A recent visit to a fellow author's house for our annual PAN meeting resulted in half a dozen of us playing, er, Barbie. Actually, we quickly dressed the Barbies in historical costumes and tried not to reveal to our fellow cohorts just how much fun it was to relive good times with a long lost friend. I'm talking about Barbie. And I once worshipped to the altar of Barbie.
Oh yeah, Barbie was my life, my goal, dream. I was going to have the perfect life someday, just like Barbie. I would have the perfect figure, exquisite clothes, and stylish hair. My feet would always fits into precious pink heels and my boyfriend would always greet me with a smile and those perfect white teeth. I'd have the camper, the apartment, the corvette, why yes, I'd even have my own private airplane and a Barbie Horse. And when I married, I'd come home to Ken, whose plastified smile was always ready to greet me. Ken would do whatever Barbie asked, he'd even wear the plastic apron and serve Barbie drinks aboard the airplane as they jetsetted to DisneyWorld for vacation. (Hey, I was a kid. DisneyWorld was the Ultimate Vacation.) If Barbie asked, Ken delivered, and never without that plastified smile.
And ah, observe the precious Barbie baby, whose head (I didn't take note of at the time) was virtually the same size as Barbie's head! (Talk about an anatomical ouch!) But the accessories that baby had! And all of them matchy-matchy and easily moved about by Ken, (as he grinned his plastified grin). Along with the perfect Ken, and perfect baby and a plastic cat or two, Barbie lived the dream.
Well, Barbie, you got some 'splain' to do.
I'm grown now. I have the 'life'. I'm married, have children, and the two cats (not plastic, but there are days I wish they were because I suspect plastic cats don't hack up hairball). Interesting, isn't it, how the dream can change? I don't seem to recall there being a Barbie Broom and Dustpan, Barbie Dishrag, or for that matter, a Barbie Toilet Brush. Barbie never owned a washer and dryer, and heaven forbid she wouldn't have a perfectly new outfit to wear each day, anyway. And what's with that baby that never came equipped with the Barbie Baby Rash or the Barbie Baby Diaper Genie? Who could have ever suspected a baby would be so...smelly and just so darn odd after that perfect big-headed unbendable baby that even smelled like baby powder?
And I certainly never recall Barbie having to rush to the bathroom and spray the Barbie Deodorizer after Ken exits with a guilty plastified grin affixed to his face. Nor do I recall the standard issue Remote Control Ken, just pose him in front of the plastic television, and point the remote; that's his talent!
They never had Corporate Raider Barbie, equipped with cellphone, laptop, rolodex and a wicked craving to sleep with Boss Ken while simultaneously sabotaging Barbie Climbing the Corporate Ladder's chance of ever getting that big promotion. And never mind the lacking appearance of Department Store Barbie on toystore shelves, who comes with a snappy blue vest and a tilted name tag and wears a frown on her plastified mouth as she mumbles into the intercom, "Price check on a box of supersize tampons. Checkout eight."
Where was Domestic Barbie? Oh, I know, she was married to Seventy-Hours A Week White Collar Ken. She stays at home with three plastic Spit-Up Babies and four Can't Be Housetrained poodles clambering for her attention while she can't figure out how the Barbie Toilet Brush got shoved into the garden hose and where did that last Barbie Babysitter find the secret alcohol stash?
My personal favorite would have been Migraine Barbie. A tiny bottle of Barbie Aspirin comes fitted into her plastic fingers, but don't bother calling Doctor Ken. You can't remove her from the box. She needs it dark and quiet. And don't shake her up; she'll spew.
What about Writer Barbie? She'd come equipped with a Barbie Computer (yet how to type with those four fused plastic fingers?) a stash of chocolate and attired in pajamas and bunny slippers. Her hair would refuse all styles and she would have an extra large backside garnered from Dedication To Work While Hunched Over The Keyboard Chasing The Muse. But man, would she have the office supplies. Little tiny Barbie Paperclips and Post-it Pads. An endless supply of fancy pens and little tiny books with her name on that she could hand out, perhaps even to Migraine Barbie, in an attempt to sooth her troubles. She'd write fantastical stories that always ended happily, sort of like the original Barbie Dream, but with a lot more reality stirred in.
Yeah, I like Writer Barbie, even if she's been known to attack UPS Ken when he comes knocking because he is her only connection to the outside world and he brings boxes from Amazon, and occasionally checks from her publisher. Ken doesn't know it, but Writer Barbie and UPS Ken have this 'thing'. It's okay, hand Remote Control Ken his clicker, and the whole world is right.
So, which Barbie would you like to see on the department store shelves?