I got my very first Barbie when I was–wait a minute. I had a Sindy Doll (a rival of Barbie), but did I really ever own a Barbie? My mind switches into reverse, picks up speed, past the bright sunlight shining on my adolescence, back even further to my tweens, past the Space 1999 gang, and screeches to a halt (don’t you love cliches) when I reach Primary 3.
I distinctly remember my Primary 3 classroom, crammed with 40 grey desks, on the school on a hill. It was after the final exams, and two girls, whom I was in awe of, asked me to bring my Sindy doll to play with their Barbies after the exams.
Hm. Maybe by the time I did get a Barbie, I was too old. At 12 or 13 years old, no other girl brought dolls to school after exams. Everyone was into board games, and the lowest they’d go was to play with paper dolls, but that was fine because that was “art and craft”.
One Barbie highlight: I was 13 and went to a younger friend’s house to play. This girl had three or four Barbies, and the hugest collection of Barbie doll party dresses and ballgowns I’d ever seen in my entire Barbie-deprived life. I was in Barbie heaven.
All afternoon, I was creating imaginary events for Barbie to go to so she could make 101 changes from ballgown to ballgown. It got to the point that at 6 pm, three hours later, her mum entered, saw the floor dusted all over with pixie ballgowns of lace and lamé, and said to her daughter, “How come you all still playing with the Barbie dolls? Go play something else!”
To which her daughter exasperatedly replied, “But she still wants to play with Barbie!”
Childhood (Part 3): In Praise of Sindy The Sindy doll and how I really felt about her