For Sale: Barbie is Moving
Beauty products? Check.
Pots, pans, and dishes? Check.
Barbie is Moving
In case you didn’t know, long time Malibu resident and every girl’s BFF, Barbie, has placed her Dream Home on the market with Million Dollar Listing agent, Josh Altman. The house has an asking price of a cool $25 million and to give you an idea of how much stuff this girl has to pack up, I went inside my personal vault and broke out my own private stash of Barbie goodness.
I can vividly remember the day my grandfather came home from work and directed, “Listen here little girl, get in the car, we’re going to the toy store.” This was a huge deal to me was because while my grandparents were more like Santa and Mrs. Claus, I never saw with my own eyes my grandfather ever buy a toy himself. I had seen my grandmother buy me a doll, a game, you name it, plenty of times, but I don’t think he was a big fan of shopping. I was so excited. I was so confused. I was so anxious. I had no idea what a huge impact that day would have on my life. I wish I remembered what year it was, but that Christmas, the back part of a tiny room in the finished basement below my grandparent’s home was transformed into a little girl’s fantasy playground and I called it Barbieland.
We arrived at the toy store and he pulled two shopping carts, one for himself and one for my grandmother. The three of us marched single file through the doors and then he said the magic words, “Go on. Get what you want.” Did I hear him correctly? I looked puzzled at my grandmother, “Anything?” She shrugged her shoulders and said with a slight touch of disapproval, “That’s what your grandfather said.” I don’t think she believed what was happening either. You see, he has always reminded me of Archie Bunker. The way he looked, the way he sounded. Very handsome, very fiery, and in my eyes the most amazing man ever. Most of all, he never let me down or failed to surprise me.
“Go on, keep moving…just put it in the basket. We’ll follow you,” he gruffed. I ran. Scratch that, I sprinted. I proceeded to pull one of every single Barbie play sets they had off the shelves without even looking. I was secretly terrified he would change his mind or didn’t mean it. Oh, he meant it. I filled up two heaping carts that afternoon with only Barbie stuff. It was the best Christmas I have ever had.
My grandfather did not stop there, while I was on Winter Break from school, the floor to ceiling, wall-to-wall shelving unit he installed for my grandmother became the most amazing Barbie condo you’ve ever seen. One day he went down to the local carpet store and brought home remnants the size of place mats so Barbie would have flooring. He found some old wallpaper books for me to decorate the walls and showed me which thumbtacks worked the best to hang the sheets. We hung shoelaces so that I could display all of Barbie’s couture on tiny hangers. and then placed each pair of matching shoes in empty pill bottles and tacked up cassette jackets of Prince and Madonna to look like posters on Skipper’s bedroom walls. It was the definition of a custom dream home.
This wasn’t only Barbie’s Dream Home, this was mine. Even as a child I wanted palm trees, sunshine all year round, cool sunglasses, and the beach. Somewhere on the west coast was Barbie’s Dream Home just steps from the sand. Although I had never been, I had seen the pictures on my Barbie boxes and it just felt like home in my mind. 25 years later and a flip of a coin, I packed my stuff, took a huge leap of faith and moved to Southern California. I’m home.
This post is dedicated to the greatest grandparents in the whole world. I love them so very much.
Update: 9.1.2013 – I lost my grandfather this week. It was the worst day of my life. I still can’t believe I had to say, “Goodbye,” to the man who built my Barbie world and walked me down the aisle on my wedding day. Dzaidzi, you were the greatest gramps in the whole world and I love you.
Hugs & passports,
Photo credits: Nicole Standley
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