Wednesday, December 25, 2013

A Barbie Christmas

This is a story that ran about 2-3 years ago. But since it's Christmas, I thought I'd post it again. I'll post the boy version of the story, in case you also happen to posses a male type!

Is it just me, or was Christmas easier when the kids were young?  When my girls were little, I only had to keep two things in mind when buying toys – pink and Barbie.  Generally, they were one and the same and the only thing on my daughters' list.  I'd head to the toy store and follow the pink rainbow that ended in an overflowing Barbie pot of gold.  

            I'm amazed at the staggering amount of Barbie paraphernalia that's out there to be purchased, and how much of it was purchased by ME.  You'd think that a small, eleven and a half inch plastic doll would be easy on the pocket book, but nothing could be further from the truth.

            First, there was Barbie and her clothes, which included, but wasn't limited to, bathing suits, business suits, pants suits, mini skirts, halter dresses, t-shirts, shorts and a wide array of pajamas.  Every designer worth their salt designed evening wear for the perky Princess. 
            Barbie also needed shoes, purses, necklaces, and even hairbrushes.  All of these items were in miniature form, making them the first things to get lost on Christmas morning, only to be found in the middle of the night – embedded in your foot.  The day after Christmas, Barbie's myriad of clothes and accessories are strewn about the house and like the proverbial sock lost in the dryer, the odds of a pair of Barbie shoes meeting up again are slim to none.  Most Barbies are doomed to hobble the Earth, wearing only one pump.

            Along with a larger wardrobe and jewelry collection than most royal families, Barbie needed homes to house her accoutrement.  But not just any house; she needed a "Dream House".  Not content with a house that dreams were made of, Barbie also seemed to need a Vacation house.  Apparently, she also needed a three story "Dream Town House", a "My House", a "Totally Real" house, and a "Pink World" house (which I find pretty redundant – all things Barbie are pink; you wouldn't think it was necessary to point that out).

            Barbie had rapidly grown into a Trump-esque bastion of real estate.   I believe the most recent, modest number of homes available to her is nineteen.  I don't know if I've ever owned nineteen of anything! 

            Just in case you thought you were done housing Barbie, you have to furnish her vast empire; with actual furniture.   The first in waves and waves of furniture was labeled "dream"; of course it was.  The problem was for parents, those dreams turned into costly nightmares.  There was a Dream Sofa and living room set, Dream Bedrooms, Dream Kitchens, and yes, even a Pink Dream Bathroom.  I kid you not – Barbie even has her own Dream Hot Tub. 

            It turns out that Barbie needed a boyfriend, who came in the person of the perfect Ken doll.  Ken is a must have for Barbie fans, even though after he's purchased, he spends most of his time out in the Barbie garage.  And just when you thought the outlay of money would stop after Barbie had a closet full of clothes, shoes, accessories and the perfect All American boyfriend, you find out that Barbie needs friends.  Lots and lots of friends.

            First came Midge, who, frankly, got the short end of the stick.  She wasn't nearly as curvy (read sexy) or attractive as her best friend and of course, there wasn't a specific boy doll made for poor Midge.  Next came Skipper, Stacey, PJ, Christie, Francie, Tutti, Kelly and on and on and on it went.  Plastic dolls were occupying every nook and cranny of the house, in between couch cushions, in wash machines and bathing in sinks full of sudsy water.  Oddly, they never seemed to be content in their dream home.  

            But if a girl has a house, then she needs transportation to get to and from the grocery store, clothes store, and friend's houses; the Barbie convertible was born.  The first generation was cheap plastic, and getting Barbie and her friends in and out of said vehicle was a pretty exhausting endeavor.  Often times, hair, shoes and articles of clothing were snagged on the cheap plastic.

            Never one to settle for less than everything, Barbie added a Glam VW Beetle, Glam Corvette, Glam Boat, and even a glam RV.  I guess even when you own several large homes, you need to get away in a small one.  The one thing I don't think that Barbie has ever owned was a tent; but I could be wrong.  There's probably even a Survivor Barbie by now.

            I can't complain, since I fed the growing Barbie giant.  Little girls were addicted to all things "B" and beginning in October, Mattel trotted out all kinds of things that our gal just can't be without.  I'm fairly certain that even The Donald acknowledges her supremacy in the toy dominion.  And like The Donald, Barbie even had her own jumbo jet. 

            On the bright side, my girls would play with Barbie for hours.  Their friends would come over, toting their very own plethora of Pink Princesses, but I barely heard a peep out of them.  Even though all of Barbie's earthly physical needs had been met, the girls used their imaginations to create the world she lived in.  And thankfully, that world was usually peaceful and tastefully decorated. 

            That is, until their brother brought GI Joe, his army buddies, tanks, flame throwers and combat helicopters over. 

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The Curious Case of the Brunette Lucy

The Curious Case of the Brunette Lucy
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