All My Barbies

Barbie RV
Oh yeah, this was the stuff!

My youngest is at that age where he’s sort of caught between still wanting to play with his Lego toys and figuring it’s time to be more “grownup.” His wild imagination is obvious when he is in the throws of whatever story he happens to invent. I remember being like this with my Barbies. When my imagined Barbie storylines started playing out more like a soap opera, however, I figured it was probably time to put the For Sale signs up on Barbie’s townhouse and RV. I mean, when Barbie’s Ken started sleeping with her sister AND her bestie, that’s just not right. And not to mention, how many soap stories could I play out with these dolls? I had no two Barbies that looked exactly alike, so the whole “evil twin” storyline wouldn’t have worked.

I had learned (the truth) about the birds and the bees around this time, and apparently I embraced this knowledge by playing out different “dramatic” stories with my dolls. Hmm… hopefully my son is not playing out similar stories with his Lego figures but one cannot be so sure. He will hole himself up in his room for hours and won’t discuss/share any of it. I’m pretty sure any dialogue spoken with his characters stays in his head, never out loud. This is how I would play with my Barbie dolls.

My son gets a little embarrassed when someone sees his make-believe world setup. I didn’t like it when someone would happen upon me while playing with Barbie either, especially when Barbie and the no good two-timing Ken had a date. Yeah, Barbie could be so stupid, not unlike some females in the real world and especially not unlike pretty much every female character on every possible daytime TV drama that has ever existed.

Beyond the Barbies, I have played out dramatic dialogue in my mind, probably since this described time of taking the Barbie playing to a whole different level. The majority of this fantasy speak has been “romance.” I loved reading all the cheesy novels, often referred to as “chick-lit” nowadays. I even wrote a book, titled “Camp Crush” after my first real “flirting” experience. I couldn’t get enough boy/girl romance. Even today, I love love LOVE a good romcom or super ridiculously sappy love story. These are commonly known as “chick flicks” nowadays. I love the escape. It’s fun to pretend, or maybe even believe for just a few hours, that a man can be so completely head over heals for a woman that he will go to whatever lengths to win the girl. I really should watch these movies with other women though, and NOT my husband. Gerald doesn’t waste a second to tell me one of my favorite movies is total horse shit. Oh that’s such a chick flick, he’ll say Well, I don’t care, I’ll say. I LIKE it. I believe I’ve always been in love with the idea of being in love.

Okay, this post has gone all over the place. Not sure where I’m going (that’s so unlike me, I know!). I just find it funny how watching my son with this “maturity” struggle triggered memories of a similar time in my life.

Hmm… I’m betting if my parents had known what was going on with Barbie and friends in our house, the decision to stop playing with the dolls wouldn’t have been mine. Here’s hoping the Lego play is a little more innocent.

–kd

17 thoughts on “All My Barbies”

    1. Ohh! Not sure how I missed that after watching so much daytime TV! I guess I stand corrected, I had MANY Barbie storylines after all!

  1. Your son’s Lego stories are probably purely innocent. Hey, how much trouble can Lego people get into? And even if they aren’t he’s safely exploring adult relationships, just like you did with Barbie. Either way it’s sad that we lose that imaginary world, but I guess it’s good that we go out an interact with real people.
    And Gerald should give you a break with the romantic comedies. It’s the grown-up version of playing with Barbies.

    1. After I read Gerald my post last night, he was quick to point out that our son’s Lego play is probably more good guy / bad guy, with some battles thrown in there. I don’t think the kid even knows what a soap opera is so maybe Gerald is right. What??? You won’t hear me say THAT very often!

      I suppose the romcom movie watching is more acceptable than dusting off the old Barbies, as an adult and all. And hopefully the imaginative play will stick with him in other forms. He likes to think up and write stories too (like his mom). So I guess there’s that.

  2. aaaahh….chick-lit…I forgot all about chick-lit right around the time I started working fulltime and now have the attention span of a fruit fly. And I agree with Christopher, I’m sure your son’s imagination is purely innocent…let’s go with that! Now I must read your post titled “TP and my Bunghole!”

    1. I go through phases where I read a lot and then where I don’t. Since I haven’t bothered working out for months now, you’d think I’d have more time for some chick-lit. Oh but I always find something else to be doing.

  3. It’s good that your son is still using his imagination. An imagination is a terrible thing to lose, so I hope that even as he matures, he’ll still use his imagination in some way, shape or form.

    My brother and I used to play with soldier action figures. (We never let anyone call them dolls.) When he got older, his games in particular got a bit rougher. A favorite was detaching bits, throwing them away, and then have his GI character go walking up and down the garden looking for his head.

    1. Did your action figures (AKA GI Joe dolls) ever hook up with the Barbies next door? 🙂

      I believe my son will keep at least some of his imaginative spark. He LOVES The Land of Stories books and he started writing a book a couple years ago, although he abruptly stopped, not unlike his mother and her writing endeavors. Huh hum…

  4. It’s funny how many adult women had their Barbies “do it” when they played with the dolls as kids. I guess that’s the point when you know you’ve outgrown you toys– when you start putting them into sexual situations. I would always put my naked Barbie and Ken face-to-face (only boring missionary sex for those two!) and then leave the room to give them privacy. Because I was polite that way.

  5. I don’t know why, but I despised Barbies when I was young. It didn’t make me very popular, especially when I’d say things like “That’s just rubber and plastic. Why would you want to play with it.” Wow—what a brat I was! I guess I was more of a tomboy, because I preferred playing outside with my brother and I especially loved climbing trees. My sister didn’t like dolls either. I also don’t like chick-lit, soap operas, chick flicks or rom coms. Maybe there’s something wrong with me!

    Anyway, I agree with everyone else that your son’s imaginative play with Lego’s is a good thing. He could be working through something he doesn’t have words for yet. Nothing bad came of your playing with Barbies, even when you sexed them up, right? Anyway, it’s sad when they stop playing “make believe”, especially when it’s your youngest.

    1. Nothing wrong with you, Margot! You just like/dislike what you like/dislike. It’s with mixed feelings that I see my son moving away from playing make-believe with his toys. I mean, I’m thankful to see him mature and all but then I’m losing my baby at the same time.

      1. Exactly! My youngest just started high school, and while it’s really exciting and he’s having a blast, it’s also sad for his dad and me.

  6. I LOVED my Barbies. I had the town house and my friend had some hot-tub set up that I totally coveted. And yes, Barbie and Ken got it on like rabbits. Skipper was never the wiser. She had an early bed time.

    1. A Barbie hot tub?! I’m feeling a little envious myself. And the comnents for this post have been very revealing to me. Here I felt like I must’ve been such a perv or something and it’s kind of nice to know maybe I wasn’t. Or maybe we just ALL were. Safety in numbers, people. Safety in numbers. 🙂

  7. As another commented, I never saw the appeal to Barbies. I much preferred my brother’s Matchbox cars and Legos. (Maybe that explains why I love action movies and have no patience for chick flicks?) There’s not much you can do with either toy to simulate sex acts so I think you’re still good with your son for now…

    1. I liked a lot of ‘boy’ toys too (that sounds kind of weird). It was just my sister and me in our house and my dad would look to me to sort of be the son he never had. (That sounds kind of weird too.) I definitely wasn’t as girly as my sister growing up.

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