Thursday, September 24, 2009
Growing up, Barbies were never banned in my house. Even though my mother was a feminist, and I wasn't allowed to watch Charlies Angels, Barbies seemed to be A-Okay. And My GOD how I loved them. The hours of joy accrued playing with barbie dolls will tack on five years to my life. Trust.
My mother knew how to create lovely. We lived in an apartment, but there were beautiful things around us all the time. Antiques, gleaming hard wood floors, hand painted tile. Plants, stained glass lamps, candles.... wine bottles with candle wax running down like lava and frozen in time.
Our apartment had two bedrooms, a kitchen, one bathroom (SO pretty! Vintage fabrics and bottles and jars of everything twinkling out deliciousness) a dining room and a living room. We didn't use the living room. It was a pretty place to go, look around, and then leave. There was a coffee table made from a large piece of antique parquet flooring held up by an iron base. That table was positioned squarely in the center of a jewel toned, intricate oriental carpet. (I used to play marbles on that carpet too, inside the diamond shapes.)
It was a Barbie Shangri la. I brought my bucket of Barbies into the living room on a regular basis and made a two level house (Mansion!) out of that coffee table. My barbies and Kens strolled through their magical carpet gardens, and attended Balls on the sofa. They took exotic, exploratory excursions to the wide window sills and Queen Anne arm chairs. OH the hours and hours and days and days of solitary imaginary fun. I can't. Explain. The Bliss.
For the past few moths I've been contemplating, along with other writer/bloggers, why we continue to write even when we can't seem to achieve (YET...) contracts with agents, or if we have acquired agents, contracts with publishers. And then, today, while I waited in my car for my middle girl's school to open its doors, I listened to her play in the back of the station wagon with her barbies. See, we have to wait a good fifteen or twenty minutes every morning (don't ask) and she's taken to bringing a few cherished barbies and sitting in the back of my station wagon (no laughing) and creating a makeshift Barbie palace out of the stacks of books that live back there. And I remembered the fun. The pure, fun of it. And then I figured it out.
I write because it is the way I play. It gives me the exact same feeling as those days spent imagining up worlds and scenes for my beloved Barbies. Nothing else since has offered me that very sort of abandoned glee. Until now....
And I won't grow out of this interest. It won't wane. It will remain a wonderland for me for as long as I'm here. How lucky is that?
How about you? Is there anything you remember from your childhood that brought you the same amount of joy? Do you still play? How?
*note... I do not have self image issues. Barbies did not harm me. Just sayin...*