This pains me. I owe an apology to someone I have hated for many many years. I have come to understand at least a small bit of her life. And it really kills me to admit it. so here it goes, drum rolls please, oh my God this is hard to think of , much less write.... Barbie- I am sorry. I have always hated you for your perfect complexion, symmetrical features, impossible body, affluent lifestyle and pink corvette. I have never identified with any part of you- but now, gasp, I do. I now know how it feels to be undressed and dressed while lying there practically helpless. And I am sorry because I was never loving, gentle, or the least bit understanding. I ripped your perfect gowns off of you, wadded them up and then shoved you into the closest thing I had to barbie fatigues. I never thought about how it must feel when I pulled up your socks (wait...did Barbie ever have socks?). Or whether or not your underwear was comfortable. And any time I touched you it was with a fascinated revulsion rather than the pure love my husband used while trying to pull the socks over my comatose feet last night.
Last night my husband had to dress me. I lay there making pointed remarks about gray and brown not really matching and how clumsy my stupid legs were. How uncomfortable I was with this new development. And then I thought of Barbie. Shoot...suddenly I have something in common with Barbie.
In case you had not guessed I was not one of those little girls who doted on her Barbies. When I was three I might have thought playing Barbie was fun but by time I was in first grade she was hated. Every birthday...every Christmas...my granny would pick out a new Barbie for me. I tried to be grateful. After all every girl likes dolls (even dolls less freaky than Barbie), every girl wants to be a princess, and every girl likes to play house. I wanted a GI Joe, I pretended to be Thoren Oakenshield from the Hobbit, and I never pretended to be a perfect domestic goddess (after all I was Thoren and dwarfs don't appreciate fine dishes and fancy teas). To me playing house meant you had to pretend the house burned down during a nuclear holocaust and a band of survivors was crossing the unfriendly landscape, dodging enemy combatants, occasionally losing limbs to rockets and the scurvy, and finally staving to death because a vegetarian can't survive in those conditions. To quote Eddie Izzard, I was more of the running, jumping, climbing trees sort of girl.
Barbie I tried so very hard to appreciate. I would use magic marker to paint her face, shredded her clothes, gave her a buzz cut and try and helped her come to terms with her inner soldier. I then used her in warfare...she always got blown up, stabbed, and fell down precipices into raging rivers never to be seen again. I taught my sister the history of the Salem witch trials with Barbie. I demonstrated the use of the guillotine on her elongated neck. I was the perpetrator of many crimes against Barbiemanity. As I lay there last night, watching Scott struggle with my toes (which incidentally tend to curl upwards as they cramp as if I have on a pair of high heels made of air) I thought ....Freakin' Karma. I am sorry Barbie.
This morning I was feeling ever so much me like. I slept a little longer than usual. And seem to have recovered for my latest adventure of "stupid things I used to do but have discovered I no longer can do." I dressed myself. I picked out my own clothes (all good woodland colors...better for blending in with your environment). My feet are not pretending to wear hot pink stilettos. My hair didn't melt when I used the hairdryer. My skin is far from perfect and .... my smile isn't an advertisement for a minty whitening toothpaste that also glues your lips into a perfect smile. So I did not transform into Barbie overnight...good thing since I really have problems with Ken. But it has stayed with me. Karma....So I thought I'd publicly apologize...sorry Barbie. But she better remember this day forever because this is going to be the first and last time in history that a disabled person is going to apologise to the plastic bitch.