more pearls than whine

Friday, March 04, 2005

Raggedy Ann vs Barbie

Childhood Bits (Tales of an early baby boomer)

Actually, there was never any competition between Raggedy Ann and Barbie for me. Barbie came into popularity in 1960 (I had to look that up) when I was a freshman in high school. (Ancient history) I was already too old for Barbie.

Besides, I had my Raggedy Ann with her happy face and the red heart on her breast and I loved her. I still get a warm fuzzy feeling thinking about Raggedy. (She's missing in action.)

And, my brother had a Raggedy Andy. Some of the best memories of my brother, who was a year and a half younger than I, have to do with playing talking Raggedies.

We'd have wonderfully imaginative Raggedy conversations on summer nights. Since my mother sent us to bed at 7 pm -- it did not matter that it was still light outside, our Raggedies would talk until twilight came (... I can still remember the wonder of really looking at twilight and seeing the bright spots of darkness floating in front of my face. They almost looked like fireflies). This was a nice memory.

So, I never cared a thing about Barbie that I can remember. She wasn't a warm and cuddly doll. I know she is loved and collected, etc., and I'm sure she deserves that, but she's not Raggedy.

When my daughter was growing up (she is 29 now), I never felt compelled to buy her anything Barbie. I just didn't particularly like Barbie (besides -- she and all her paraphernalia added up to a chunk of change at the time -- and still does -- and I was a single mom). I'm sure there are those out there who think I deprived my daughter dreadfully, but she had Grover, Strawberry Shortcake, and Alf. If she had a Barbie or a knockoff, it didn't come from me. (It just dawned on me that Barbie was the precursor of the action figure ... basically a doll that is easy to carry around in your hand! What a concept!)

And, I still love my Raggedy ... wherever she is!

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