Mine had red hair pulled back in a ponytail, but if you pulled out the rubber band you quickly found that the hair was attached only around the edge of the face, and the entire back of her head was bald. So she pretty much needed that hairdo.
Later I got another Barbie, one with a fluffy champagne-colored bubble. My Barbies spent a lot of time naked, sprawled in the dust bunnies under the bed. They lost their shoes immediately, though every now and then you'd find one by stepping on it in the dark. They cut into the bottom of your foot like a sonofagun.
My Barbies never had a dream house, or a car, or any of the other accoutrements. Maybe if they had, they would have crawled back out from under the bed, put on some clothes, and made something of their lives. But frankly, they had very few clothes. They did, however, always have earrings. I used my mother's straight pins, which had colored balls at one end, and just drove the pointy end right into the sides of their jaws. I can still remember how easily they slid into that smooth plastic.
One rainy afternoon I took my Barbies over to my friend Janet's house. Janet lived in a big yellow brick house on the avenue, a half-block away from me; her mother always wore pink lipstick and skirts, and her father was a military man who worked at the university. In my mind, he wore a fedora. Janet had an enormous bedroom with wall-to-wall carpeting and a huge collection of plastic horses with molded manes and tails. There were so many of them they had their own shelving unit. Some of them had real gold reins--or I thought the gold was real, anyway. I used to finger it longingly.
She also had a whole army of Barbies, and Skeeters, and Midges and Kens. And a Barbie car. And a Barbie dream house. And a pink Barbie suitcase, for hauling them around in. And wardrobes of Barbie clothes, which hung on little plastic Barbie hangers. It was astounding to me, the amount of clothes those dolls had. Fur trimmed jackets, and pink suits, and hats with netting and plastic handbags and shoes! Pink shoes, and blue shoes, and black shoes, not just the open-toed slides that all Barbies came with, but actual close-toed high heels in a rainbow of colors.
When she saw my poor barefoot dolls, Janet asked me if I wanted two pairs of black shoes; she said she had plenty. I couldn't believe my luck; this was huge. My parents never spent money on clothes for my Barbies; hell, they didn't even spend money on clothes for their kids. (There were too many of us.) Two pairs of black Barbie shoes would be great, would be fantastic, would be, frankly, unbelievable. "Yes," I said.
Janet said, "I have to ask my mom."
Her mom was out in the hall, dusting in her skirt and lipstick. Janet said, "Can I give Laurie two pairs of black Barbie shoes? Her dolls don't have any shoes."
And I swear to god, this is what her mother said: "It's up to you, Janet. But remember; you have five Barbies, and five pairs of black shoes. What if they all want to wear black shoes at the same time?"
I listened, and my face burned, and I knew there wasn't a chance in hell my dolls were going home any way except barefoot.
sugar sugar sugar CRASH!
55 minutes ago