My Ken Doll’s Decapitated and my Barbie’s Missing Limbs: A Mafia Memoir Manufactured by Mattel


I came to Barbie late.  I didn’t have my first before the age of 10, maybe even 11—a fact that came to me the other day when dragging my suitcase of surviving dolls out from under the attic eaves.

My partner Sara didn’t realize I’d saved them all these years, and after our discussion about the dolls, I knew it was time to explore the impact these icons of American culture had on my childhood—using them to analyze relationships with both my mafia father and my highly religious, soon-to-be-sainted mother, the same one who dressed in tight leather pants and was known to sport a feather boa.

My parents (left) cruising with friends in 1976. Note my mother’s feather boa.

Perhaps, I could even use the dolls to discuss how Barbie stereotypes about femininity influenced my later lesbian identity—or my complete inability to so identify as an adolescent.

Perhaps, is some ways, my life had been manufactured by Mattel.

For example, despite his mafia affiliation, Daddy was always tons of fun.  A practical joker, he had a sense of humor that rivaled that of Dick van Dyke and a more handsome head on his shoulders than my surviving but decapitated Ken doll from 1976.  (Daddy even looked like Dick van Dyke.)

Dick van Dyke (L), Daddy (Center), Decapitated Ken (R)

Let’s just say, at least, Daddy had his head attached.

With him, it was we kids who laughed our own heads off.   The hilarity was endless.

I’ve shared before the fun my father had with an automatic car starter as early as 1977, back when such devises were virtually unheard of by most Americans—how he loved to startle unsuspecting, south Florida strangers, one of whom kicked the right, rear tire when the car spontaneously roared to life beside him.

But Daddy’s illegal efforts to make a living often interfered with my own freedom to play in ordinary ways.  Since he worked from home, and since that, more often than not, involved locked doors, my sisters and I couldn’t come and go as we wished.  On the weekends especially, when the FBI was most likely to raid, our house was barred and bolted, locked up tight as Lindsay Lohan in an LA county jail.

Daddy’s door security was built by his “customer” Cheech, who you might remember, created the tin lined cubby hole hollowed from the top of our third floor door, where Daddy could hide his fed-offending documents.  However, Cheech also installed steel brackets that allowed a metal bar to fit across our rear entrance.  With that barricade in place, it was nearly impossible to break down the kitchen door.

So, it was the front FBI agents always kicked in when they arrived.  In fact, Daddy posted us kids regularly at windows on our third floor during times when raids seemed most likely, especially on weekends during football season, always on Super Bowl Sunday.  Braided and skinned knee-ed, sometimes newly bathed and dressed in Holly Hobbie nightgowns, we were expected to spot government cars approaching and notify my father.

This advanced warning would have afforded him time to destroy incriminating evidence before agents accessed the house itself.  Daddy’s bets were recorded in neat rows on flush-friendly rice paper that dissolved easily in toilet bowls.  This “safety” system could have worked well had the FBI ever chosen to come when we were actually watching.  Ironically, we were always caught off guard.

All of this impacted play, as you might imagine.  We could play inside, or we could play outside.  We couldn’t come and go between the two.

But since there was a door from our basement to the outside that could safely remain unlocked, one solution involved taking our play underground.  From there we could go in and out without impacting Daddy’s security in the main part of the house.  There was a toilet and a refrigerator, as well as an area where my mom had spread a piece of blue indoor-outdoor carpet over the cement floor.

Down there my sisters and I played school.  Down there we roller skated, played with Barbie dolls and Lincoln Logs.

In that basement Daddy hid his metal money-box—the one filled with US dollars, the bills rubber-banded, in dime-sized ($1,000) stacks.  It was there our laundry chutes led—opening into side-by-side wooden hampers large enough to crawl into and hide until we were the size of five or six-year-olds.  There our washer and dryer were kept.  There lived large laundry sinks and the mangle my grandmother Kimmy used to iron sheets.  There were clothes lines, a furnace, the clown-covered toy box I had when I was little.

When it came time to play with Barbie dolls, however, I mostly played alone.  My sisters preferred pushing Matchbox cars across the floor.  My brother didn’t keep his toys with ours.  He hung out upstairs with Daddy more than we did.  He dressed up in super hero Underoos, tied bath towels around his neck as makeshift capes, and tumbled around the living room while Daddy worked.

But what were the implications of playing with Barbie well into early adolescence and only in the basement?  What does it suggest that my surviving dolls were from the then-famous and sun-tanned Malibu line— so seemingly skin-cancered now, some 4 decades later, they’ve literally lost entire limbs?

My answers don’t come easily.  I can merely guess.

I’m only sure I didn’t play with dolls the way other girls in the neighborhood did.  They seemed more concerned with dressing Barbie up, combing her hair, and sending her on dates.  It’s not that the outfits didn’t interest me.  They did.

A few of the many items I discovered in my Barbie suitcase–

But my dolls didn’t date, and if they had, they wouldn’t have been paired with Ken but more likely with one another.  They didn’t make a lesbian Barbie back then.  Hell, they don’t make a dyke doll even now.

My Barbies didn’t live in the closet but literally underground, and I used my dolls to tell stories to myself—to act them out on our basement floor—concrete, solid, firm beneath my feet—not how I experienced myself.  Instead, I felt doll-like, plastic, unreal.  I inherited from my religious mother a femininity (if not habit-ed or feather-boa-ed), one that was manufactured, molded, and mass-produced.

Did I use the dolls to act out my own unlived, woman-identified femininity?  Perhaps, I’ll never know.

What is certain, however, is that I later lost, not my head, but my mind.  I lived in a basement of mood disorder, mania, psychosis.  My dolls may have time-traveled 40 years, literally losing limbs during the intervening decades.  But, in telling my story, I rewrite myself, crazy Kathy re-membered in the process.

So, this week I’ll dust off my dolls.  I’ll launder their wardrobes, rescue them from architectural exile in either attic or cellar, and save them from closeting in my mother’s Sampsonite from the 1950s—their own version of dark and dated.

I can have a father from the mafia but not live myself, dismembered in some bipolar underworld.  I can be a sane, whole, and liberated lesbian.

I’ve proven that already.

Did you play with Barbies or GI Joes when you were little?  Is there a connection between your favorite toys back then and who you are today?

Note:  I posted this a couple of hours before I read this week’s Daily Post Writing Challenge, but I think it counts.  Check out the challenge and try it yourself.

90 thoughts on “My Ken Doll’s Decapitated and my Barbie’s Missing Limbs: A Mafia Memoir Manufactured by Mattel

  1. I always love your stories and paring this with Barbie was perfect and priceless! I’m pretty sure I set fire to my Barbie, I also preferred dinky cars and climbling trees, something about dolls that have always freaked me out!

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    • SO glad you enjoyed this one, Jennifer. Interestly, when I was younger I was a tree-climber, as well. It was when I got older I turned to Barbie dolls. Weird, isn’t it? Thanks so much for reading. Happy Monday, my friend.

      Like

  2. My Barbies rode palominos and staged coups with “Chief Cherokiee” (doll) against my brother’s G.I. Joes. Now that you ask, the Barbies I had closely resembled how I lived my childhood – as a pony riding, cap-gun shooting, wild-haired girl who just knew – inherently knew – she could do anything and that the rest of them could just watch her go…
    MJ

    PS – what a deep and interesting post!

    Like

    • How fun! Somehow this doesn’t surprise me at all about you. And how fascinating that your childhood also resembled your doll experiences. Thanks so much for taking a look. Great to hear from you, my friend. By the way, can’t tell you how much your post yesterday touched me!

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  3. I am sure if my therapist mind was working this morning, I would have all kinds of thoughts on this even though you seem to have a handle on things.

    I did play with Barbie and Ken dolls with my sister who is five years younger, we used to have fashions show… Ha ha! In 1989 there was Magic Earring Barbie and Ken in which Ken has two tone hair, purple vest, mesh shirt, black jeans, and a silver ring hanging from a string around his neck, finally Ken has come out. LOL! We all had to buy one, mine is still setting on my dresser in my room.

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  4. Excellent. It’s good to see you back on track. Your parents looked like a colorful Hollywood couple. That lifestyle in and of itself must have been difficult for a child. You have so much to sift through.

    Before, in an earlier memoir post, I said that I thought your story should focus on your father. I don’t feel that way anymore. I believe you’re getting around to it here. He’s an actor in your story. As is your mother. Use whatever makes sense for you to use.

    You are such a good writer. That’s the most important thing.

    I had a Barbie. But more than dressing her in homemade clothes every now and then, and losing shoes, I don’t remember much about playing with her.

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    • Thanks for reading, Christine. I’m delighted this piece works for you and SO SO SO appreciate you support. I think you are correct about my dad only being one player. My mom was one in and of herself–still is! Poeple LOVE her. She’s a hoot–a complicated character with fun ad flaws all her own.

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  5. Powerful words as usual, Kathy. And, may I point out, much more detailed than my own memory of barbie play. Although I do recall making clothes and creating fabulous homes for Barbie, since we had them pre-Barbie’s dream home. And I had a Donny and Marie barie. Donny had purlple socks.

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    • How funny that there were Donny and Marie Barbies. Never heard of them! I built houses as well–though they were primitive–to say the least. It’s great to hear from you today, Lisa! Hope you have a wonderful week, my friend!

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  6. Hi Kathy….each time I read a post about your earlier life I always want to ask, and then forget to ask, what was your life like in school, knowing who your Dad was, with friends your own age in the neighborhood. Did you have best friends for sleep overs! How did the neighborhood and merchants treat you guys?

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    • Great questions, Chris. However, they are likely too complicated to answer in any comprhensive way here. To be honest, my most simple answer is–I don’t know. I need to think about this, my answer might be different for each group of people. Great ideas for posts, don’t you think? Thanks for the idea, my friend. Hugs to you!

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      • It’s another dimension to the seemingly-all-encompassing experience of family only, or is that Family only? >:-D

        Is it OK if I observe that it seems a radical compartmentalizing? That is, the family experience seems enormous — rightly so. But where is the Kid Kathy who went to Skool? Movies with friends? Roller skating? Birthday parties? Very curious! (none o’ my bidness, o’ course!)

        We had a different limitation when I was a kid–didn’t bring friends home after a certain moment because of the strange and unpredictable behavior from the grown-ups–turns out, one of them was drinking to dull the pain and the other was reacting BIG or just disappearing. The kid disappears in the big stuff.

        I’m happy you’re feeling like digging deep and writing again, Kathy. Sometimes it feels to me when I don’t write for a while, that I’ll never write again, that the words are lost in the internal jumble.

        Never fear, Chatty Laurel is here! >:-D oh dear…

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      • I’m so happy to hear from you, Laurel. Family, indeed! LOL

        Your observation is a good one. The fact of the matter is there wasn’t much time for Kid Kathy. I didn’t do a lot of those activities. In fact, I think only one of my friends ever spent the night–and that happened only once. It was hard to bring others into this setting–ofen impossible. I can imagine the conversation now. “Hey wanna come over and watch for the FBI with me?” GOD! Likely this is something I need to write about.

        But thanks for pointing this out, as sometimes it’s not easy to figure out how things “should” have been or might have been otherwise.

        I always love your comments!

        Like

    • Yeah, I guess that is pretty weird. What’s even weirder is that it doesn’t seem all that weird to me. I understand how it must look from the oputside, but from the inside, it still seems pretty routine. Is that whacko or what?

      Great to hear from you, Trinity!

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  7. Playing with Barbies for me was usually more about what they did than how they looked. I did enjoy making outfits out of kleenex and toilet paper though. I also recall many fights with my sisters about leaving my dolls alone.

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    • There’s so much I wasn’t able to address in this post, but you bring up a good one. In this suitcase I discovered some of my primitive attempts at making clothes. I didn’t use toilet paper, I used actual fabric. However, they were BAD! Maybe a subject for another post altogether. Thanks for mentioning this, Lisa!

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  8. Kathy , you write so evocatively, I could imagine every part, specially the little girl playing with her dolls in the basement ! we can analyse and make possible assumptions about how certain events in our lives had an impact on us later in life. But I feel the truth is that human minds are too complex! and a million things go into making us what we become 🙂 I like the honesty and candor with which you speak about your journey! You come across as a beautiful wonderful person , made better by all the trials you have been through! God bless you! Ah! about the barbies – I didn’t own any! none! Zilch! If I had my way, my daughter wouldn’t own one too. I like my dolls to be chubby and cute and cuddly not look like supermodels just off the ramp! but that’s only me! even my daughter doesn’t agree 🙂 at last count she had 16!(eyes rolling! I wish wordpress would give us some emoticons now );)

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    • I’m so happy you like this post! It was an interesting challenge–trying to write about my life via the Barbie dolls I owned–fun mostly.

      You were better off not to have had Barbies. I don’t know how I would feel about a child of mine having them. Tough call.

      Did you have any toys that helped define your experience of childhood?

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    • Glad you appreciate this post and think it works with the challenge. It was a fun one to write–fun to think about. In fact, I’d been planning to do some kind of post with the dolls for a while and have just now gotten around to it. Thanks for the commment. Hope you’ll stop by again soon!

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  9. I bet your Barbies are happy to be out of the closet, so to speak.

    Loved the photos of Dick Van Dyke, your dad and Ken’s head. What an unusual trio.

    Great post, Kathy. You never know what is going to inspire creativity. Keep up the good work.

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    • I think the dolls are, at the very least, happy to have escaped the suitcase. LOL Glad you enjoyed my photos of my dad with Dick van Dyke and Ken. I always thought there was an uncanny resemblance between my dad and ol’ Dick. Great to hear from you, my friend!

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  10. I had a deprived childhood. I didn’t have a Barbie – or a Ken.

    I think I’ve got over it a little after reading your story though. A very evocative post. Thanks for sharing. I’ve entered the challenge for the first time, I haven’t seen it before. Don’t ask me how I missed it – I just don’t know!

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    • You may have missed less than you think without Barbie or Ken in your life. I don’t know how I would feel about my child having them. Good to hear you entered the challenge. I will look for your post. Thanks for your comment. Hope you’ll stop by again soon!

      Like

  11. Barbie was not my kind of girl. I eventually owned one, but I wanted her only because she finally had dark hair. I was tired of all those blonde haired bitches! LOL…….. My sister ADORED Barbie. I would play with her with my jointed G.I. Joe doll, nicknamed Peg Leg Pete because he was missing a foot. She hated that I’d pretend her Barbie (one that was an original–damn, what would that be worth today?) was a werewolf woman and Pete would fight her. Sadly, Pete and Barb were also usually naked, my sister and I not having many clothing options for them, but also just not caring that they didn’t have any clothes on. What does that say about my warped little kid mind? Single footed, nudist werewolf slayers aren’t for the weak willed, let me tell ya!

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    • The real question is how Pete lost his foot. You didn’t amputate it yourself, did you? Sara says she had GI Joes. I think my sisters had them as well. But damn Sista, your Barbie experience was every bit as weird as mine! You rock. Now I know why I love you so much! LOL Hugs to you, my dear!

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      • After reading my post to the boys, they have declared your limbless and headless Barbies as much more interesting options than the pristine dolls their cousin has. See? You are preferable, dear heart!
        Love to you and Sara!

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  12. Hi Kathryn,
    I’ve seen your name on so many blogs that I follow so I decided to come say hello today and I’m so glad I did. I really enjoyed your story. Love the photo of your parents at dinner on the cruise!

    I didn’t allow my daughter to play with Barbies because they were too sexist. I bought her the British version which I think was called “CIndy?”. I know she had the one dressed as a horse rider … I have no idea whether she felt “deprived” …

    Like

    • I think you were probably wise to not allow your daughter to have Barbies. Sexist, indeed! I am only now learning about the whole “Sindy” thing. I did some reading about Barbies the other day and discovered her (Sindy) for the first time.

      Thanks so much for your comment. I’m delighted you decided to stop by. Hope you’ll come back soon!

      Like

  13. Pingback: What does my childhood imagination say about the adult I’ve become? « scatteringmoments

  14. I never owned Barbies .My sister had a few. They bored me. I was an outdoors tumble and play kind of kid. My kids don’t play Barbies. It isn’t the feminist objections. I have those. But if Caroline or Sam wanted a Barbie or two, I wouldn’t ban her from the house. (I could, in fact, use her to talk about reality versus games, and sexism, and a whole host of other terms that nobody ELSE’S nine and five year olds seem to know). They just never appealed at all. I never understood the purpose of dressing a doll only to rip the clothes off and do it again.

    Like

    • As I’ve said to other commenters, I think you’re probably wise to not invite Barbie into your house. If I had kids, I’d be reluctant. Weird thing is–I didn’t play with dolls at all until I was on the cusp of puberty. Weird, isn’t it?

      Great to hear from you, Jessie! Hope you’re doing well!

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  15. Hhhhhmmmm. I don’t recall Barbie’s. I did have that Barbie Head thing where it was a large head, made for putting make up on it. I am pretty sure I got bored with it quickly. I never ever got in to make up. Interesting how now I’m thinking you’re on to something with this Barbie connection. I didn’t care for dolls so much, or for doll fashion. I don’t care for fashion now either. I didn’t necessarily mind them. I wasn’t opposed to them. I just didn’t want them.

    I don’t know what that means.

    I’m amazed at your Barbie connection. And it made me laugh. You are right though, your dad is Dick Van Dyke and Ken and a little bit o’ mafia rolled in to one. 😉

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    • I’m not surprised, Colleen. I wouldn’t have expected you to be a Barbie groupie as a kid. I have some vague recollection of that head–though I’m pretty sure we never had one. Maybe it was from a commercial or something. Glad you agree that my dad looks like Dick Van Dyke–and a little like Ken, as well. Hope you’re having a good day, my friend.

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  16. There were Barbies in our house, but I don’t remember being very interested in them. I remember going to friends’ houses and wondering why they made such a fuss about the clothes and accessories.. i was a child of nature and always preferred to be outside and not doing something silly like playing with dolls. i haven’t changed much – nature trumps shopping for clothes any day!!!!

    this was a great post.. thanks!
    z

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    • I think I said this somewhere else in these comments, but it bears repeating. I was an outdoor-playing kid until the age of 11 or so. They I changed. I guess we all do, but that seems a strange age to start playing with Barbie’s doesn’t it?

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  17. I had Barbie Dolls when I was little but I don’t think I played with them much. I remember colouring the hair in on one. I preferred to play with soft toys and beanie babies, mainly because they were animals. I love animals and still do now. I think I care more about animals than I do people.

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  18. I really enjoyed reading this post. Fascinating analysis of Barbies and your childhood. Ever sentence was chock full of vivid descriptions, like a treasure trove of candy in bright fanciful colors. Go with it, dig deeper. I really think you’re on to something here. If I had to pick favorite line, it would be this:

    “I can have a father from the mafia but not live myself, dismembered in some bipolar underworld. I can be a sane, whole, and liberated lesbian.”

    So evocative, so vivid! You need to incorporate this into your memoir in some way.

    Like

    • I’m so happy you like this one, Monica. That means a lot to me. I DO plan to use this in my memoir. I may do a chapter on play or something. I don’t know. But I will, indeed, dig deeper. Thanks so much!

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  19. Your insight is truly amazing. Damn…I’ve missed reading you!

    I was definitely a Barbie girl. At the time, I thought I had a huge collection, but later on I realized it was pretty skimpy…especially when compared to those my friends had. We had no money when I was growing up so instead of Barbie’s Dream House, I made my own from a big cardboard box with windows cut out, cardboard furniture, and fringe cut from a set of pom-poms that was used as a “beaded curtain” on the front door.

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    • Oh, Tara, I LOVE the description of your Barbie house. Those are the best kind–the ones we made ourselves. You should do a post about this topic, as well. It’s funny how much detail you remember about your house. Isn’t it funny what kinds of things we remember? Great comment. Thanks, my friend!

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  20. Hmmmm … no GI Joes for me as I prefer being outside playing. But this post made me wonder about the dress in the 70s! 😉 … and I never realized how skinny Barbie’s legs are!

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    • Yes, Barbie’s legs are incredibly skinny–not to mention, LONGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG. And I know what you mean about clothes from that era. To think we ever actually wore that stuff! Well, not that you did. You didn’t have any of those long skirts did you? LOL Great to hear from you, Frank.

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    • Glad you can see the resemblance. No, I don’t think my dad could sing. As least he couldn’t as far as I know. I don’t know if I ever remember hearing my dad sing. He was very creative, however. Great to hear from you, Mark!

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  21. Oh my goodness, Kathryn, how you crack me up! Ha ha. You are such a hoot! I love this post! Firstly, your dad did look like Dick Van Dyke! ha ha…and sorta like the decapitated Ken head! lol Once again, your words took me back to my childhood and our basement, where I played with my Barbie dolls. We had a really large area rug that dad put down for me and my sister and on it was our “Barbie World” – we had everything! We also had some old school desks, where we played school. I was lucky….I didn’t have to play alone. Although years later, my sister kind of had trouble giving up Barbie! To this day, if she sees something cute and small and girly, she’ll say, “wouldn’t that be perfect for Barbies?!” lol You really took me back on this one. It’s always remarkable and stunning and amazing how casually you speak about the way your father’s world changed your normal one into a mafia one. Facinating…….from hiding places, to holiday raids, to locked doors……….And honestly, if Matel did come out with a lesbian Barbie – you would be the most perfect model for it! You, with your gardening hats and painted stairs and flowering photo-taking partner in crime……omg….what an image. She would have to come complete with bicycles and a flowerey painted table! You are a beautifully painted, sane, whole, lovely lesbian lady and I adore you! Thank you for the gift of this blog and the smile it always brings. xoxo

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    • Okay, Julia, this may officially be the best comment I have ever gotten! I totally love it, my friend. HOw fun to hear how and where you played with your Barbies. And interesting to know that you and your sister played school, as well. Your descriptions of Sara and me are priceless. Sorry it’s taken me nearly a day to respond to your comment, but I will have to be sure Sara checks this one out. YOu are dear to us, Julia. We love you! Hugs to you from both of us.

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  22. I had no interest in Barbie. I had a G.I. Joe and I demanded the most macho one, the Marine. I did have Ken. He wore Joe’s jacket. Then, someone gave me David McCallum who played the Russian spy Illya Kuryakin in the TV series, The Man from U.N.C.L.E. Having just seen Dr. Zhivago, where I fell madly in love with Julie Christie’s Lara character, I painted Ilya’s hair black, gave him a mustache and renamed him Omar Sharif who played Dr. Zhivago. G.I. Joe had a thing with both guys, but the guys didn’t know about each other. I am sure that my homo-erotic way of playing screams volumes about who I am now, but guess what? I don’t want to think about it and I have too many blogs to catch up on reading tonight. One other thing, some years back, you could have had the dyke doll of your dreams through — where else? Dyke Dolls:

    http://www.dykedolls.com/

    Only the home page works. It went under around the time the economy tanked.

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  23. How different my “Barbie” experience was from yours. I remember playing with Barbie and Ken in the grass under the big Maple tree in our front yard. My sister would join me, along with other neighbor girls. Our Barbies had big dreams of fun vacations and stylish apartments and exciting lives. (The very opposite of our own lives back then.) Our Barbies went camping and to the beach and they dated G.I. Joe (when we could manage to steal him from one of the brothers without getting noticed!)

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    • How interesting that GI Joe made his way into your play, as well–and that your Barbies stepped out of their world of glamour to date him. Gotta wonder how common that was. I have comments above from some readers who played with GI Joe exclusively–just wonder how many folks played with both.

      What an interesting conversation! Great to hear from you, Terri. Hope you’re having a good week.

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  24. Wonderfully told. I like the way you pulled it all together, past and present. Your parents look very glamorous in that photo. I don’t think I’ve ever known anyone who wore a feather boa.
    As for my own childhood play activities, I never really liked playing with dolls. I was a bit of a tomboy and preferred outdoor activities. Not much has changed, eh? 🙂

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  25. I’m playing hookie from school, but reading this post made it well worth my time. I love how you use childhood toys to connect memories and uncover deeper meanings . . . no that’s not right….um…..to make meaning of life experiences may be a better way to state it. At any rate, you are certainly a gifted writer. I look forward to the day when I can purchase your memoirs.

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  28. I’m a bit behind on my reading, but glad I went back to this excellent reminiscence. I could see the basement clearly, and as usual, love your word play. I was a stereotypical tomboy. I rejected the Barbies my mom kept buying me and played with my brothers Matchbox cars (like your sisters, it seems). They had 2 cases of the coolest beat up die cast cars, a parking garage and some mismatched track. I loved them.

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    • Ironically, my very tom-boyish sisters turned out to be straight. I turned into the lesbian. That will teach folks to stereotype–won’t it? So happy to hear you apreciated this post. Sometimes I wonder if I’m taking the word-play thing a bit too far.

      Like

  29. I too got my first Barbie doll at 11 years old. I never dressed up my Barbies or played ‘dating’. Instead I acted out stories and in my stories. My favourite Barbie doll was always ‘Me’. I was a bit of a geek when I was 11. Still am now…

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    • Thanks so much for your comment, Kate. Sorry to be so slow responding. My partner and I are in the process of selling our house in the US and moving to Ecuador. It’s been an overwhelming and all-consuming process, so I’m a bit behind in the blogosphere. So happy you stopped by. Hope you’ll come again soon. By the way, I’m still a geek, as well!

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  30. Pingback: And I Quote–Again | Monica's Tangled Web

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