I wasn’t sure what title to address you as since you may be in between careers; so I will just address this to Barbie. I recently had a mid-life crisis, a breakdown of sorts. My head boiled over in frustration & anger and I thought I was going all to pieces! Just when I thought I couldn’t do anything right, I was about to schedule “that doctors appointment” and then I got to thinking about you.
I remember when you first came into my life, all tan and perfect. Your perfect smile, clothes, body frame and boobs I could only hope to have one day (I didn’t have any then) and it made me want to be just like you. You had no job at that time, just Malibu Barbie and that was fine enough. You came with 2 pairs of shoes, some great clothes, shiny hair and a built in tan. My perception of how a beautiful girl looks began to take hold.
As the years passed, our friendships grew. We added other plastic members to our friendships and before long, there was even a house, a convertible to drive and Ken. Weekends were spent laughing, swimming, driving around and exchanging clothes. Some cat fights broke out from time to time, usually over borrowed clothes or Ken but we got over them quickly. You were perfect Barbie… everyday. Being a round doll myself and not being allowed to hang out with the perfect group some times made me wonder if grown ups could really look that way as they aged. My mom certainly didn’t, but you know that. Though she was a beautiful woman, she wore her life on the outside. Some day’s she said it took all she had to put one foot in front of the other. But I was sure I could have it all!
As I got older, I put you and your friends away in some box, somewhere, when I was about 13 years old. Sports, chorus, boys and skating on Friday nights filled my weekends and became my full time activities. Of course, I finished school, graduated, went on to college, married, had
children and now I am back to thinking about you. You see, in all the confusion of thinking you were the perfect woman, you were really screaming out to me to RUN! You were designed in an image that few women have or will keep. You had only one love, Ken, and he used the mirror as much if not more than you did. You eventually got a few different cars, a house, a pet or two, but were you really ever happy? You changed careers constantly but did you ever find the right one. I suppose you just weren’t happy with yourself. If we don’t like who we are, then we will never like anything we do.
I want to believe I am a good wife and mother, though not 100% perfect at either all the time. I have had several careers, a few nice cars, a nice home, lots of shoes and one guy! So perhaps I followed in your steps, always wanting to be perfect, to be you. But what I didn’t know for a long time was that identity had already taken. I would have to learn to be satisfied with me. What I needed was to remember my days with you. I needed to remember that you were designed to always be perfect, you were made of plastic. Nothing about you is real and you cannot be the example because not everything about me is wrong. I think I finally understand unconditional love.
So in closing, there will be no doctor’s appointment. I will love myself well so I can love others completely. I will love my body the way it is and be thankful for what I have. I will not set unrealistic expectations and I will take one day at a time. After all, there is only one of me.
Please give my best to Ken and the dogs.
Patricia ” Pat ” Cabbage