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Monday, March 18, 2013
Barbie is just three weeks older than me, and this is our birthday month.
We met in 1964 when my father, a career Army officer, was stationed in Bad Kruezenach, Germany .
In December, my brothers (ages 6 and 1), my sister (age 4), and I went to a children’s Christmas party. We sat on folding chairs while Santa presided over a pile of presents. They called the children up by age and gender.
When they announced: “girls 4 to 6,” I stayed put. I wasn’t “ 4 to 6” — I was 5! My sister went up and got a baby doll.
After a while, I was the only little girl still sitting. I noticed the adults looking worriedly at the pile of gifts, and I realized there were no more baby dolls left. I began to cry, mostly from embarrassment.
Santa called me up last and gave me a small oblong box. It was a big-kid toy — meant for the 10- to 12-year-olds — but that was no consolation. My sister’s baby doll was bigger.
But when I opened the box and my sister saw Barbie, her eyes lit up with envy. Suddenly, I liked the skinny doll with the blue eye shadow and the ponytail. Later, my sister got one just like it and I got a bubble-'do Midge with “1965” stamped on her plastic butt.
Well-loved and a little worse for the wear, she is tucked away in a trunk in a closet upstairs.
Back in 1997, they tried to reconfigure Barbie so she’d have a more natural figure, but it didn’t take. And I was so hoping her waistline would expand along with mine. Sigh.
Happy birthday to us both, anyway.
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