Stacey and I were recently talking on the phone, an everyday occurrence, and as usual, we had gotten off subject and somehow on the topic of Barbie.
Now, I should stop here and tell you that Stacey and I had very different upbringings. I grew up in the sticks. The. Sticks. There weren’t any neighborhood kids to play with. Uh, there wasn’t even a neighborhood. As the youngest (at the time) of three, I was most likely to be picked on and I learned to play by myself fast. My older sister is six years older than I am so by the time I reached the Barbie age she had outgrown it. So I inherited her Barbie as well. I cut her hair into a chin-length bob so I could tell them apart–the Barbie’s, not my sister’s.
Stacey grew up as an only child. Like with me and my youngest sister, there is big gap between her age and that of her older sister. But Stacey grew up in a neighborhood. And during this call, she’s telling me about how the main goal at these playdates was to call dibs on naming her Barbie first.
You named your Barbie? Why did you name your Barbie? I ask. Barbie already has a name…Barbie.
At this point Stacey is laughing her head off. Of course she had to name her Barbie when playing Barbies with the rest of the neighborhood girls. Otherwise they would have all had the same name.
I fess up that I did name my short-haired Barbie, Serena, after the evil twin of Samantha Stevens on Bewitched. (I couldn’t figure out a way to dye her hair black or I might have done that too!) And she was evil!
So Stacey would play Barbies with her friends–teacher, mother, wife. Is it any wonder that she grew up to be a teacher? (and a mother and a wife?)
I had also had a Ken doll. Just one. He owned a pair of red swim trunks and a tan-colored corduroy blazer. He wore this on his dates with Barbie. And Serena which caused a big riff between the twins. Especially when Barbie caught Ken in bed (a shoebox with one of my daddy’s handkerchiefs inside for bedding) with Serena! (I told you she was evil.)
Is it any wonder I became a romance writer?
But the most fun thing about the conversation was learning how someone else played with their Barbies. Well, that and the fact that Stacey always wanted to use the coveted name of Jessica for her Barbie.
How about you? Did you have a Barbie? One or two? Did you call her Jessica? Did you own Ken? The dream house? The RV? Take a walk down memory lane…what was your favorite way to play with Barbie?
And check this out…18 Surprising Things You <probably> Don’t Know About Barbie https://www.buzzfeed.com/briangalindo/18-surprising-things-you-dont-know-about-barbie?utm_term=.wiOMEa6A9#.bn0O52Rbo
And so there’s no confusion, Barbie is a registered trademark of the Mattel Toy Company. :)