Monday, March 15, 2010

Oh Barbie Where Art Thou

So we all know that I am cleaning out and decluttering in anticipation of selling the old homestead and moving. OK, the homestead isn’t old. Yes, I know it isn’t even a homestead. Geesh!

Some things just have to stay. Some things cannot be given away or sold. These are some of those things. I have been going down memory lane and I am dragging you with me whether you like it or not. So put on your big girl panties and deal with it.

IMG_5187A Look at this unassuming little trunk. For the last few years it has sat, quietly, in my dining room. What is in it you are asking yourself. You are asking right? Well, it holds part of my childhood. One of my favorite things…..

IMG_5189A My Barbie dolls!!!!

What? Did you think I was going to say something like Jimmy Hoffa? Yes, I grew up in the Chicago area but…….. well, we had better not go there.

This is just a small smattering of my Barbies. There are a bunch more but these just happen to be my favorites. Oh how I loved them, love them still. Many an hour did I play with them. The bottom of my closet was totally devoted to Barbies. And this was when Barbies were still good, were imagination boosters. They were sturdily made and their legs, arms or heads didn’t come off at the drop of a hat like the current ones do. They could take a bit of swinging from the rafters or flying through the air and landing on the garage roof. You didn’t buy a Barbie that had one specific purpose, they were just “Barbie”. None of this PC business that makes me……..

Oh, sorry.

I am over it now and back on track.

IMG_5192 This was my favorite. She is wearing one of the dresses that my Grandma Amsler made for my dolls. More about that later.

IMG_5193A This Barbie may not be the loveliest (check out the 60’s era makeup!) but what she had going for her was that she came with a bunch of wigs. Short hair, long hair, blonde, brunette and even red.
IMG_5191A She was the victim of an unfortunate dog mauling accident but we don’t like to bring that up to her. She is self conscious about it.


These happen to be assorted clothes for Barbie, the clothes that came with the doll or were purchased. There are some in there that I made myself. And you used to be able to buy Barbie clothes that you could “sew together” by pulling off the sticky backing on the seam allowances and sticking the clothes together.
IMG_5212 I made these. Can you tell? And unless Barbie had a very bad case of Ricketts or was perhaps an old time cowboy with bowed legs I am thinking that she didn’t wear these very often. I have gotten better with the sewing machine.


But the mother lode, the top of the heap, the cream of the crop as far as Barbie clothes went were these. These are all the clothes that Grandma Amsler either sewed or knit for Barbie. You can’t tell but this pile is HUGE. Dresses, coats, skirts, blouses. Tons of stuff.

IMG_5205 Barbie could step out on the town with Ken….or some other hottie (more on that in a bit)...

IMG_5208 If the weather was cool she could be chic in this stylish leopard collar swing length coat….

IMG_5209A And if she really wanted to drive the people from PETA wild she could step out in this daring, faux fur coat. Oh doesn’t she look warm!

And of course, Barbie needed a man in her life. Now the traditional choice would be Ken.

IMG_5195A Fine, upstanding, solid citizen Ken. He plays tennis. He calls his mother faithfully every week. He holds down that steady, solid job in upper management. Ken is the safe choice.

IMG_5197A Wow! Don’t Barbie and Ken look…..look…..look….OK, they look stiff as boards and just not right for each other. Yes Ken is steady and dependable and all that. But why oh why would you want to go out with Ken when you could….

IMG_5196A Go out with G.I.Joe!!! Mmmmmm, now he is a hunky piece of plastic let me tell you. And he has joints that move. None of that standing stiffly beside Ken and talking about his mother and his mutual funds.

IMG_5198A No, with Joe it’s all, “Come on over to my place. I have some Moon rocks I’d love to show you.” Don’t they look like a happy couple.

IMG_5201A And Ken has a small baldness issue. He is considering hair plugs but after the way that Joe Biden’s turned out he isn’t so sure.

IMG_5199 Joe has that dashing scar that he got defending the country or going into space or something dangerous. He is a bit vague about the actual origin but who the heck cares. And he bears a striking resemblance to Pioneer Woman’s Marlboro Man so who wouldn’t want him. There was really no contest.

Sorry Ken, better luck next time.

IMG_5221A Oh by the way, this is Joe’s favorite outfit. Sort of welcome home fly boy.


Well, I just have to be honest you know.


  1. I have been lurking for a bit now but I had to comment today. This was too funny!! Love the captions!! In fact, I'm laughing so much I'm sure my co-workers think I have finally lost it.

    Thanks for this great morning laugh. :)

  2. Love it! I know you had FUN playing with all of your Barbies...and by the way, I still have a suitcase full of them myself. Hold on to those babies!

  3. I love how Barbie's face has changed so much over the years! If I have a little girl, will you teach me how to play Barbie's?? That was never one of my hobbies!

  4. OMG -- The dog mauling accident. I tried to blame the dog, but really? It was me. Why the hell did I always chew on Barbie's feet? Why? Why? And then her "bone" would stick out (like a contusion) and I'd have to yank her foot out and press the "bone" back into the hole. With all of that practice, you'd have thought I'd grow up to become a plastic surgeon...or at least a coroner.

  5. @ Chelsea - we will have Barbie training sessions if the young one is a girl.
    @Cari - all these years I have been blaming the dog for the mauling and it was YOU! You know, the feet on the old Barbies was that rubbery substance. Very chewable...not that I would know anything about that.

  6. My overwhelming memories of Barbie is when we used to "pirate" with them and hang them from the stair railing.

    And you crack me up, Mom. I swear you do.

  7. Those red pants you sewed yourself? Those look like "hammer" pants for barbie! Remember MC Hammer? You were way ahead of the trend, Deb.

    Cousin Laura

  8. Debbie, you are hilarious! This blog post is one of my favorites. I am now sorry I didn't save any of my homemade Barbie garments. As I grew up I became ashamed of them... The red pants for "Barbie with rickets" took me back to a wonderful time and all the fun I had with my Barbies.

  9. I loved my Barbies too. I used to gather the strangest materials and make up houses for them. Scarves and sweaters of mine became beds and blankets for them, etc...


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