Tuesday, August 5, 2008


For some odd reason, I woke up this morning thinking about my best old playmate, Barbie.

For years my sister Linda and I made an almost daily ritual of pulling her out of her shoe box to play with her.
We spent the entire afternoon pretending we were shopping or decorating or going out on a date.

We constructed miniature houses out of cardboard boxes and encyclopedias.
We used wash cloths for beds and Mom's cold cream jar for an end table.
We made couches out of knee socks and used building blocks for TV's, stereos and cool appliances.

We were always thrilled when Mom would buy us Barbie clothes at yard sales.
Usually they were hand crafted messes of crooked stitches and loopy crocheted knots and tiny underwear no bigger than a stamp.
But I do remember a nice red coat, a purple formal, and a fake fur collar.
And of course, there was always that faded, striped, one-piece bathing suit that Barbie was born in.

And although we had a few pairs of shoes for her, Barbie went barefoot most of the day, traveling in little hops as we walked her across bed pillows - danced her upon floors made of record albums -and swirled her in ice skating rinks built of mirrors.

I think we eventually got a Ken doll, which we shared.
But luckily our little brothers had GI Joes we could date- and model cars we could ride in -and race tracks we could jog on.

Barbie was our best friend, but we really didn't know her very well.
While surfing the web, Wikipedia offered me some interesting facts:

Barbie's full name is Barbara Millicent Roberts.
She was the daughter of George and Margaret Roberts.
She grew up in Willows, Wisconsin and attended Willows High School and Manhattan International High School in New York City.
She began dating Ken Carson in 1961, broke up with him in February 2004, but reconciled in February 2006.

Barbie has had over forty pets which include cats, dogs, horses, a panda, a lion cub, and a zebra.

She has had a career as an art teacher, Spanish teacher, sign language teacher and student teacher. As well as being a doctor, astronaut, nurse,vet,and surgeon.

She has served in the Army, Air Force, Navy and Marines.
She was the United States President in 2000, an ambassador for world peace, and even spent some time as a firefighter, policewoman, and a life guard.

But, to Linda and I, she was just plain, old Barbie.
Our best friend that lived under our bed,
grew inside of our hearts,
and watched us finally grow up.