Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Hey, Barbie, Fifty's Not So Bad....


It had to happen sometime. And I guess March 9 is "D-Day" for her nibs. The inimitable Ms. B is turning the Big Five-Oh. Poor baby.

Still, being 50 is hardly anything a plastic doll should worry about. I mean, it's not as if she'll get wrinkles, and her conelike breasts will never sag, so no problem there. Actually, the only thing she has to worry about is if a knock-off of herself, some new upstart like Ms. Bratz and the like, overtakes her to become the next doll icon. Still, that's not likely. Ms. B. is so ingrained in our culture, it's kind of hard to imagine any other doll taking her place.

I, myself, never had a Barbie doll. I had stuffed animal cats....lots of them, 'cause my mom didn't like felines. But I know dozens of women (and men) who had one or more Barbies. And I think it's safe to assume there are millions more across the globe who adore her. So all you Barbieophiles...listen up. You guys have only 19 days to buy your favorite doll something really kewl to celebrate her entrance into middle age.

And I have just the thing: The Joy of Being Fifty, a hilarious little bit of a book written by yours truly, and illustrated with hysterical artwork by New Yorker cartoonist, Roz Chast. It's small enough that Barbie can stand and read it, (just make sure it doesn't fall on her and break a boob), and it will fit neatly on any shelf alongside her, so if she wants to pull it out and read it again, she can.

Personally, I think Barbie will love, love, love this book. Rather than a negative "you're over the hill," attitude, this happy-go-lucky book extols the benefits of reaching half a century, things like:
People will understand if you fall asleep at dinner.
You won't need an excuse to take naps with your cats.
People will assume you know everything.
You don't have to hold your stomach in..if you don't want to.
No one will tell you to grow up anymore.
You can talk to yourself all you want..or not at all.
People will understand if you forget why you came into the room.

Hey, and I'm sure Ms. B. wouldn't mind if you took a peek through before you wrapped it for her. So Happy Birthday in advance, Barbie. Welcome to the club.

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