I think the movies Toy Story and Toy Story 2 being played on loop for about 2 weeks straight at my house has made me reminisce about my childhood toys. You know that flashback scene in Toy Story 2 where Jessie is telling Woody about her owner, Emily, who grows up ends up putting her in a box and leaving her as a donation at some collection site? GAH! The tears! I see that scene and my heart feels so heavy thinking about my Barbies and Cabbage Patch Kids and Melissa, my baby with an inexplicable plastic butt, just sitting in a box somewhere in my parent’s basement waiting to be loved again.
So anyway, this post isn’t supposed to be a downer. I’ve either made you really sad or you’re thinking that I’m a bit off my rocker. I really just wanted to talk about the dolls you played with growing up. First I’ll tell you about mine, then you can tell me about yours! And then we’ll brush each other’s hair and paint our nails with sparkly pink polish! Won’t this be fun!
I had a giant basket full of Barbies, hitting pay dirt when I got a bunch of hand-me-down Barbies. One of the inherited Barbies was actually not a Mattel Barbie, but an off-brand Barbie with swivel scalp. One side was blond and with a simple twist of her scalp you could make her a brunette. YES, TOTALLY CREEPY. I always pretended she was evil and trying to steal Barbie’s husband (or boyfriend, depending on that day’s storyline).
Speaking of Barbie’s husband/boyfriend, I never did have a hunky Ken, I had one with a crazy mess of black hair and Miami Vice like white suit. He did drive a pretty rad purple Corvette and a giant yellow RV. So he had that going for him, I can see Barbie’s attraction.
One of my favorite Barbies had to be Skipper, mine even had TAN LINES under her teal bikini! Hello inappropriate! I also loved my cowgirl Barbie who wore blue eyeshadow and winked if you pushed a button on her back. She had a droopy eyelid because of her winking, but I thought it made her look mysterious. She looked so beautiful in her fringed black and white cowgirl pantsuit and cowboy boots, with her perfectly feathered bangs. Really classy!
I used to love giving my Barbies names like Lisa, Tracy, Belinda, or Sonja with a “j”. They were always taking turns kissing and laying under the covers with Ken and then getting pregnant. On a possibly related note, I watched a lot of General Hospital growing up.
As much as I loved Barbie and all her (s)e(x)scapades with Ken and Skipper and the evil lady with two-tone hair, I also loved my Cabbage Patch Kids. I’m pretty sure that neither of my CPKs were acquired after a long wait in an elbow stabby line or for an inflated price. Their names were Deidre Aggie and Karin Dodi. I never changed their names because it just seemed wrong to me since that what was written on their birth certificates. The claim that you could change their names and get a new birth certificate by notifying Xavier Roberts or one of his minions at the Cabbage Patch Hospital seemed like a shady deal. I didn’t want to risk a name change for my girls and then have no PROOF of their actual name. (My loathing and mistrust of red tape and bureaucracies obviously started at an early age.) Also, Deidre and Karin were actually pretty good names considering some of the atrocious names given to my friends’ CPKs.
I really loved the whole romanticism behind CPKs and how they came from a “real” hospital and that you “really” adopted them. Children from a cabbage patch! So that’s where babies come from!
I do still keep in touch with one of my dolls. Technically Lillian is a Puffalump. She sat on my bed until I got married. Now Lillian lives in Ella’s room where I like to think of her as the Woody of Ella’s toys.
I could never put her in a donation box and abandon her!