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Without Barbie

Growing up without Barbie.
Without Barbie

I grew up without Barbie.
My friends had a litany of dolls.
Bridgets, cabbage patches, kens,
And Barbie.
I had small books
Anne of Green Gables,
Little Women,
Countless others.
I had gardens where I danced
With ladybugs
And searched for Fairies.
I had tea parties, painting,
Coloring, and croquet.
I had sun tea, not ice tea.
I was without.
We had Barbie- Ques
Where we ate hotdogs
And raced the dog down the beach and into the ocean.
We had second hand clothes
that we climbed mountains in.
We had summer walks
Along the beach to the watch the sun slide down into the water.
We had vacations that lasted more than 2 weeks.
I did not have Barbie,
Poor Barbie left on a shelf
In Toys R Us.
She was perspiring.
I said Mom, "Why don't we have more toys?"
My mother said
"Because we can't afford them.
Now why don't you enjoy the sunset?"
On the way down the mountain she
Showed me how to pick mustard leaves
For dinner.
My mom was always there.
She was not Barbie.
I asked her,
"Why can't I have a Barbie?"
She said, " I don't want you to have
Unrealistic expectations of how a woman
Is to be or how a woman should look."
I said, " I hate you. Everyone has a barbie but me."
"One day, you will realize how lucky you are," she said.
I lived without Barbie.
I spent time with my mom instead.
I have been lucky, indeed.

Lovely 06.Jun.2007 09:03

Gumby

Thank you.

I'll drink to that! 06.Jun.2007 09:30

m

.

Nice 06.Jun.2007 10:27

,

Thanks for the day lifter

Thanks 06.Jun.2007 11:25

Jody Paulson

If any of you out there have kids that you live with, please give them a special hug today. These are among the most valuable things in the world. Believe me, you really don't know how lucky you are.

This poem reminds me of the shortened version of "The Nightingale" that I just read in the "Te of Piglet":

The emperor of China loved to listen to the singing of the nightingale, which brought him great contentment. One day he was presented with a mechanical bird covered with jewels and gold. To the emperor's amazement, it sang the nightingale's song with perfect clockwork precision, whenever he wanted it to. It quickly became the sensation of the empire -- from peasant children to court officials, everone (or almost everyone) admired the wonderful bird, which sang perfectly, over and over. Ignored and forgotten, the real bird flew away.

But after some time, the clockwork bird broke down. Without its song to soothe him, the emperor became ill. His condition grew worse, until he was nearly at the point of death. Just then, a nightingale alighted outside the window, and began to sing. His will to live restored, the emperor recovered.

I didn't have Barbie either. 06.Jun.2007 14:49

Feminista

I'm a Boomer,so I was in elementary school when Barbie was introduced. While conventional in some ways,my parents always wanted my sister and me to be well-educated,competent women. We both got involved in the left and the women's liberation movement in the 70s,and continued our education beyond the B.A. level.

My niece never got Barbie,either; in fact,neither she nor her brother liked dolls,preferring stuffed animals. My adopted special needs daughter joined our family when she was 9,bringing 4 Barbies and dozens of stuffed toys with her. From time to time I would mention that Barbie didn't represent what women really looked like,and she came to enjoy her stuffed animals more.

My niece is now 24,a strong,compassionate young woman who wants to be a choral director; she has never worn make-up or had body issues and is always her natural self. My daughter has taken a different path,but she stands up for herself and is learning to make good choices.