Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Barbie World

Barbie Logo, 1992-1999
I still can’t figure out what was (and still is) so alluring in Barbie Dolls. Being 27 I still like to look at Barbie dolls I bought myself during my lifetime- first to play with them, later to just own them. Maybe it's freaky, but I also enjoy browsing through collector’s pages.
My first Barbie was bought in Pewex. For those who don’t know I must explain that Pewex was a chain of hard currency shops in communist Poland. Only they sold western goods in exchange for western currencies - most commonly the United States dollar and the Deutsche Mark. It was a dreamland of each of my friends. In primary school we used to tour to Pewex few times a week just to stare through the windows at colourful LEGO sets and Barbie dolls in their fancy clothes, looking insolently at children of communism deprived of the pleasures Western children took for granted. We were rapaciously devouring every detail just to later dream of the toys we saw through those barred windows.
And once for my birthday I got an astronomical amount of US Dollars. It was 1,50. What else could I do? Next morning with mum I rushed to Pewex shop and bought the poorest and the cheapest ( costed 1 dollar and 30 cents) version of my dreamy doll. It had shiny, long, blonde hair, was desperately skinny and had only pink bathing suit on. And though she was almost naked, it was the most beautiful toy I ever got. She was treated with respect, touched only with clean hands and of course the object of envy on the playground. But the most jealous was my own, born sister, who soon after I brought my baby home, cut off her foot with scissors. My instant reaction was sheer fury, I beat my sisters so hard that even my mum had to intervene. But later I found it so traumatic and painful that I cried for few days, promising myself to hate my sister till the day I die.
Then the political times changed to democracy, the market opened to the flood of goods coming from West and I could finally equip my footless doll with all necessary things. For years my best birthday or Christmas present were Barbie accessories including clothes, furniture and cars. Of course once I also got Ken, so that my dolly wasn’t lonely. She had her wardrobe full of clothes, bedroom, bathroom, dining room and great car for weekends with bed and a kitchen. I spent hours playing, sewing and knitting new skirts and blouses for my doll.
When my teenage years came, my Barbie doll had to retire and was spending most of her time on the shelf, helplessly looking at the ups and downs of growing teenager. To make her moveless time more bearable, during my stay in US I bought her two new friends. I was 17 at that time, but simply couldn't resist when I entered to the collector's shop in Chicago. Those new girls were shiny new, in beautiful dresses and additional accessories and looked so poshy next to my worn-out old one, but nevertheless the footless Barbie will still be my best. Now they are all packed in boxes, stored deep in my wardrobe and I quess waiting for another small girl, who will bring them back to life again.


bordo said...

and now your toy is laptop, you can buy him new clothes and other accesories :p

sweet story ;)the best part is with cutting off the leg :D
my family also has those childchood dark stories ;)

Nika said...

The cutting of my doll's foot is a nice family anegdote now, but then it was a disaster. Luckily, now I have a great contact with my sis, so she won't this time f.ex. scratch or destroy my laptop :)

You should write about Your childhood stories also then, if You have many.