"Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next. Delicious Ambiguity." ~ Gilda Radner

Sunday, March 09, 2008

BARBIE, BOB, AND ME

Ah...March 9...a day that lives in infamy -- for me anyway. And for a couple of rather ridiculous reasons.

For starters...

Happy Birthday, Barbie!

The forever-perfect plastic fashionista turns 49 today...

I've sort of lost track of what Barbie -- my nemesis -- currently does for a living. Who can keep up with her lengthy laundry list of careers? However, I understand she's driving a brand new flashy, red Mustang, so apparently, whatever she's doin', she's makin' some decent coin.

Lord knows Ken ain't chippin' in on her fancy ride...freeloading boy toy that he is.

Yes, I truly dislike Barbie. Yet every year I feel compelled to call attention to her natal day in some way because, like her or not, she did play a part in my past-fleeting-now-done-flet youth even though I never owned a Barbie till I turned 30 (a gift for my inner child from my high school pal, Linda).


And I also always feel compelled to annually retell the heartwrenching saga of how my childhood best buddy, Valli, not only had a Barbie, she had the to-die-for Barbie Dream House, the Barbie car, Ken, Midge, Skipper -- the whole gang -- while I had only pudgy Little Miss Revlon, a dowdy Barbie wannabe cursed with thick ankles. And to add insult to injury, she wasn't brand new, she was a cast-off from my older sister.

But we still called it "playing Barbies". And like all little girls, we played Barbies all the time.



My favorite Barbie story, of course, is how my Mom finally bought me the cheap grocery store version of Barbie -- her name was Miss Babette -- and she eventually replaced Miss Revlon. However, to the degree that Miss Revlon was a frumpy prude with no real social life, Babs was an absolute out-of-control wild woman who liked to dance the night away to Brazil '66 records...until her crazy dance moves caused her left breast to cave in, hence, her party dress no longer fit properly, and her dance card was never full again.

Enter Babette's replacement, Tressy -- the amazing (blonde, of course) doll with hair that grew if you pushed in a button on her stomach and pulled on said hair. Tressy owned a groovy penthouse, but my mother never bought me one. Valli's older sister, Vicki, however, not only had a Tressy, but she had the damn penthouse, to boot. Oh, and you could color Tressy's hair with special markers which made her really cool.


And then, for my 11th birthday, my Mom gave me Barbie's "mod" cousin, Francie, with the long, brown hair and bendable legs.

Soon after, however, I discovered boys, and

Francie and her friends went bye-bye.

Which leads me to another special March 9th occasion that I still recall every year...

March 9, 1974.

That was the day that my high school beau, Bob, after declaring his undying love for me a month earlier, dropped me like a hot potato because, Bob inferred, I was boring compared to a new (and, apparently, exciting) girl named Shannon, whom (come to find out) he'd been seeing (behind my back) for a couple of weeks.


I can still picture it -- it was a beautiful, warm, sunny early-Spring Saturday in Madeira, Ohio...Bob and I were out walking, holding hands, when we sat down on the steps of the nearby elementary school for what I presumed was going to be a romantic chat. Instead, the jerk dumped me. He handed me back my class ring (which to this day still contains a trace of pancake batter from his job as a Perkins pancake flipper). I ever-so-calmly yanked off his class ring and, because I always handle(d) rejection well, promptly ground it into the cement, and then, smiling through the tears, threw the former symbol of Bob's undying love for me at him, and stomped off toward home.

And that, as they say, was that...except for me and my friends streaking (hey, it was the 70s) past Bob's house that night in my one, last ditch, desperate effort to show HIM who was boring!

Alas, Bob was in his basement chatting late into the night with Shannon, and missed the whole thing...


You know, in retrospect, Bob was not what one would consider even remotely handsome -- he had massively curly brown hair and was missing an upper left canine, as I recall. And when he smiled, he looked something akin to a clown. But by golly, he had a great sense of humor. He made me laugh like no other.

Until March 9, 1974, of course...which may well explain why, even now, while I may dislike Barbie, I hate clowns even more.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

sigh..

oh, cha cha

i do love that story of the class ring! makes me laugh everytime!

kristin : )

cha cha said...

Hi Darling!

LOL...

Glad to hear you're not tired of hearing it! It is one of my favorite yarns as well...so many tales from my misspent youth, so little time...

It was good to see you the other day -- I understand we'll be seeing more of you!:)

Liz said...

Great one! I didn't know you harbored such resentment towards Barbie!
And I bet you anything Bob is at least 100 pounds overweight, has lost
all his hair and might even dress up in women's clothes.

Annie said...

Well, Liz, darling, I've tried to shield you from that resentment toward Barbie for many years, especially when you were a wee thing...but yes, she makes me ill.

And I bet you are right about ol' Bob...at least the part about being 100 pounds over weight...:)

Thanks for stopping by!

Anonymous said...

TAKE THAT BOBBY!! I remember this story about the ring being much more lively at my mother's bday party:)

hannah banana

annie said...

LOLOLOLOLOL

Oh, yes...that was a lively party, dear! You MUST plan my 60th birthday party! Of course, by then, you'll be married with 9 kids and probably won't have time for your mom's really ""old"" pal Annie...LOL

(We may have to switch from the bowling alley to Thomas Rest Haven by then, as well....:))))