50, it’s the new 30

When I was a wee girl, I played Barbies.  I didn’t have the house, the Barbie carrier or even the Barbie car, those were for rich kids.  I did however have imagination.  It was not uncommon to see random shoe boxes made into Barbie Houses where I would place her teeny tiny little clothes on hangers and put them in her teeny tiny closet along with her with her teensy spikey shoes.   Let’s think about this for a second, what toy developer had the brain storm to have a ka-jillion little pieces of plastic that surely were ingested by various children.  I for one often chewed on the one boot that hadn’t gotten lost.  What good is one boot?  For chewin’, I say.

The  favorite dress I never got was the Black evening gown. The one that was all poofy at the bottom, amd strapless .  It was so cool and elegant.  I thought that when I would grow up I would have one for my special occasions.  Yes, I use it for gardening…kids, so naive.

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My mom even went so far as to make my Barbie clothes. Clothes that had little tiny zippers and snaps. I thought this was insane even at the ripe age of 8.  I think she did it to stay busy… cuz god knows 7 kids won’t keep you busy. Really, what other mother made Barbie clothes?   Probably the same ones that made their daughters swimsuits and under-roos, but that’s a story for another day.  I don’t recall what the homemade  Barbie clothes were, probably some swingin pant suit in the latest floral polyester fabric. After all that’s what I wore. Groovy and hip!

I would decorate my Barbie house with rocks and boards for sitting and manufacture tables out of the shoe box lids.  None of my brothers had GI Joe so Barbie was single at my house.  Sure she could hang out with the other Barbies at our house, but I don’t really remember them very well.  I think my sisters didn’t want me to get to familiar with them and try to take over ownership.  One Christmas, my parents must have really been hurting for money.  I say this because shortly before Christmas, Barbie went missing.  Oddly enough she showed back up again Christmas morning, with NEW hair.  I think I was scarred from this incident, I can’t take a beehive hairdo seriously. Gone was the original flowing movable hair replaced with a round spun hair bonnet.  It was blond and I think it made her look goofy, but I guess it was cheaper than a new doll. Plus the new hair kept falling off and rolling under the bed and get covered with dust bunnies.  I think I had the first ‘Chemo Barbie’.

I just thought of this story that I have to tell you. Within the last few days I got in contact with a friend that I haven’t seen in over 20 years.  She lives in Finland with her husband and four girls.  I am ecstatic to be in contact with her and we have a lot of catching up to do.  I tell you that, to tell you this.

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When I first moved to Seattle this friend came to visit with her two oldest girls.  This was in the days when you could go to the gate, watch people get off the plane and wait for them in the greeting area.  I was at the gate and saw the plane come in.  It was one of those commuter jobies where the passengers walk directly from the stairs on to the tarmac.  I spotted my friend and wowee did she have her hands full with her two little girls.  With a little girl in each hand and a couple of travel bags over her shoulder, she made her way down the stairs of the plane.  The little girls we’re both carrying some things as well,but I couldn’t tell what.  That is until they got to about the bottom two stairs.  Then everyone there could tell what they were carrying.  The gravity must have been really strong in that area because all of a sudden a Barbie case that one of girls was holding came to life and sprang open, scattering Barbie bits all over the tarmac.  You could hear this collective gasp inside the gate area as we all watched people scramble to help pick up Barbies belongings, putting them back into the case.  Their arrival into the gate was delayed for what I’m sure must have felt like a decade, but no damage was done. However, I think I saw a yellow Barbie shoe on the tarmac last time I was flying out of SeaTac.

So I have a few memories based around Barbie.  Did you know that March 9th is Barbie’s 50th Birthday?  50, that sounds so old, yet she looks younger than ever.  She’s still hanging around with the same gang, Ken, Midge, Skipper.  If Barbie had gotten her poop in a group years ago, she’d probably be a grandma by now.  I’m content with the thought that she is a Grandma, a mom, a step mom, a foster mom, a sister, a daughter, and neice, a cousin, and just a girl, based on the imaginations of millions of little girls around the world.  If Barbie were a real girl I know that we would be BFF.  We’d be celebrating our 50th Birthday’s the same week and reflecting on our lives.  So here’s to you Barbie, I never would have made it without you.  50 is the new 30.

7 thoughts on “50, it’s the new 30

  1. My mom made my Barbie clothes too! I think I loved those more than the store bought ones. 🙂

    I loved my Barbies and never saw anything wrong with them. Which is why when I hear such stories as people wanting to ban Barbies because they are a bad role model for young girls I think, pawshaw. I grew up fine, no eating disorders or bad body image problems. Trust that girls will grow up fine with Barbie. THey have for 50 years.

  2. Justin and I always played GI Joe and Barbie. I think I read that a Barbie a sold a couple times a minute. That was before Brats came into the picture and took over the world.

  3. the recycling dolls for kids is a very old tradition, I remember a doll of mine disappearing before Christmas, (I was what three?) and it reappeared inside a cracker box with different clothes. I called her “crackers” after that.
    I am too old for Barbie,when I dyed my last doll’s hair with black ink, the doll was history as was my career in hair dressing. But I did make you guys doll blankets as a home ec project for Christmas one time, took me forEVER sewing on Grandma Horn’s sewing machine when she lived in town. I’m pretty sure they were pretty ugly doll blankets.

  4. I lost my barbie once, for months, she was found, lonely and starving, on top of the bed canopy (yes I had one of those)… in a log cabin where I spent my childhood, located between Cascade and Cougar Mtn. An embarrassing experience with that canopy (it was not a whole one, just a half one) in 1st grade I was asked to tell something about myself. I said I had half a canopee over my bed where I lost my barbie one time. The kids all laughed and I ended up getting much grief over that stupid halfa can’a pee.

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