Saturday, February 7, 2009

Barbies...must we?

Molly got invited to a sleepover birthday party recently. She was psyched to go, since it was the first overnight party ever...she's been on a couple of sleepovers, but just with kids we know here in the co-op. She could probably call our names anywhere inside the co-op gates and we would hear her, so going "off campus" is a different experience. The theme of the party was Barbie. Only problem? Molly doesn't own any Barbies. The invitation even said, "bring your favourite Barbie"...

Molly, to her credit, was very cool about the whole thing. She has two "Only Heart" dolls, which are much more like little girls rather than vinyl big-breasted ladies. The "Only Hearts" are actually covered in soft fuzz, so there isn't much mistaking them for Barbies. Nevertheless, when I suggested to her that she could take an "Only Heart" she was totally okay with that.

We went to the toy store to get the birthday girl a gift. While there choosing, I noticed that Barbies were on sale. Standing in front of the full wall of grinning, plastic, physiologically impossible dolls, I contemplated whether I should get one for Molly to take. I looked at her. She was also gazing up at the fortress of fake women. My eye fell on a ballerina Barbie that was actually sort of cute, clothed in a modest tutu, somehow athletic looking instead of tarty. I picked it up and asked Molly if she wanted it. She answered with a subdued, "Yes, please."

Later on in the store, she pulled me down to her level and offered a very sincere thanks for getting her the Barbie. She told me she was happy that she wouldn't be the only one without one. It made me wonder. Why hadn't she asked for one? Did she either not care that much, or did she not feel she could ask because she knew I wasn't keen on Barbie? did I feel about it...

The Barbie we got was pretty tame. I hadn't seen Molly playing with it since the party and when I emptied out her overnight bag today, I found the Barbie tucked in the side, untouched since the sleepover. It seems that Barbie's first contact with Molly doesn't have her abruptly considering plastic surgery or trying to sneak out of the house in a thong. So, that's good. I was also happy that when I asked her what gift she wanted to take to the party, her answer was "Something crafty? Crafty is fun...". Still my wee least for now.


Cristina Herman said...

Good post Les.

thebe said...

Les, just read "Barbies...must we?"
I loved this. Laughed out loud and felt all warm and fuzzy.
'Barbie Party' took place awhile ago but have just been reaing from April 9th backwards, so much life has happened in that time. I love your posts. Your writing is evocative and eloquent.

ps. I still have my Barbies, unusual looking creatures that they are.I have many hours (acutally years)of memories of little girl days playing with not just Barbie but egads, Ken.
Think the(incredible) dolls that Judy made are perfect for your girls and guy. love to all Patty