Monday, March 09, 2009

Happy Birthday To A Couple Of Real Queens.

March 9.
I couldn't let today pass without mention. It's just too important.
Today is the Birthday of two of my best friends.
I bet your thinking, what a coincidence. My closest friends having the same birthday.
Truth be told, I didn't even know they had the same birthdays.
Of course, I knew it was Erin's birthday.
Happy Birthday Erin.

I just found out that today was also my BFF Barbie's Big 50 . Yes, Barbie was one of my very best friends for the first 12 years or so of my life. Actually, she was my BFF way longer than she should have. I remember playing Barbies on my grandmothers porch one afternoon when some kids from my class walked by. I hid behind my black patent leather case. (You know the one). That's how you played with Barbies. With the case serving as two of the walls of her bedroom. I had a black case,The Madonna had a blue case. Ginny Ann, of course, had a pink case.(She always had the best stuff!)
Anyway, I hid behind the case until they walked past the house. When most girls were talking about kissing boys, me? I was just making Barbie kiss Ken. Pretty pathetic huh? Well, in hindsight, I guess it served me well. We actually had quite a few girls end up pregnant in school.

I was obsessed with my Barbies. Me and my verybestfriend in grade school, Maryann Usselman played for hours and hours.
Maryann was the epitome of who I wanted to be. She was an only child. So of course she had all the best toys. PLUS, they weren't even hand-me-downs. She was the richest girl on our block. One of her homes three bedrooms was a playroom. Can you stand it??? She even had a leather(vinyl) child-sized recliner. Now THAT is rich. At least by 42nd street standards.
She had pink cattail eyeglasses. (me, I had brown plastic frames held together with masking tape. (Is it any wonder I played with Barbie into my 20's!)
She also had an aluminum Christmas tree that rotated and had red and green spotlights shining on it.
It was during Christmas vacations that I remember running down to her house with my new Barbie stuff. Naturally, hers were better. But we put our stuff together and played for hours and hours, and days and days.
It was a good deal for me because I got to play with good Barbie stuff. More than I could ever imagine getting for Christmas.
You know, I remember every detail of getting a new Barbie outfit. Right down to the accessories and pink boxes.
One especially great year she got Barbies Dream House. Oh yes she did. I can remember every single thing about that dream house. Including the cardboard picture of Ken that went on the console color TV. I remember helping her and her father put the furniture together. I do. I was so excited I couldn't stand it. (Even if it wasn't mine,hey Maryann was sharing here folks)
That year I got furniture that was orange plastic. It wasn't a dreamhouse, but hey, with a little imagination it served its purpose. I'm sure mom had it on Lay-a-Way at Zayres for months.
When Maryann Usselman was at her Aunt's house, I would play by myself and make rooms out my sisters album covers. So what if Temptations were all over the walls. I was still in Barbie heaven.

EXCEPT when I went to my Nana's. Can you believe Ginny Ann and the Madonna would not let me play with them???? I know. I know. Like, they could have been nicer, ya know? They knew how much Barbie meant to me. But no, when I went to play with them, they had their stuff all set up in the living room. They had wicker place mats as their walls instead of the Temptation Album covers. I walk in with all my stuff. I have my Barbie case with me. I have my cute little dress on and you know what they say to me when I go to set up beside them? Eileen, this is where our Barbies live. Yours live over there. I get up and look. Over there was BEHIND THE COUCH.
Those bitches would not let me play Barbies with them.
I don't even think it was because I made Ken a hippie with permanent black magic marker.
Is it any wonder I turned out like I did? They're just lucky I don't hold a grudge or anything. Just wait till they need someone to play with!!
Hey, that's alright, none of THEIR friends had the Dream House!

For more great Barbie reading check out my friend Judi over at Stories From The Road.
She is hilarious.

Just one more Barbie thing.
No, not an explanation of why I colored Ken's head and face with permanent marker.
And I'm not even going to get into the story about the time I sold some of my Barbie stuff at a flea market while in college for beer money. INCLUDING her orange sports car. sniff, sniff.

About 17 years ago, Hallmark came out with Barbie Keepsake Ornaments. My husband used to buy the latest one for me every year for our wedding anniversary. Each year when I got my new ornament, memories would flood back about that particular outfit. I loved them.

After Dan died, I made the mistake of going to Hallmark on my anniversary to buy one for myself. I walked in, picked up my ornament, walked over to the cashier to pay, and burst out crying. I'm talking about uncontrollable crying. Sobbing. The poor little cashier. She just shoved the thing in a bag to get me out of there. I went back to work and talked to Erin about what a nut they must of thought I was.
So the following year, my friend Erin, the other birthday girl, bought me my Barbie ornament. And has every year since. (Last year, my 50th Birthday and the year I went to Italy, the ornament was Roman Barbie)
Now I have so many Barbie ornaments that I put up a "Tacky Barbie Christmas Tree" I swear I do. And I put my original Barbie, Ken, Skipper, and Midge underneath the tree.

Isn't it funny that Erin and Barbie share a birthday? I should have know all along. They have so much in common. Neither owns a pair of sensible shoes!
Happy Birthday Girlfriends! Neither of you look a day over 22.
Those born under the Pisces sign: Accessories are in their future!


Judi said...

OH MY GOD did we live the same life or what? There were girls in the city (not just in DORMONT!) who played Barbie's way beyond their 9th birthday? Who knew? I have to send MY Maryann Usselman--her name is Debbie Dean--your blog address! (she comments on my blog quite a bit!).
You literally brought me to tears with this blog entry....and before 7 am! And, you got me a little pissed at that Ginny Ann! Thank God I like her so much!
The Barbie ornament thing....yep, we have a Barbie tree filled with them! Toni keeps it in her bedroom. In fact, this past year I told her we need a bigger tree...
You really make me want to call off work and play Barbie's.
BTW--I had the blue fat fact, I still do!
What a great blog post!

Anonymous said...

For the record -- Ginny Ann and I are not bitches! There was a reason you had to play behind the couch, you were not as sophisticated as we were AND you always broke everything.

The Madonna

Eileen, Founder, Organizer, Mayor and Chief Cook And Bottle Washer of the Anger Management Girls. said...

Oh those pesky little details.
I think it was Maryann Usselman who broke everything!
And for the record, even if I didn't break things, I always got blamed for it since I was the youngest.

Eileen, Founder, Organizer, Mayor and Chief Cook And Bottle Washer of the Anger Management Girls. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Eileen, Founder, Organizer, Mayor and Chief Cook And Bottle Washer of the Anger Management Girls. said...

Now I remember, it was Donna Story who broke everything. We were never allowed to play with them.

Judi said... I need to know...what was said in the deleted post?
I just love a little love spat between sisters! My bitch sisters and I do it all the time....;-)

Eileen, Founder, Organizer, Mayor and Chief Cook And Bottle Washer of the Anger Management Girls. said...

I was going to make something up, like it was the other neighbor girl who wanted to play Barbies with us. But it was only me. I pressed submitt twice.

Anonymous said...

I had a friend, Gloria, that had the Barbie townhouse. We played Barbies for hours and hours. I liked the working elevator. I know that I played with the dolls for too long because I was actually old enough to know what "the nasty" was and I made Barbie and Ken do it. I have Donny and Marie dolls in fancy, purple outfits!!!

Jody V said...

Oh Eileen...I am in tears...Us ladies may have grown up in other states and towns but our Barbie habits were all the same! I had to give my Barbie's to my bitch niece who looks like Barbie...needless to say I don't nor never will! I always disliked that girl!!


Wonderful World of Weiners said...

Just found your blog and thought I'd say hi. Your ABOUT ME PROFILE is the best I've seen!! Totally made me think, "damn, here's a woman I could really get along with!"

Great blog....I'll be back. (can you hear my Schwarzenegger voice?)