We had a Barbie crisis this week.
I’m in the process of cleaning out the basement storage area, the section of our house where the Barbie dream house reigns supreme. It’s no wonder why. That pink party house is where Great Date Ken once spent a week hanging out the upstairs window, puking his guts out; where Brittany Spears and Veterinarian Barbie regularly trade outfits with disastrous results; where the Spice Girls and Aladdin had a six-some one crazy night when Bedtime Barbie was out of town on business; where the entire front of the house is exposed to the elements like it’s been bomb-blasted in Beirut.
The Barbie dream house rules the Old Toys section of the basement.
Despite the fact that no one plays with it anymore, the elevator is broken and the light-up mirror batteries are corroded to the point of stench, it’s still the sweetest pad in town. The American Girl dolls, with their “real” computer, historically accurate McGuffy readers, and crutches that come with an HMO group number, can’t even begin to keep up.
The Barbies have seniority. Led by my original 1963 Midge (who I am told is worth a small fortune because she was part of an early line of Midges with an open-mouth smile and buck teeth. Alan hated the teeth, so they discontinued her quickly, but not before the Laneys got one for Christmas), the Barbie clan is a multigenerational commune made up of a vet, a professional ice skater, soccer player, ballerina, three princesses, two brides, several Disney characters, a bunch of unemployed blondes, and countless pop singers. The men are fewer in number – Aladdin, Great Date Ken, Groom Ken, my old Alan, and the patriarch, my original Ken with hard, shiny hair and a gimpy hand that my dog Jenny chewed off, thus limiting Ken to the role of Vietnam Vet returned home.
Things had been going fairly well since my daughter and I last left them. I would regularly see signs of happiness – the champagne glasses were in the sink, the wedding cake was on the table, almost everyone had clothes on and there were no signs of physical fighting. (Sporty Spice already had that missing tooth.)
Then this week I immersed myself in Barbie-town to organize things and – uh oh, what the ---- ? Rapunzel’s hair seemed to be shorter, almost medium-length if I dare say so. The scissors from the craft shelf were suspiciously close to Twiggy and we all know she has hair envy since her own chopped up butch hair is so out of style. (The dark black eyeliner and the flat boobs came back, though, so what is she so whiny about?)
If that wasn’t bad enough, Mary Kate was in the VW Love Bug and Ashley was in the sports car. Separated? That can’t be good. Also apart were Bride Barbie, who was wearing one of Anastasia’s flat shoes (as if!) and Groom Ken, who was pantsless and wearing an unsnapped Hawaiian shirt. The honeymoon, I believe, is over.
I’ve got to get back down there and whip that group back into shape. If those crazy kids can’t behave, I may have to put the Power Rangers in charge. It may be morphin’ time.