Every year for Christmas my mother gives our girls Barbie dolls. Several. The girls love this tradition, and the living room is littered with Barbie dresses, various Barbie horses (some with wings), Barbie shoes, Barbie fairy wings, Barbie magic wands, Barbie hairpieces, Barbie furniture, Barbie vehicles (sleds, sleighs, airplanes, boats, and various automobiles), Barbie pets and a plethora of other Barbie paraphrenalia too mysterious and plentious to enumberate, as all the old Barbies are dragged out and introduced to the new arrivals. Here at Possum Box Lane we dwell in a sea of pink and purple tulle and satin from Christmas until school resumes.
One of the more disturbing and potentially entertaining aspects of Barbie and the ubiquitous Ken, is that they both have a pronounced tendency to lose their heads over the smallest matters. You think I'm joking, but I'm not. This is serious. Decapitated heads have rolled in our home since Barbie's first arrival ten years ago. Their numbers increase. Headless bodies accumulate beneath the girls' bed at a rate that makes "Hamlet" read like a soporific bedtime tale (Shakespeare would be breathless with envy at the corpse count). What's worse, we can't throw any of them away. There is no toy too broken but that it serves as fodder for the creative mill. Two days before New Year's the eight-year-old ran to show me no less than four stripped and headless Ken dolls cradled in her delicate little hands: "Look! Now Gongthrong can have a headless zombie army!" she chirped as she skipped into the play room.
As I see it, there are two possible responses to madness: fight it, or join it. No contest. I'm in.