Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Losing Our Pretty Heads

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.


8 comments:

Dawn said...

How Funny! I played with Barbie a lot when I was growing up, and for some reason, my Barbie's always seemed to loose their heads as well... I think that was when I was first introduced to duct tape. I learned that if I used enough of it, they head would... well, sort of stay on. ::smile::

Meg said...

My Barbie dolls always seemed to die at the hands of my Heman action figure...and my mom just adjusted to the decapatation(sp) of random body parts. Cute poem and very creative children :)

Fieldfleur said...

I enjoyed this: "Now Gongthrong can have a headless zombie army!"

Who's Gongthrong? That's funny.

And I liked the depiction of Ken with a Dick Clark grin in your poem.

Perfect.

Teri

Megan said...

Wonderful...

Our headless Barbies ended up as monsters or mannequins and never made it to the garbage can, either. None of our Kens ever lost their heads...
Before we had a Ken, we convinced my brother to play with us by allowing his Barbie to accomplish many feats of splendor, such as shark-battling, tae kwan do competition-winning and the consuming of inordinate amounts of pizza. Those were the days...

Michael said...

This is outrageously great! I loved it. Father of 4, - three of them girls, I have tiptoed through the shag carpet fields of poped-off heads.

Cindy said...

Dawn--Duct tape! Oh my. Frankenstein dollies. Or The Mummies. :O

Meg--He-Man killed your Barbies?!?! Just think what a cartoon episode that would have made!

Teri--Gongthrong was, I believe, one of the first Barbies to loose some random body part and to succumb to Frizzy Barbie Hair Syndrome. She instantly became the evil mastermind for all the villanous treacheries ever to take place in Barbieland. I've no idea where the name came from, but it suits her behavior. (When the younger daughter was three, I walked by the playroom door in time to hear Gongthrong saying cheerily, "Now it's time to burn the baby at the stake!") :::rolleyes:::

Megan--"...feats of splendor such as...the consuming of inordinate amounts of pizza." I love it!!

Michael--Three girls? I bet you've seen it all, then, yes. "I have tiptoed through the shag carpet fields of popped-off heads." Masterfully accurate description. :)

Joyella said...

Some of Barbie's outfits don't go on without first removing her head...especially ones I made myself.
"Gongthrong" Barbie cracks me up...I was never so creative with mine in acting out stories.

Cindy said...

Joyella--Barbies are flimsier than they were when we played with them. The head design has changed, and they break instead of just popping on and off. How in the world young girls are supposed to learn to be brain surgeons now, I've no idea. Hmph!