A Window into Life in the Suburbs

"Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these." Luke 12:27 (NIV)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Babbling about Barbie

Hmph... I missed the mid-year toy sale this year by one day. Do the department stores usually have these things during the school holidays? I seem to remember otherwise. I haven't the fortitude, quite frankly, to go during the first few days, much less drag children along to stand in long queues to save a few bucks. When I'm childfree, I happy to stand around for half an hour chatting to whomever is in front or behind me. Like I did at school yesterday outside the tuckshop waiting to buy a school shirt. Predictably, the 3 year old ran riotously all over the tuckshop area with a couple of equally bored preschoolers.

Shopping with children is like a visit to the dentist: It's hard on the mouth, painful and you always end up spending more money than you should. One, it's the tenth commandment they seem intent to break... Two, they whine and and whinge about me taking forever to look at stuff. Three, the 9 year old will put on a theatrical performance about her selfish and cruel parents who never buy her anything. Four, the 3 year old, if she isn't trying shoplift, would be carping about wanting something to eat. Five, if the 9 year old knows what I've bought for so and so for Christmas etc, I will never hear the end of it. I will be pestered, badgered and nagged about it until the big day.

I'm not that enthused about this kind of parental flagellation unless circumstances deem it necessary. I lack the chops for dealing with torture.

Seeing that I had a moment or two to spare today and no children at home, I thought I'd pop into the local Westfield shopping centre to get Barbie and Ariel (The Little Mermaid) some new clothes. I've been rather relieved that the 3 year old has taken an interest in Ariel and found some clothes to dress her in. At various times, both Barbie and Ariel have been seen lying around the house au naturel from neglect and disinterest, with the occasional tissue wrapped around their Made-in-China plastic bodies. Barbie and Ariel came into our house by way of birthdays and Christmas because she wouldn't be in here otherwise.  Although after Toy Story 3, my estimation of Barbie has risen by leaps and bounds. Who would've thought that under the vacuous stare, lurks a badass chick, terrifyingly proficient in enhanced interrogation techniques. Quite the political philosopher too. Ken, on the other hand, turns out to be a sleazy metrosexual.

Both dolls were rather wasted on the 9 year old... who turns out, is more like her mother than her mother is comfortable with. Her eagerness for inanimate objects often wanes after a few days and she has a disturbing tendency to strip them bare on a permanent basis. It's the story of her young life so for years I didn't bother cluttering the house with inanimate playthings. Anyhow, there's an embargo on Barbies at our place... Philosophical objections to Barbie aside, it's such a waste of resources, in my opinion to have a different one just for a new look. No doubt, Mattel has made a killing using this business model over the years.

I'm optimistic about the 3 year old taking over the existing Barbies and giving them a new lease on life.


  1. Lilian, you haven't missed ALL the mid year toy sales. The Target on...which is THE big one...doesn't start until next Thursday, 22nd July. And to go by past experience, the first day isn't a great day to go into the store.

  2. Thanks Ky...
    I may have to go on the first day though... It's my childfree day. We'll see. If the queues look forbidding, I'll go home.

  3. There's a new chick barbie series. They're all dressed in black.

  4. Yeah, I saw that, YN and boy, aren't those accessories expensive!
    I'm not a big Barbie fan but there's no point me being rigid about it. They mostly seem to outgrow them eventually.

  5. Not sure if you can see this FB photo album or not. My poly friend's collection. Still collecting. 14 yrs ago he had 200 dolls. It has grown since. Designs clothes and jewellery for them too.


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