Tuesday, November 20, 2012

the barbie monologues........




i struggle sometimes with suitable topics to write about. yes, i could tell you tales that would shrivel your balls to the size of raisins but i can't do that. i could do it if i lived in france with my boyfriend hugh and only returned occasionally to canada to buy maple syrup but alas this is not so.

but we must talk about something or someone. so off we go.

i played barbies a lot as a child. i had enough of them to stage some really great sagas. and as a child i was fascinated with disaster preparation and little house on the prairie so many episodes of my barbie soap opera involved panic and a covered wagon. i played on the bed and i constructed my roofless wagon from tea towels and knitted blankets. i had many more girl barbies than boys so stories had to be adapted to include cousins, maids and addled aunts who would often wander off in a storm. i (Malibu barbie) always had a great number of children. i was the octo-mom of my time. the children had to brought in from a variety of odd sources. i had a couple of dawn dolls and a few tiny dolls with giant heads that served as the babies. i filled in gaps with my troll dolls ( they were forced to wear toilet paper clothes)

 often i snuck my mother's small antique bisque dolls. although i was playing with these dolls on the sly and although my mother quite prized them (she kept them in the top drawer of her vanity) - i failed to protect them. sadly disasters do not lend themselves to gentle play and slowly but steadily the beauty of the little bisque dolls declined. any attempt by my mother to find out what was befalling her treasures was met with my standard defense - talk and talk until the person just goes away. my mother had given up trying to discipline my by this age. by 8 i was a mystery to her. i was a good kid and she probably liked me but she often would just look at me in way that suggested she had not encountered my species before. as often as not she would just say "you are so queer". this was back when queer was still a heterosexual adjective.  sometimes she'd say "i've just about have had enough of you" i'll admit when i first heard that i was quite taken aback. tiny little shards of fear  came hurdling at me. was it even possible for your mother to have had enough of you and especially enough of me - i was on the whole, rather wonderful. but that particular threat starting losing its sting when i started hearing it from other people like teachers or ministers. it was then i realized they didn't mean it - they were just letting off a little steam. i was safe to carry on.

my mother was a knitter and so my barbies were dressed head to toe in her adaptions of the latest fashions. sweaters and dresses were fine but the bikinis and pants were difficult for even my imagination to overlook. the clothes were not knit from delicate baby fiber but good solid mitten yarn. swimwear was so bulky it was impossible for barbie to lay on her back to get a tan. the pants proved nearly impossible to get up the rubber legs and often ken was forced to wear his red chunky acyclic pants for the entire winter. god love her though, no occasion was overlooked. i had knitted bridal gowns, and veils, walking shorts and tank tops. everyone went around looking uncomfortable and they were, as you can well imagine quite difficult to pose. but by god they could survive a blizzard, ken could last for days when he fell out of the wagon only the troll children in their 1 ply toilet tissue frocks succumbed to the bitter cold.

i sometimes played barbies with another little girl. when we played together it was not enough to have disaster and homesteading - we had to bring famous people into the mix. we were either part of the osmond or jackson family. but because we both liked the stars of the respective families and did not want to fight over them we thought it wise for us to become wed to one of the lesser family members. when we were the jacksons, i was the wife of tito and within the osmond clan i was betrothed to wayne.

i think it must have been quite a sight - mrs malibu barbie and her husband tito atop their tea towel wagon, each clutching one of their scantily clad troll children whilst trying to make their way through the swirling snow of a prairie blizzard.

tally ho
bev

40 comments:

  1. I don't remember playing with Barbie as a child although I did have some dolls that I loved but the ones that stick in my memory are large dolls
    maybe that is why I have a thing about large dolls even now..........

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    1. i was all about the barbie and also cutouts. i would set up elaborate houses for my cutouts. do you collect dolls?
      thanks for commenting, i appreciate it.

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  2. haha. i love this. i love your descriptions of the clothes your mom made for your barbies. thanks for stopping by to follow =) i followed back.

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    1. why thank you julie marie. i glad you stopped by, followed and commented

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  3. what a charming story about your childhood! do you want to follow each other? following you now and would love it if you do the same =)

    lesleykim.blogspot.com

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    1. hello lesley. thank you for your kind words. i would love to follow you back. i'll be right over.

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  4. cute blog! love it, and we are following you! Xo chaseandem.blogspot.com

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    1. thanks for the follow and your nice words. i will be right over to follow you back

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  5. Ah, Barbie. Corn silk hair and Ann Francis' face. Good times.

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    1. don't you just love her. thanks for commenting candace

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  6. Very interesting post about your life with Barbie dolls. These dolls have been so popular over the years. Thanks for becoming a Follower of my Blog. I am happy to follow back.

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    1. thank you judy for visiting and following.

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  7. Great post, Bev! I, too, was all about the elaborate storylines! And I read all of the Little House on the Prairie books so more often than not, Beauty and the Beast Bell Barbie was on her way to Manifest Destiny out west. My grandma tried to crochet clothes for the dolls but the proportions were never quite right, so she switched tactics and started crocheting clothes for my teddy bear, Bear. Great post! We, your readers, haven't had nearly enough of you! (And we want a ball shriveling story sometime, haha)

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    1. dear kate. thank you for your kind words. i loved to pack up my imaginary wagon and head out with tito. yes, the ball shriveling stories... we'll get to those later.xx

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  8. Ah, what memories you've evoked! I can just see you positioning Barbie and Tito atop their canopy. My neighbor, a girl 3.5 years older than me, "arranged" one of my barbies (I think it was Malibu, she got around) with her legs skyward in a V while ken lay rather askew between them. My mother was not happy and, of course, thought I'd made the configuration. I was seven or eight. Really, mom? The only things I'd seen engaged in relations were the frogs down at the creek. My troll had purple hair.

    I agree with Kate. Give us a ball shrivler!

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    1. lovely terri. i'm so glad you had a troll and a malibu barbie. ha ha dirty barbies. my barbies couldn't get that close in their knitted attire. xx

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  9. Gawd, we used to play Pioneers constantly. By ourselves, with the Barbies, with our pets . . . . Our other favourite game involved Batman, Robin, Tarzan, Robin Hood and Little John. Oh, and a rope swing.

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    1. wow pioneer batman and robin. i can not tell you how much i loved pioneer stories. maybe that's why i moved west when i grew up

      thanks for visiting and commenting debra

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  10. YES!!! I was lucky enough to inherit the dolls of my cousins as they grew old enough to start dating, menaing I too had the coveted Dawn dolls! My mother even traded antiques with a local dealer to get me some totally AWESOME 50's and 60's "housewife" barbies.
    I was adicted to my barbies for YEARS! Not becasue Grizly Adams could dance with Wonder Woman cheek to cleavage and crack me up, but becasue of the wonderful stories I could make up. Ahhh....thanks yet again for the memories, my dear friend!

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    1. i loved my dawn dolls. the year i got them for christmas was the year i found out about santa. i heard my mother in the attic on christmas eve saying "where are those damn dawn dolls" but even that couldn't overshadow my love for them.

      thanks for the nice comment sweetie xx

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  11. oh my gosh, this is hilarious!!! You are such a talented writer! I think you and I would have been best-barbie-playin'-friends :).

    I'm your newest follower!

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    1. well hello newest follower christine. thank you so much and you are welcome to come over anytime to play barbies.

      thanks for following and commenting.

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  12. Little House on the Prairie taught me to be a good woman, but I would wither and die on the frontier. I loathe the cold, tending fires, cooking, and especially sewing. Funny that your mom made all of those doll clothes! Great descriptions. Oh, and although I haven't visited your blog in a while, I also read your Genie bra post (funny!) and do you think Barbie would wear one? I'm still thinking about getting one. I hate my underwires, which as you know as an ample breasted sister, is practically a necessity in life. I'm still afraid I'll be wasting my money and now I'm worried about the support pads, LOL!

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    1. hi cindy brown. it is good to see you around these parts. i recommend the genie bra only if you don't care what people think of you. i love it but saggy boobs in lieu of underwires isn't for everyone. the support pads are great, they're like a bonus.

      thanks for visiting. come back soon

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  13. Dear Bev, this is one of the most delightful postings I've read on blogs in many moons! Ken and Barbie and life on the prairie. What a fertile imagination you had. And I think it's served you well all these many years. Peace.

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    1. dear dee. thank you my dear. i appreciate your visits and comments so much. i loved my barbies and the interesting life i could lead through them.

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  14. I can't wait until the babysitting years..

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    1. hey missy. i know who you are. i'm gobsmacked. just tell me what you want to hear.

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  15. Hey, Really great work, I would like to join your blog anyway so please continue sharing with us,teddy bear

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  16. Are you going to tell your readers about your cow tale over at my blog?

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  17. yes i would like to but how would i do that?

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  18. You could just make a post and tell them and link to it from your post. I announced it on SW but tend not to get much traffic from there. If I was still on Twitter, I'd tweet it.

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  19. This was hysterical - coming from a former barbie playing little girl. Loved it! Thanks for commenting and following me - following along here now!

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  20. Aloha Sweet Friend,
    We are gathering for An Aloha Affair , a sweet sort of mingling and sharing and growing together. I would so love it if you'd join us. You will always be welcome, anytime. Save ya a seat?...

    xo,
    Nicole
    localsugarhawaii.com

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  21. Oh, the joys of childhood! I have many good memories as well :) Thanks for your kind comments on my blog :)
    Ginny
    mynewfavoriteoutfit.blogspot.com

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  22. Barbies oh the memories.... just stopping by. Newest follower here. I love your photos, what camera do you use? (if you don't mind me asking).

    Kylie@RandomDrawers
    http://randomdrawers.blogspot.com.au

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  23. i don't think i ever write about suitable topics. oh well, such is life.

    thanks for stopping by my blog!!

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  24. I love your blog Bev and followed you back from the Aloha Blog Hop. I have always loved Barbie too. I have spent hours playing with them not only as a child but sharing that joy with my daughter later on. Have a great weekend!!! :):)

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  25. my niece was just born back in November...I cannot wait to share the world of Barbie with her :)

    thanks for stopping by my blog! love meeting people and seeing their blogs from the aloha blog hop!

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    ReplyDelete