Sunday, November 21, 2010

Fortune Teller Barbie

The kitchen table is a Barbie-scape: partitioned microcosms of activity of the plastic goddess variety. It's a feminist world, with only 1 Ken per at least 20 ladies. In all honesty, it reminds me of a conversation that once took place while on a dog walk with the Missoula Human Society ladies. They joked that there needed to be an all-woman commune: a city block of houses owned by women and only visited by men when in need of repair or when the libido was in need of repair (wink wink).

This Ken in the middle of the table, however, doesn't look as if he could repair anything. Sure he's smiling, but I don't get the sense that he's handy or that he's getting lucky. Don't get me wrong. He's handsome, but there's something offputting about those mitten-like hands and the eunich state of his crotch.

No Ken. This world is for the ladies, and they seem to have it under control. In one sphere, a svelte hottie on tippy toes is being gawked at by her two labs, and the little girl nearby (her daughter, though adopted judging by the different facial features and hair coloring) is playing with two lab puppies.

In another picnic-type area, there's a woman in an evening gown lying down, a child doing a handstand, and another woman propped up. She can't stand on her own two feet in the most literal sense. This is an equal-opportunity world. This woman is severely disfigured and disabled, yet smokin' hot. She is stylish, also apparently later attending a black tie affair, regardless of the Band-aid on her foot and her left hand. The damage is already done on the right hand, which appears to have been slashed. I've never known whether it's appropriate to ask how someone became disabled, but curiosity got the best of me. I was informed that Luna, the dog they had a long time ago caused the wounds to Courtney. And Courtney is special because she was given to Sydney when Sydney had to go to the hospital for breathing problems.

All the world is a stage, and these particular stages are built out of the styrofoam packing materials computers come in. On one stage, there's a girl in a prom dress, apparently either waiting for her prom date or having gone stag. On the other stage, there's a woman clearly still trying to bring the 80's back. Her hair is crimped. She's wearing a jean jacket and leggings. And she's a single mother, as evidenced by the toddler playing in her lap and the two infants curled fetal beside her.

There's also a nod to nature. A floor lamp serves as a tree on which there are swings and gymnastic devices. One little girl is suspended from what appears to be parachute line or bungee cord. Below her, a girl has fallen on her scooter. She's on her back and looking up at the tree branch, perhaps envious of the girl who is doing flips. I have a feeling she has fallen before, as she has a Band-aid on her leg, and her top is missing. Luckily, the park seems a safe, perv-free zone in which little girls can ride their scooters topless.

It's likely that she was riding her scooter over the bridge. Or maybe she was swimming in one of two clear above-ground pools. Or maybe she was visiting the Goop tourist attraction. It's a test tube of navy-colored blob. Hayley informs me that I can get my own Goop for $4. She takes it out and tosses it on the table. I move to touch it and quickly recoil from the wet-yet-not-wet oddity. I ask, "What do you do with it?" She nods at the blob on the table and says, "That's it." It has a smell. I put my hand up to my nose. She says, "Yeah. I try not to touch it." Oh.

Finally, there is the all-monkey zoo. It's a bowl resting atop a cooling rack. There are 3 monkeys in an atmosphere made up of a toy bed, cotton balls, rocks, and trees that look suspiciously like wilted celery tops. The monkeys wear bows in their hair--pink bows--and I come to understand that even the zoo in this Barbieland is woman-exclusive.

I survey the landscape and the two girls who built the landscape, and I find myself wondering what kind of women they'll be. If their play is any indication, they will be:
* animal lovers
* physically active
*nurturing mothers
*compassionate and inclusive to those who are different
* fashionistas (or nudist colony members)

I realize that one can't predict the future of a child in the same way that some can look into a cup of tea and read the swirling tea leaves, but as self-proclaimed Auntie, I can't wait to watch their lives unfold and to see if some of their future wasn't foretold by what would appear to many as simply a mess of dolls on a kitchen table.


  1. What a wonderful story Wendy! I LOVED reading it. It sounds like you had a fun time with the girls lastnight.

  2. Wonderful blog Auntie Wendy. I loved reading it too. Favorite line: "Luckily, the park seems a safe, perv-free zone in which little girls can ride their scooters topless." You have such a way with words. I even teared up a little at the end.:-)

  3. If your nieces embraced even half of the sterling Barbie qualities like self-sufficiency or even nudist abandon, I suspect our world would improve a thousand-fold. Great reflection here...

  4. I loved reading this Wendy. Brilliant capture of your thoughts while babysitting! Thank you SO much for the lovely postcard which arrived yesterday. I really appreciate the time and care you put into it, and love its uniqueness. I blogged about it here:
    Thank you!