“It is better to give than to receive.” Jesus Christ
This photo is of my Barbie collection. Here is the irony…my mother would not allow me to have a Barbie doll so I didn’t own one until I was about 30 years old. At that time, I began collecting used dolls. I’ve never bought one new so the collection you see is a conglomeration of other girl’s dolls. Probably from girls who were allowed to play with the dolls, whose mother did not care that Barbie’s image was unrealistic and not attainable.
I carry no bitterness that my mother adamantly opposed Barbie. I grew up playing in the neighborhood, running around with my brother’s and never focusing on my looks. My husband tells me I have “natural beauty” and the highest compliment he has given me is when he told our sons to find a girl like your mother – not high maintenance, just naturally beautiful.
I took photos of my Barbie collection to sell on eBay. But, I realized there is no value in used Barbie’s because they are easily available. I don’t have a daughter and my family and friends with girls can afford their own Barbie’s. I wanted to find a girl who would appreciate my collection and play with it as the dolls were meant to be used. Last night I searched on Google for low-income housing in my area. Today I took my giant Ziploc bag that must have weighed 5 pounds and drove off. First I drove to the housing project but I didn’t see anyone so after about 10 minutes I drove off. Next, I walked my dog in the woods and I kept my heart open to an opportunity to give away my collection. Wal-Mart was close to the dog park so I drove there. I went inside and bought a couple of items and at the next register was a mother with 2 daughters who caught my eye. I went outside and waited for them to come out of the store. They walked out and I felt a bit reluctant because the family was African-American and I didn’t want to insult the girls. I almost felt like handing them a bag of mostly white, blonde, perfectly shaped dolls was offensive. I know girls play with Barbie’s regardless of race so I was about to follow them to their car.
That’s when I saw a girl helping her grandmother in a handicapped parking space. The grandma was in an electric wheelchair and she was directing the young girl to load up the car in a certain way. The girl was innocent and young, about the age of 9 is my best guess. The child was happily helping her grandmother. I looked the pair over and saw the girl was wearing some fuzzy pajama bottoms, nondescript sneakers and she was slightly overweight. Her hair was not done up any certain way, in fact it looked like she didn’t brush it. The grandmother was shorter than the girl and talked kindly to her. I knew I’d found the girl.
I walked up to the grandmother and asked, “Is that your granddaughter?” She gave me a strange look and said that it was. I commented that she seems like a very good girl to help her. I then I asked if her granddaughter likes Barbie’s? She said, “Yes.” I asked if it would be okay if I gave her granddaughter a bag of Barbie’s. The grandmother said, “She would love that.” I walked to my mini-van, pulled out the giant bag and handed it to the girl who jumped up and down with the bag saying, “I have Barbie’s!” She was genuinely happy and I could tell the girl would get a lot of enjoyment from those dolls. The grandmother said, “It’s an early Christmas present.” I said Merry Christmas and walked toward my car. The woman said thank you and I reiterated my feelings, “You have a very sweet granddaughter.” The grandmother replied, “Yes, she is very good to me and helps a lot.”
My heart expanded to ten times its size. I don’t have a daughter and both my grandmothers have passed on. I was happy to touch another grandmother’s relationship with her granddaughter.