Thursday, December 13, 2007

Barbie Secrets

This morning I woke up to a very disturbing dream (more disturbing than my dream of a gerbil running loose in my house, attacking my belongings with indiscriminate defecation). I dreamt that, to my horror, my husband uncovered a box under our bed filled with Barbie dolls and glittery Barbie outfits. The worst part of the dream-- they were mine!

I was so embarrassed at my husband's discovery of my secret indulgence. It was as if a mature (supposedly), married adult playing with Barbies was as unacceptable in dreamland society as child pornography is in ours. I was horrified that he knew the truth and, even worse, I was forced to confront my Barbie problem. I began to feel the weight of a burning Scarlet "B" on my forehead.

I think I know where my subconcious trauma over Barbies comes from. When I was a kid, I didn't really play with Barbies. In fact, I was a hardlined tomboy. I insisted on being a Ninja Turtles when we played make believe. I occassionally dabbled in other characters such as: the Beast from Beauty and the Beast, Sabastian the crab from the Little Mermaid, a cowboy, and a ninja mouse with a sword (I will stop there, this is painful already).

Perhaps, I suppressed all my girly desires and now they are threatening to take me on by force and come out all at once. Or perhaps, when I was little I associated with girly things negatively and thus developed some deep shame over being female? Maybe I wasn't loved as a child.

When I was seven I did have one traumatic run-in with Barbie. A friend (clearly not a close one) or one of my aunts (probably thinking I should act my gender) bought be a Barbie and a Ken for my birthday. At first I wasn't much amused. They lived in the box for a long, long time.

One day I got curious and took them out. I wondered what they looked like without clothes. Then I innocently wondered if they could have babies. My friend had told me that people had babies when they "slept on each other naked." After many attempts, I realized Barbie and Ken could NOT have babies. Then not so innocently, I used Ken and Barbie to enact what I thought "making out" would be . I wish I could remember what a seven year old with very catholic parents believed "making out" to entail.

Although I didn't know exactly what I was doing with Ken and Barbie, this was my first exploration into sexuality. I felt a little guilty at the end (sounds like I'm talking about a one night stand here). I felt guilty for making Barbie and Ken engage in loveless, amateur coitus and guilty for betraying the Ninja Turtles. I took one last look at Barbie, then did soemthing I later blamed on my brother.

I ripped Barbie's head right off!

She was never the same again. So Ken went after Barbie's sister, Stacie.

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