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Looking back, the penchant I had for biting off the fingers and toes of every Barbie doll I owned was a strong sign. Of what, I don’t know, but I’m sure it wasn’t good. What I do know is that Barbie never wore a swimsuit or a pair of short shorts and a tank top. I mean, really… without any fingers or toes, she just didn’t have “the look” any more. I was all about putting her in the long sleeved gloves that reached past her elbows, or little white ones with frilly cuffs. She wore boots or heels – never sandals.
Barbie lived a simple life and wasn’t surrounded by all her store bought hype and perfection. There was no fancy pink car, no motor home, no mansion. She rode around town in a cut out toothpaste box. Her house was tastefully decorated with the Sears & Roebuck catalog as her bed which sported one of my dad’s hankies draped over it as her bedspread. Her living room furniture was a variety of deodorant can tops for chairs, and other household items that worked for couches and end tables. The rugs were easily changed out with whatever color washcloth I had on hand. Pencils marked walls, hallways and doors.
I never felt lacking that I didn’t have the fancy extras - it was all part of just playing Barbie and letting my imagination take over. And it was great. Many years before, Nana Wood, the grandmother I never knew, sewed beautiful custom outfits for the Barbies my older sisters played with. Those clothes and the Barbies got handed down to me. So mine was a real dichotomy, dressed to the nines with no fingers or toes, entertaining in her pencil lined living room as her guests sat on rolled up socks for bean bag chairs.
So about those missing fingers and toes……………
1994 was a tough year for me. I lost about 70 pounds, got down to a weight lower than I ever remembered being in my life and permed the hell out of my long, blonde, fine, bone straight hair. It was my outward manifestation of working on some intensely personal and emotional issues. And to hide what was going on inside, I made myself look totally unlike me on the outside. I looked like Barbie. (Absolutely unattainable figure measurements not withstanding – let’s be real, NO ONE can look like Barbie in THAT way!)
In Barbie-speak I guess you could say that the gloves have finally come off. This summer you might even find me in sandals…………