Tuesday, November 13, 2012


or One of Her Friends

"Barbie" and some of the clothes I made for her.
 When I was growing up, I had toys. I had dolls and stuffed animals. I had a bike and a tree swing. And I had the ever important sticks and rocks. But I didn't have any of the TV or popular toys. That was until my older sister got one for her birthday from a friend. She got a Barbie. I was only four at the time, but I understood the importance of this doll. There was status associated with having a Barbie.

It was my older sister's doll for a long time until it eventually got passed down to me. I loved “my” Barbie. Many hours were spent playing with this grown up doll. However, eventually “my” Barbie became my younger sister's Barbie. That was okay with me because I understood that she was a family toy.

So recently when my mother was cleaning up and found Barbie, I was thrilled that none of my sister's wanted her. They said I could have her. However, they told me she wasn't Barbie. She was Midge, Barbie's friend. No, that couldn't be. I made them prove it to me and they were right. All of these years when I thought I had a Barbie, I only had her friend. It shouldn't have a difference, but it did. I felt like I had come in second place when only the first place got a prize.

My reaction surprised me that something so long ago of very little consequence still meant a lot to me. But I guess some things never change. We all want to fit in one way or another and having a Barbie made me feel like I fit in in an important way. As an adult, I can convince my grownup self that things don't matter--actions do. However, my young self still wishes that I had had Barbie and not just her friend.
But wait, there's more...
I had a friend that grew up next to the real Ken and Barbie. The real Ken and Barbie were nice and no, the real Barbie did not look like the Barbie doll. I knew that you would be interested in this tidbit. This story is almost as interesting as the time I met one of the Pips of Gladys Knight and the Pips. I'll tell you that another time.