Wednesday, March 21, 2012

I Played with Barbie

I had to behave like an adult again recently.  It gave me a rash.  The trauma was so severe I spent the afternoon playing games on Pogo. 

Growing older is a good thing if only because I can now group experiences together and refer to them as eras. 

Early on there was the Lego Era, which overlapped with the Sending Barbie into Space Strapped to a Bottle Rocket Era.  Poor Mother; she tried her best to turn me into a girlie-girl.  I had the whole tea party set complete with table and chairs.  Mom would rush to the store to purchase the latest Barbie.  She even made additional outfits. I played with Barbie.  Barbie made a great crash test dummy, or bomb disposal tech, or astronaut.  The latter being my personal favorite.  Hey, it was the late 60's - early 70's and NASA was putting men on the moon.  I did my best to launch Barbie into history as the first woman in space. 

This was not Mother's idea of how to play with dolls.  The Barbie Era came to an end the day I mouthed off and said "they are my dolls I can do with them what I please.  If you don't like it, then keep Barbie for yourself."  As punishment I was "forced" to relinquish my dolls.  Alas, Barbie never made it into space.

Looking back I will credit the Barbie Era for introducing very valuable life lessons.  First the difference in parenting between my folks.  Father's version was summarized by "Barbie is yours.  If you destroy her then fine but that doesn't mean I have to replace her."  For the record Dad never purchased a Barbie.  Now ask where I got the explosives. 

Second life lesson: thinking outside the box and improvising are good things.  Basically the lesson is not to accept anything as set in stone just because it's tradition, or the socially dictated norm or just simply because.

I played with Barbie.  My Barbie had no social, religious or economic restrictions.  If she failed her mission I collected the pieces, placed her in a box and got out another.  Third life lesson: set a good example, blaze a trail so that others will want to follow in your footsteps. 

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