Barbie is dead.
No, really! She’s dead, deceased, checked out, bought the farm, kicked the bucket, swimming with the fishes, oven roasted – gone. I saw it with my own two eyes. She died while I was scarfing tator tots on my lunch hour.
My 5-year-old has recently displayed a fascination with death. A few weeks ago she was quizzing my wife about dying, funerals and heaven. She was very adamant about not wanting to die because she didn’t want to leave her “blue room” or the toys that reside therein. But the conversation soon changed focus.
“When I go to heaven,” she asked, “will Jesus have Polly Pockets there?” For those who don’t know, Polly Pockets are tiny dolls with interchangeable rubber clothes.
“Maybe,” my wife answered.
“Will Jesus have more Polly Pockets than I do?”
“I don’t know. Maybe.”
The next day my daughter proudly announced that she was ready to go to heaven. We told her she needed to wait awhile. However, the sooner old Barbie kicks off, the better off we will be, so it did my soul good to know that Barbie died.
As I was finishing off my lunch prior to heading back to work, my child began pulling out her vast supply of Barbie dolls. Actually she only has a few that she can call her own, but my wife was an avid Barbie collector and has passed bags full of molded, partially naked plastic down to my child.
I watched as she laid them out neatly in a row, pairing several Ken dolls with matching Barbies.
“Da-da,” she said. “They’re all going to the foo-ral.” My child, who still faithfully sucks her two middle fingers, has a bit of a speech impediment. Actually, I chalk it up to her just being too lazy to make the proper sounds. Offer her a cookie and she can recite the first chapter of Matthew without missing a syllable.
“Whose funeral are they going to,” I asked.
“This one,” she said, holding up an older model in a leopard print skirt with really bad hair. “She died.”
I watched as the little Barbies paid their last respects to their fallen mate. Then, my child carefully picked up the dead doll and carried her to the end table next to my chair.
“What are you doing now?” I asked.
“This is where Jesus is,” she said and carefully laid the Barbie to rest.
As I left to return to work, it did my heart good to know that my daughter at least has her thoughts in the right place. It was also nice to know that the world now has one less Barbie running around.
I only wish G.I. Joe would have shown up to torch the funeral procession.