I mentioned in My 100 Things that I did not play Barbies like other little girls did. I did not dress the up to go to parties or the mall or out on dates with Ken. My Barbies did not work as noble school teachers by day and supermodels at night. They did not live in dream houses or drive hot pink convertibles or own poopfree horses in their artificially turfed backyards. Nope, my Barbies kept it real. Well, as real as it gets on your standard soap opera, that is.
You'll need a little backstory to help you understand:
You see, I was the youngest of four growing up in the quaint, little town of Rockford, Michigan. My father being a mechanic and a welder went wherever the work was and was sometimes gone days, weeks, or even months at a time. My mother stayed at home to raise the kids. Except that she really didn't do that. Now, please understand, I'm not writing what I'm about to write to mom-bash. With lots of self-therapy, deep breathing exercises and the Stuart Smalley "I'm Good Enough" series on audio, I got well past mom-bashing in 1997.
My mom was, well, rather relaxed in her parenting style and probably never put the words "parental" and "interaction" together in a sentence her entire life. She did, however, watch a heck of a lot of TV.
Like all day.
So much so that regardless of the fact that there was not a clock in the room, she knew exactly what time it was by what show was on. Or if Bob was spinning the wheel for the first time or second. Or if Erica Kane was in lingerie or daywear. You get the picture.
As the youngest child and not yet old enough for kindergarten, I often sat with my mother while she watched her soap operas. I can still remember avidly watching "All My Children", "General Hospital", "Days of Our Lives" and, especially, "The Edge of Night" (which is the show where I learned how babies were made - another post altogether) sitting in front of our bunny-eared, turn-dial, slightly green-tinted color TV on our burnt-red, commercial-grade carpeting with my mom laying on the couch behind me.
I won't comment on the fact that she used to call me out of my bedroom to change the channel for her. Nope, I'll just leave that little tidbit out and continue with my every intriguing story. No mom-bashing here, I tell you!
Okay, so how do the Barbies fit in? Well, if you pay attention to your kids at all, and I know you do, you know that whatever they see or experience in real life they reenact in play. So it was with me and my Barbies. Like I said, no trips to the mall, convertibles or colon-free horses for my dolls. Nope. But my Barbies did have unhappy marriages, affairs, divorces, unplanned pregnancies, alcohol addictions, drama, tragedies, murder mysteries, back-stabbing friends and the occasional sexual indiscretion.
Keep in mind - I WAS FIVE!
But the worst of it came years later when my dad decided one day that I was too old for dolls and put everything Barbie into a garage sale while I was at school. He missed, however, one Barbie, a dining table, a small Asian child doll and a few accessories. With what few items I had left, I did what any successful soap opera does - I spun-off!
The new story centered around Barbie and her adopted Asian child doll, Kim as they rebuilt their lives as the sole survivors of a devastating fire that destroyed their entire town. It was an instant hit and had a successful two or three year run. I can't really remember. And I will happily tell you that Barbie did pull herself up by her high-heel, leatherette Gloria Vanderbilt bootstraps and made a good life for her and Asian child doll Kim and eventually did get that poopfree horse in the artificially turfed backyard afterall!
But what I really want to know is:
Was Stormy able to quit her ADD medication addiction and get off the street to, once and for all, provide a stable home environment for her daughter Rainy?