Barbie memories: My Barbies weren't always fabulous
She has been for years, ever since I was about 8.
My family had just moved, and I befriended two girls in the neighborhood my same age. Both of them loved Barbies and had a bunch.
The three of us spent hours organizing their dolls, outfits and accessories, and taking turns choosing our favorites until every item was gone. Then we'd dress up our dolls for different occasions and start the process all over.
My friends had beautiful Barbies, from blondes and brunettes to Ken and Barbie's little sister, Skipper. And it didn't stop there. They had cars, houses and furniture for their Barbies and enough clothing to make Paris Hilton swoon.
My collection consisted of two Barbies and the clothes on their backs, which was too nondescript to remember. One of the dolls had above-the-ear short, brown hair that my little brother butchered with his kiddie scissors. The other had a bright pink face someone colored with a magic marker. No clue how that happened.
My friends shunned my Barbies as ugly nobodies unworthy of their glittery gowns and purses. Occasionally, out of sympathy, I would pick Pink Face for our games. Butchered Barbie always sat in the corner, naked.
Our Barbie fixation lasted quite a while. During that time, I never asked my mom for any Barbies, and my mom never put two and two together that Barbies were a must-have for girls my age.
Decades later, we still laugh about it. I tell her my self-worth doesn't hinge on long-legged beauties with dimensions too bizarre to envy. She reminds me that I'll always be younger than Barbie, by a mile.
We agree never to send her a birthday card.
-- Susan Thurston, Times Momma
So, what's your Barbie memory? She's turning 50 next month and we want to know when she became a part of your life. Do you still play with Barbies -- but you call it collecting -- or do you play with them with your daughters -- and granddaughters? We will collect comments for a story that will run around her big day March 9. You can leave your comments at the end of this blog, you can email us firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can send them snail mail to Barbie Memories, c/o Sherry Robinson, St. Petersburg Times, 490 First Ave. S, St. Petersburg, FL 33701.