Monday, July 11, 2011

Big Letdown

When I was a kid, I remember having a pretty sweet Barbie doll collection. I had a Barbie canopy bed, a Barbie car, a Barbie hotdog stand, Barbie furniture, and tons of Barbie clothes and accessories. I remember feeling so blessed with Barbie stuff, that I gave away some of my Barbies to friends who had less. I had a Barbie collection to be envied. Or so I thought.

Today, I thought it would be fun to get some of my old Barbies out for Beatrice to play with. My mom and I dug deep into the boxes containing my childhood and found the collection of all Barbie collections. Except it wasn't as awesome as I remember it to be. It was quite pathetic actually.

Meet Barbie. She's a nurse. And she has a huge orange afro, circa 1964. She belonged to my mom. I remember her blue eyeshadow to be more exotic than it is today. And her orange afro.

This is her Ken. He is a doctor with really skinny legs and short shorts. He also moonlights as a tennis pro and a lifeguard. He looks like a marine.

I did have some new Barbies back in the day too. Peaches and Cream Barbie was my favorite. And Hawaiian Barbie. I named her Claudia because I thought that was the most beautiful name ever. She had cool hair and cooler clothes. But as I dug through the box containing all of the treasures of my youth, I realized my Barbie clothes sucked. They were homemade, but not cool homemade, makeshift homemade. As in I used old socks to make skirts and dresses. Old socks.

At least I fringed the hem.

In addition to the sock dresses, I also made clothes from scraps of lace and fabric that my mom had in her sewing kit. I omitted sewing altogether and instead just cut holes for arms and heads. I wonder if my lesser fortunate friends appreciated my handiwork and ingenuity...

I did find some authentic Barbie clothes. I remember this dress being my favorite because it was sparkly and racy. I always got in trouble though because I would pull it under Claudia's boobs and make her work the hotdog stand topless. My mom didn't approve.

She had the hots for Ken. He is also a doctor. But he moonlights as something else.

Ken was not monogamous. He liked all of my Barbies. He really liked Keira and her head to toe denim ensemble. See. I had some cool Barbie clothes that weren't made from old socks.

My Barbie furniture consisted of my mom's 1960's dresser and this plastic couch I covered with flannel. Did I mention that I was making sock dresses and reupholstering furniture at 6? It actually explains a lot about who I am today. 

Today was kind of a let down. I realized that the Barbie collection I once was so proud of was actually pretty lame. My Barbie car was one of my brother's toy cars, my clothes were made of socks, and my furniture was either 45 years old or not meant for Barbie at all. I also realized that we were a lot poorer than I ever knew. The sock dresses gave it away. But you know what? My childhood was fun, ghetto Barbies and all. And Beatrice doesn't have a clue how ridiculous my collection is. She thinks my Barbies are awesome.

She likes their boobies. And their hair. And their clothes. And their accessories. And their furniture. Just like I did.


  1. So sweet! Isn't if amazing how much of the "real" world we are oblivious to as children?

  2. LOVE IT! Not only because it shows how much kids are able to see the joy in EVERYTHING, but also because I can totally relate!

    I had one barbie, and she came with a plastic case that opened into a little house type backdrop...and about a year ago I mentioned to my mom that I still remembered taking the wrapping paper off of that gift a Christmas, and she told me that she was so excited to give it to us (my sister and I both got one) because she had salvaged them from a store that had caught on fire and after she cleaned the soot off they were as good as new!

    The stuff you dont know when you are little is amazing!

  3. It just goes to show that kids really don't need all the expensive toys and gadgets when they have a real imagination!

  4. this is hilarious! I never played with Barbies... wasn't interested. And unlike you, today I have no interest in clothes, fashion, sewing or the like. Thank God I have boys... He knows me so well!

  5. I used to love playing with barbies in my childhood.Like this blog it brings back my memories of childhood.
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