Failed Attempts with Petunia


Over the holidays, the girls and I found ourselves with the richness of empty time together in someone else’s house. Games? I wondered. Barbies! they cheered. The Barbies looked as boring as the ones at our house but perhaps I was misinformed.

I declined the invitation to join. (I don’t know how, I said. I’ll read a magazine.) Then I felt guilty and recanted. My cynical side was not amused. My creative side felt certain I could muster enough imagination to overcome my God given repulsion to so many long haired plastic women with deformed feet and monstrous bosoms.

Upon sitting down with assigned Barbie in hand, I spied a plate of plastic cupcakes. Both girls were grooming their Barbies. I looked at mine but she looked fine so I walked her over to get a cupcake. She wanted the green one, which turned out to be a problem because the  Barbie sitting at the table said she wanted the green one also. This was ridiculous. Table girl had been sitting there all night. If she’d actually wanted the green one she could have consumed it hours ago, but no, she waited until my Barbie politely asked for it to cause a scene. Things got heated. My Barbie had just stormed off when the girls interrupted to tell me I wasn’t doing it right.

I ignored them and walked my Barbie back over to the table. She and the other girl agreed to split the cupcake. I got them to hug, high five, and squeal, “sisters!” Nobody tells me I can’t do that Barbie thing.

So how are you supposed to play Barbies, I said.

You like do their hair and put on clothes and stuff, they said.

As far as I can tell the perfect Barbie would have clothes that disintegrate after 30 seconds exposure to air, thereby assuring that Barbie would be in need of almost constant dressing and accessorizing. In other words, a picture of hell. My Barbie was already dressed. They weren’t our Barbies so I didn’t feel right cutting her hair, irritating though it was. I sighed and my eyes landed on one of the ugliest pair of shoes I have ever seen.

Petunia (my Barbie) was thrilled. O my gosh, she said, I am soooo happy. These are like the best shoes, ever. Just look at all the little bumps. I have no idea how many toads they used to make them, but 100% toad skin shoes are like totally awesome, she added.

Mom, said Girl one, those are shoes for a completely different doll. They don’t even go with that Barbie. But you can use them if you want.

I took the shoes off and put them back on three times, thereby proving that they did go with my Barbie.

It’s ok, Mom, said Girl one.

Yeah, said Girl two, they weren’t made for her, but you can use them.

But don’t say stuff about toad skin, said Girl one.

Yeah, said Girl two, that’s just silly.


8 Comments to Failed Attempts with Petunia

  1. Chris Radford says:

    Love this! Although I never had a Barbie as a young girl, I definitely got my fill when Katie was little as she had plenty of Barbie dolls. This provided a great visual and brought back some fond memories. Thanks for starting my morning with a smile…actually a little chuckle. :)

  2. Leslie Lynch says:

    Your Petunia Barbie and my Barbie (whom I shall name Agave in honor of my favorite alcoholic drink – oops, am I allowed to mention Tequila on your blog???!) would have a WONDERFUL time being decidedly un-Barbie-like. 😉 When I was that age, I wanted a Barbie, but my mother, who was adamantly opposed to image promoted by the dolls, got me a much tamer and more realistic version. Can’t remember the doll’s name, but I had just as much fun with it as anybody has ever had with a Barbie!

    • Michelle says:

      As long as the record shows that it was you who introduced tequila to this part of the world, it’s ok. :)

  3. Kaitlin says:

    Hahahah! this made me giggle!! I say…I think you play a ‘mean’ game of Barbie (mean as in awesome!) And good on your for trying! 😉

    • Michelle says:

      If only they had feet that didn’t remind me of the Chinese foot bindings of old, I swear I would be able to concentrate.

  4. Dale Sipple says:

    Hysterical! I couldn’t stop laughing! I’m still laughing! You are amazing! I feel the same way about Barbies.