My birthday was fairly quiet this year. What made it truly special were the phone calls I received from the close friends that I hold dear and the wonderful birthday wishes from my Internet friends. Thank you!
March is a time of celebration for many people. In addition to Bruce Willis and Glenn Close, I was humbled to learn that I share my birthday month with a truly iconic girl…Barbie.
During the month that I turned 34, Barbie turned 50. And as much as it pains me to say, I think Barbie is aging better than I am.
So to Barbie, I say happy 50th. And since we're talking: I should probably confess something. In the debate over whether you have objectified women over the years, well, I objectified you.
Let me explain. I had an anti-Barbie mother. Her idea of “fun” was for my brother and I to keep a journal to chronicle the family vacations we took during the summer. To my Mom, Barbie was a symbol from an earlier time, a Stepford wife in waiting.
Sure, Barbie had a lot of professional careers. Over the years, she has been blond and brunette. White, black and Hispanic. Curly-haired and pony-tailed. Barbie's been an item with Ken, and then a single gal looking for love.
She has been an astronaut, a pilot and a flight attendant, a doctor, a nurse and a veterinarian, a NASCAR driver and the driver of a pink Corvette. In 2004, Barbie even ran for president. Her slogan: "Go Vote. Go Run. Go Lead. Go Girl."
Despite my mother’s misgivings, I did have one Barbie. She was a Christmas gift from my great-Aunt that we couldn't return. My sister had a Malibu Skipper, acquired in the same way.
And how did I play with my Barbie? I sent her looking for love. My Barbie got around.
One day, it was He-Man behind the sofa. Then, the next day, she was up and off to see Skeletor. Barbie made out with stuffed animals, hooked up with Hulk Hogan, and stole away for a moment with Boba Fett from Star Wars. Oh, and I'm sorry Boba didn't take his helmet off. He couldn’t.
I'm sure my mom was happy when, soon after we chopped off Barbie's hair to reveal a biker-gang look, my sister and I phased Barbie out. But I don't think she had anything to worry about in the first place. Barbie was never destined to be a permanent member of our household.
So happy birthday, Barbie. And please accept my apology. I hope you don't feel that I didn't respect your desire to be a fighter pilot, a teacher or a doctor.
Unless you had a good time with all that action. Then never mind.