Happy Birthday, Barbie

1959barbiemedium1It’s Barbie’s 50th birthday today! Growing up with two sisters you can imagine the mess of Barbie accessories and doll parts that scattered our basement.

I remember one of my family’s *real* Barbies (we have three, in this case, my aunt) taking me to a toy store for my 4th or 5th birthday and I got to pick out my first Barbie. She had a sparkly, shiny dress and a matching shiny boa. The doll was snazzily dressed, too.

We didn’t have a Ken doll but my sister Monica somehow ended up with a Michael Jackson one ?? complete with the lone sparkly glove and Thriller-era hair molded into his head ?? so he had to date all the Barbies. No dream house for us, but an upside-down chair was mansion enough for me.

My all-time favorite Barbie memory, though, is one that Monica reminded me of a couple weeks ago. In her words:

When Rachel, Laura and I were little, we had the Wheel of Fortune home game. When we would finish the game we would always do the showcase part, where the winning contestant bought things from the show room. We would pull the head off of a Barbie doll and float it around saying things like, “I’ll take the couch and the refrigerator, Pat.”

Now, I couldn’t end this post without some gratuitous photos from the fabulous 1980s, could I? Behold:


Dad’s Ph.D. graduation in 1984.


The Big Rock, in our front yard when we lived on Long Island.


1986. Me: 2nd grade, Monica: kindergarden, Laura: 3 years old.


The Christmas of the Cabbage Patch Doll.


A Florida Christmas in 1988 (correct me if I’m wrong?).
I think the pink socks really dress up those moccasins.


I hear feathered bangs are back in style. What about jogging suits with pastel hearts?