Platform-Building Crusade.  She is 100% to blame for the kartoffelpuffer reference.

Categories: Authors, Children's Books, Writing · Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,



  1. This is funny to me on so many levels right now (time and similarities of our recent posts). While discussing our son’s name — two septuagenarians complained about their own names. The horror — one named Amy and the other named Milo. It verified two points in my mind: 1- Even 70-year-olds hold grudges against their parents and 2-It really doesn’t matter what you name a kid he/she may gripe about it decades later. We decided that any future family additions (dogs or kids) would be named Milo. I love that name.

    • You just need an orange tabby cat…”The Adventures of Milo and Otis…er, Enzo.” Great movie!

      • Cathy, Enzo is actually named after the dog Enzo, the main character in Garth Stein’s book “The Art of Racing in the Rain.” Enzo was a noble dog. 🙂 I had picked out a girl’s name and Hubby suggested “Festus” of Gun Smoke fame for a boy. We went for the dog’s name.

        • I wondered about that, since that’s the only time I’ve seen the name Enzo recently. But he was a noble dog, and it is a cool name. He’ll do well with it.

    • I love the name Milo too. I was also a big fan of Oliver, but we were too worried about people calling him Ollie. No can do.

  2. That doll really does look like you! Julia is a popular little girl’s name now, so that’s as close to Julie as you can get!

  3. You certainly do look like that doll!

  4. You do look exactly like her. That would be weird feeling like your life has been encapsulated into a doll and 6 books! Very funny!

  5. LOVED it! Thanks for reposting and for the laugh!

  6. You certainly are a doll, Julie ;D Oh, and yes, the AG doll does look like you!

  7. That was great! Completely entertaining ;•)

  8. What a travesty! An injustice. And think of all the moolah you could be getting! Thanks for the giggle.
    But what my name?? UGH. I always heard, “Hey Robyn! Where’s Batman?” Or my personal sorrowful embarrassment, “Hey! Robyn red breast.” *sob* Damaged me for life.

    You are in the twenties! Let’s go girl!

  9. My youngest wants to know if your BFF was an Asian American girl…because to her the most interesting thing about Julie is Ivy. Ivy comes with pierced ears and has chandelier earrings with a red silk dress for Chinese New Year.

    I wish I could add a photo to this post, because my youngest is also the spitting image of Julie…and her BFF is indeed, Ivy-like in appearance. I guess we could file a class action suit?

  10. As a fellow Julie, I wholeheartedly agree. Except that I thought the American Girl doll was based on ME, someone who grew up in the 70s, had hippie parents, and long blond hair.

    And, as someone who’s name is Julie (not Julia), let me tell you that they are much different names. Julia is way more exotic and sophisticated. Julie is not sophisticated. (In fact, it means “youthful” which is pretty much the opposite of sophisticated.)

  11. “The name Julie is so seventies that by the time I get to be 80 years old, it will be the equivalent of Maude or Gertrude or Betty today.”–this is so funny Julie!!
    Love this post, glad you shared it again 🙂

  12. What a riot, Julie, and I loved the post! I was in an American Girl store last weeks and was amazed at all the new characters they’ve created. Your take on “Julie” was priceless…it made me laugh. “An American Old Lady” I love it! A line of dolls dedicated to the wisdom-infused older ladies who have played a part in the “American Girls” lives. What tales we could weave…think it’ll fly??

  13. This post was fantastic! (and just for the record, I really like the name “Julie”) Like Jarm, I love the potential in “An American Old Lady”! And the doll was obviously based on you. Which is a compliment, really, when you think of all the Julies they *could* have chosen.

    Now I’m going to look through my old blog posts, because I like the idea of showing a previous post a little love.

    Thank you for brightening my day!

  14. I say send those AG people a threatening letter. You have a rock-solid case that they were “appropriating the plaintiff’s identity for the defendant’s benefit.” That’s invasion of privacy! You should at least get some free books or a doll or movie tickets out of it. 😉

    I love your assessment of how names go though trends. Some day the nursing home will be full of women named Susan, Sharon, Karen, Cindy, Stacy, Lori.

    Though I have heard Karen beginning to make a comeback. Julia is currently hot now, so your name will likely trend in again.

  15. Hi, Julie! What a great post, thanks for the smiles. 🙂 I just discovered your blog through the Deja Vu fest and I’m so glad to meet you. I’ve thought the same thing about our name! I work in a college and there’s not a Julie to be found. I think the students probably already think I’m old lady Julie! 😀

    • Nice to meet you too! Always good to meet fellow Julies. And I don’t think I’ve ever met a Julie who was more than 10 years younger than me, so no surprise you don’t encounter them at the college.

  16. Ha! I LOVE it. I don’t blame American Girl for emulating you, but do feel you deserve more credit. My mom wants a doll created in her honor as well… If it happens, I’ll put loud words in so you’ll get what’s due. 😉

  17. Hold on a second! Surely the “Julie” doll is based on ME. I, too, was a child in the 70’s, my parents divorced (in the 90’s) and I came with all the Julie accessories, too: Lite Brite, ShrinkyDinks, Weebles, and an Easy Bake Oven.

    I feel old enough now to qualify as American history, so this doll *must* be based on me. 🙂

    Fun post. Thanks for re-sharing.

  18. Tell you what, I’ll meet you in the doll hair salon at America Girl, we’ll have a sit in to protest! Fun post! Definitely deserved more exposure.

  19. Hilarious!! What a fun post to read. Thanks for re-posting.

  20. Oh, this is so funny, Julie. The doll looks just like you. Scream “copyright”! LOL! And the name Julie is sure to make a comeback soon. One of our neighbors just named their newborn son “George”. Talk about bringing back an outdated name. 🙂

  21. Wow! I’ve seen the “Julie: An American Girl” book at our local bookstore awhile ago. I’ll have to look into it.
    Erik. 🙂
    P.S. What do you mean “some or all of this post may or may not be true”?!? 😉

  22. Oh man, they need to give you royalty rights or something…That is too amazing!

    Thanks so much for joining the Blogfest!

  23. She really does look like you! I loved looking at both of your photos, especially the one of you on the shag carpeting! I think it’s time we ban together! Thanks for re-posting this, as good writing like the name Julie, never really goes out of style.

  24. Wow! That is amazing. She really does look like you. They really must have based the doll on you. What an honor!

  25. My mother bought me a pair of jeans out of the Sears catalog in the seventies. Raccoons embroidered on the pockets. Both of them! Why do you suppose they wouldn’t have a doll named, Scarlett? It’s the raccoons, isn’t it? I knew it!

    What a great voice you have! Love your sense of humor. No disrespect to the obvious theft of your identity intended! *wink*

    Btw, It’s SNOWING! Love it! Thank you for the treat!

  26. I think you definitely have a case there! With the right (ambulance chasing) lawyer, you could be rich!! 🙂

    I loved your snide humor in this. Thank you for re-posting it! 🙂

  27. LOL. That post was hilarious! I have the opposite problem with my name. When I was little no one had ever heard of the name Emma, except for a few 80 year old women. It was most definitely a grandma name in this country. In England, where my mother is from, it is more like Jennifer or Rachel. Common. When I was growing up you couldn’t find my name on anything. No pencils, liscense plates, or necklaces came with my name on them. My mom had to special order a pair of barrettes when I was ten. And people didn’t believe Emma was even a real name. They all asked if it was a nickname for Emily. The answer is no. Now, Emma is everywhere in this country. The hipsters have brought it back with a vengence, along with Henry and the names of trees. Now that I am old enough not to want them, the stores have plenty of plastic crap with my name on it. But, worst of all there are tons of kids with MY name. I liked it better when it was an old lady name.

  28. Too funny! They should have had you write the books!


  29. This was so funny to read. But I love the doll and what a great likeness. You receiving any royals?…..lol.

  30. This is a fantastic post, Julie. I was just complaining to my mom about how I always wanted an American Girl doll for Christmas, and my parents never bought me one. Instead, I would cut out pictures from the catalogues and make collages to ‘illustrate’ the stories that I wrote with my friends in elementary school. 😉

  31. Wonderful and fun re-post! I have a name that so ages me too. I think I might have to change it. Thanks for re-sharing! <3

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