My first Mattel dolls were Liddle Kiddles. Someone gave me one when I was about three and I was obsessed with them for the next two years. The first Barbie arrived on my fifth birthday, and though I can’t say Barbies were ever as fun as those first little dolls, I was a Barbie fan until high school. Baby D has that Baribe now, minus the ski outfit of which only the dress remains.
I am likely in a small minority of girls who played with her dolls until I was forced to put them away at about age 15 just to preserve what little bit of popularity I had. Bad enough to be fat, bespectacled and looking enough like a boy most days to be mistaken for one, I didn’t need anyone to know that I still played with Barbies on top of it.
Barbie was 50 years old yesterday. Just five years older than myself but still a peer because like President Obama, she is a Joneser, and we all fall happily into the valley between the boomers and the x-ers together.
Happy Birthday, Old Girl!