Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Adventures in Pink

                   I went to Target's toy department on a strange and difficult mission. I strode past the action figures and the Matchbox cars. I ignored the Pokemon cards and the latest version of Battleship. I didn't even slow down at the Legos. After ten years of buying toys for male children, I found myself amid the Pepto-Bismol pink display of Barbie dolls.
                   Every year, my husband's employer sponsors a giving tree and we always take a tag or two. I'm the one who does most of the gift shopping and Dan thought it might be fun for me to pick out a toy for a girl for a change. Dan was right. It was a nice change to pick out a gift for a girl. I just wish she hadn't requested Barbie with her perfect shiny blond hair and impossibly small waist and perky boobs. And then I saw this...

This Barbie doesn't fit in a binder!
                   Here was a choice I could live with! Barbie running for office. Barbie with a career and a business suit. She doesn't wait for Ken to bring home the bacon; she goes out and gets it herself! This was a Barbie I could give with a clear conscience. There was only one problem... the gift tag specified a Princess Barbie. I fought off the twinge in my neck when I thought of little girls growing up to expect Prince Charming to save the day.
                   But I thought about the little girl who would open this present—perhaps the only present she'll get this year. She just wants a Barbie doll, because little girls want Barbie dolls. Just like my little boys want Nerf guns, no matter how much I hate them. Picking out this present isn't about my politics—it isn't about me at all. It's simply about making a little girl smile on Christmas. So I picked up that sparkly pink Barbie and an even pinker car to go with it—I just hope she doesn't let Ken drive.