Monday, October 27, 2014
Another Barbie drama…
Ok, we’ve heard it all before – Barbie is bad for body image. For anyone, but especially for girls. I played with Barbie when I was a kid. I loved taking her and her friends and Ken outside in her camper and creating worlds of stories that entertained me AND my brother and sister for hours. Yes, my brother played Barbie with us. There was no way he couldn’t – we were thrown out of the house together every day and there was no one else to play with except his sisters. He was cool about it. We would play with them in the backyard, in the woods, in the flower beds. Barbie had great outdoor adventures, and when it rained we hung out in our bedroom and played there – turning bookcases into mansions. We nailed blocks of wood together and covered it with old carpeting to make custom furniture for her. Old boxes, Breyer horses, milk cartons, etc. We reused and recycled before it was the thing to do. Even the pets came into play. Cats and dogs were monsters we played around.
One thing Barbie did not do was throw up or binge eat. We did get her pregnant a few times, by Darth Vader – not Ken, but she was just a regular girl with some good friends. Barbie did not give me an eating disorder and I suspect this rings true with a lot of girls. She did not skew my body image. No, I learned my bad body images at school, music videos, and people who thought it helpful to point out that I was chubby or pleasantly plump. These images and phrases can bring fresh pain if I let it, but I am not going to let it today.
I defend Barbie. Yes, she’s pretty, she dresses well, has every accessory under the sun and has lots of great friends. Barbie can be a stay at home mom or she could be a doctor. The thing is, Barbie could be anything. She could out deal Walter White because Barbie excels in everything she does, and if he tried to shoot her and stuff her in his duffle bag that his doll comes with, well I’m pretty sure she would be able to wrestle the gun away and take him down like a good cop would, because Barbie would make one damn tough cop. I’m sure she could even eat a doughnut or two without gaining an ounce.
I think the mom who did the on-line petition was justified in her actions. We need more figures like Barbie and less heroes like White. I think it’s too bad that people are lashing out against her for it. I also think they are idiots if they want their kids to play with a meth dealing doll. Lots of great imagination-play right there. Maybe they’ll be able to get a chemistry set and create their own meth recipes. If you have no clue what I’m talking about check this out:
And for the record, I do have body image issues. They came from the girls in my class and the classic “you know you’re fat when” tests. The one I remember was if you put your legs together and you can’t see daylight between your crotch and thighs. Then you were fat. I was also told by a boy I had a crush on that I was pear shaped. It just sounded bad. Barbie had nothing to do with it. I was beyond her at that point.
Let’s cut the doll a break. I really don’t think she’s as evil as a lot of people would want one to believe. And let’s not buy our children meth making dolls this holiday season. It just seems very, very wrong.
Thursday, October 23, 2014
I do love crossword puzzles. If I’m bored and there is one nearby I am on that puzzle! As long as they are easy I am happy. I love totally finishing one without having to look up clues. The satisfaction of seeing it finished correctly makes me want to wave it in the air and brag to all my non-puzzle loving friends. They won’t get it. You do, if you love your puzzle. It doesn’t have to be crossword. It has to be something you need to complete, though.
The empty puzzle calls to me – “fill me in!” it cries plaintively. My trusty pencil in my hand, sharp, but not too sharp to rip the paper as I start my small printing of letters. Slightly lighter on the clues that I’m not too sure of, just in case I need to erase. Newspaper doesn’t take too kindly to erasing. It usually smudges pretty dark.
I used to carry a puzzle book with me wherever I went. I kept it in my purse, or sometimes in the glove compartment of the car. When my daughter got old enough she would sneak it away and do puzzles of her own. She likes the word search mags and books. When she was locked up I would send them to her so she would have something to do with her brain while she figured out where her life was going.
Yes, when I need to unwind, to take advantage of quiet time but can’t sit still, I’ll take that crossword puzzle. I will take it and I will rule it!!!
Monday, October 20, 2014
Several weeks ago I got home from work and listened to the messages on my answering machine. There were several from the same person, and at first I couldn’t understand her. She had a very strong Brooklyn accent, and although I grew up with those accents, coming from an unfamiliar voice made it a little less decipherable. I did decipher it, however, and this woman was calling from a hospital, where she had just been admitted, and wanted her friend to call her back as soon as she got the message.
I ended up calling her and explaining to her who I was and why I was calling. I told her if she gave me the name of her friend I would look up the number for her so she could get her to come visit her. She said “But this is the number I call her at all the time!”, then she recited my phone number. I told her that it was mine and I would help her find her friend if she would like. She finally decided she could be wrong and gave me the name. I looked it up and she was one number off. I read it to her and she got quiet and then she apologized. I told her it wasn’t a problem. I just wanted to help. Wishing her a speedy recovery, we hung up.
This has happened to me before. Not the messages but a wrong number caller. There’s a little old lady who had a stroke some time ago, in the next town over, who calls once in a while. Her eye site is going and she can’t see the numbers so well. Sometimes she’ll ask for someone, sometimes she will just start talking. This is how I learned Robin Williams took his own life. She called and very quickly told me what she had just seen on CNN, that she couldn’t talk right now, but we would talk later. Then she said good bye and we hung up. I didn’t see the point of telling her she had the wrong number. What good would it have done?