Sunday, November 6, 2011

Pretty Walls

     My sister and I were girls when the original Barbie doll was created.  We were captivated by  everything Barbie, especially the clothing. We collected and studied each  little pink catalog that came with clothing purchases, and we fantasized about which outfits we wanted.  We had two aunts who spoiled us at holidays and birthdays with our choices.
     In the early years of Barbie it was not easy to find things for her other than clothing, and even that was not available in our hometown.  I remember saving my money for trips to a big city where I might at least find a lesser outfit. Barbie things were not easy to get without WalMarts and the internet!
     We  improvised with what we could find around the house.  For me, sewing was an option and I made lots of Barbie cloths.  When we visited our aunts, they brought out doll furniture that their dad (our grandfather) had made for them.  I think we got doll beds there,too.  Everything just happened to fit our dolls.
     But Barbie had no house. Now...what could we do about that?
     A solution presented itself in time.  Sitting on the bookshelves in our den were shelves of Readers Digest books.  Anyone remember these?  Each volume contained a few condensed versions of books, and each was covered with a different, pretty print (see  My parents had lots of these; I remember perusing them to read  titles and admire covers.
     At some point my sister and I figured out that we could take several of these books and make rooms out of them.  Each wall had a different wallpaper, and they were pretty...and there were many walls to choose from.
     During my fifth grade we went crazy with room additions.  Over the course of a week, I think, our bedroom floor became almost completely covered with Readers Digest book rooms. Our mother would remind us to clean up the mess.  Again and again.  Of course, we were not eager to put the books away.  We had used zillions of them, it seemed.  And so they sat.  And Mother became more and more irritated at us.
     You see, our mother was one of those people who liked to have a neat, clean home, and actually enjoyed housekeeping.  She tried to engage us in it, but we were obstinate.  Especially was tolerable once I finally started, but getting to that point was an ordeal.
     And so it went with our room.  I do not remember what my mother did in the end, but it was bad.  Really bad.  Probably why I don't remember......  I think she finally reached her limit and just "lost it".
     That was the end of Barbie doll rooms, as I recall.  It was fun while it lasted..oh, those cool book covers!!  What a delightful find!  But I leave with a warning.....if your children indulge in something like this, give them a set maximum number of books to use and take digital photos of the mess before it is deconstructed.  That way they can see their mess thirty years later and commiserate with you!!


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In addition to being a violist, I am a wife and mother (three sons). I dabble in writing, handwork, sewing and photography.