Wednesday, March 14, 2007

No Dancing for Me! Part 2

Somewhere between selling brownies at the center of the square on Saturday mornings and decorating the tree for the dance, we pause for the serious stuff: choosing our dresses. Most of the girls buy their dresses—some even go to Springfield for them. Our mom usually makes our dresses, so Debbie and I have to plan ahead. We pick a pattern and fabric and concentrate on keeping Mom happy until the dresses are finished.

It rarely works. The plan usually breaks down somewhere around the covered buttons or the hem, the parts Mom hates doing. Just about the time she gets to that stage, one of us does something to tick her off, and she throws the dresses at our feet snarling, "Finish the damn thing yourself."

I am seven when Santa brings me my heart’s desire—a real Barbie. Not a Jewel Tea Madge or a Katie from Katz Discount City or even Barbie’s annoying cousin, Skipper, but an honest-to-God Barbie from Mattel, plus a carrying case filled with beautiful, handmade clothes. There’s a red cotton coat that covers a red shirtwaist dress; a dreamsicle of an evening coat and gown—orange satin lined in cream; a red knitted dress topped by a knitted capelet; a blue-and-white skirt knit in a basket-weave texture; blue suede pants and a matching jacket; a black-and-white gingham checked dress with tiny passementarie trim. I pull the outfits out of the case, one by one, thrilled with each. I never in my life imagined I’d have a real Barbie and all these beautiful clothes.

Everything’s perfect until I try some of the outfits on my new Barbie. None of them have buttons or snaps or zippers. I can put them on her, but they won’t stay. I don’t want to be ungrateful, so I learn to hold the clothes on her body with my thumbs. It works okay.

9 comments:

kario said...

Ooh, I remember my mom cursing at those damn little Barbie clothes. She loved and hated making them all at the same time. Now she makes them for my daughters - hee hee.

You were a really good girl, weren't you, Jerri?

Amber said...

Oh! Bitter-sweet.

I am enjoying these writings... Are you having fun writing them? It is amazing what memories small things will dig up. Everyone has a story.

:)

Kim said...

Oh no, that must have been so disappointing! You were a great sport about it. I am definitely never going to try and make clothes for my daughter's dolls--she'd be writing the sequel to this story for sure.

Michelle O'Neil said...

Grrr.....

Carrie Wilson Link said...

Double grrrr.....

Stacy said...

"...she throws the dresses at our feet snarling, "Finish the damn thing yourself."

Are we sisters? Yikes that snarl. Remember this one, Smack! "Then GO Naked"

Deb said...

Your wonderful description brought Barbie and her incredible wardrobe back to me in full force. I don't want to be ungrateful - I wonder if your mom knew how much that cost you - or her.

Go Mama said...

...I see where this is going...

Monica said...

Dear Jerri,

Again, you take me back to the exact moment, back to when I sat under the baby grand piano playing Barbies. It was so simple and so completely complicated at the same time. You indicate that so beautifully. You're not ungrateful, but you're disappointed. And that's what we were constantly playing down. Again, so complicated.