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Tuesday, January 09, 2007

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The Way We Were

Meet the Sunshines. Stevie, Stephie and "Sweets". Doing things together and with you. In 1973, when I was a preschooler, this was a close as my liberated mother was going to let me get to a Barbie doll.

According to Mom, Mr. & Ms. Sunshine had conversations that went something like this:

"You were supposed to get up with baby!"
"No, you were!"
"You were supposed to feed the baby!"
"No, you were!"

Soon after, they divorced. Steve married Elyse, who already had a son born out of wedlock. She adopted Sweets and they changed her name to Mallory. You know the rest.

Later (as I shared recently in Santa, You Bastard), I was allowed to have a couple of Barbies, with limited wardrobe allowances. They did not bicker, but lacking a proper Ken doll, wound up having midget sex with Smurfs.

(I will let it go when I get the damn doll, Mom!)

The Sunshines pictured above are not my Sunshine family of origin. They are surrogate Sunshines, adopted on ebay several years ago when I first discovered it, whereupon I immediately set about trying to reassemble my entire childhood.

In addition to the Sunshines, I bought Walk With Me Suzy, and My Baby Beth, my sister's and my favorite baby dolls. Also a whole bunch of Ladybird Books, the Well-Loved Tales. I had to stop somewhere, but one item I had intended to acquire was Growing Up Skipper. Skipper, you remember, is Barbie's teenybopper niece. Nobody ever believes me, but you could crank Growing Up Skipper's arm and her breasts would expand, from little teenybopper flatties to big, hard Barbie boobs. I swear I'm not making it up. I never owned Growing Up Skipper myself, but my best friend had one, and I coveted her mightily.

I don't think G.U. Skipper made it to the Bible Belt. Nobody I have met here of my generation remembers her. They think I am pulling their leg (or hoping to crank their arm). But their eyes shine at the thought.



Anonymous Nat said...

Growing up Skipper? Bwaaaaaahhhh!!

Oh, and I collect Ladybird books. I come home from England each time with my suitcase weighted down with the damn things.

But the kids love them. And I get to recreate my childhood. We all win.

10:41 PM  
Blogger Christa said...

My best friend had one! It was probably the only one in the entire state of Tennessee.

10:54 PM  
Blogger patsyrose said...

I just had to check for one on Ebay and you're right. I'd never heard of them but there they were!!

6:58 AM  
Blogger bobbie said...

here's one with pictures:

growing up skipper

these posts take me back to my own childhood - did you ever have a 'tiffany taylor'?? two colors of hair and you spun around her scalp...

9:13 AM  
Blogger littlepurplecow said...

I remember Growing Up Skipper and the Malibu version complete with tan lines... which is also out of vogue these days.

I found my Darci doll up in the storage room this past weekend. Her stacked heels have already come in and out of style twice!

2:41 PM  
Anonymous Crabcake said...

My hateful grandmother gave me the Sunshine Family for Christmas one year. I tore their heads off in the car on the way home.

9:56 AM  
Anonymous Jane said...

I remember Growing Up Skipper, but I'm not sure we actually had one. I also remember the Sunshine Family, but I'm pretty sure we limited ourselves to Barbie products. I particularly remember our Malibu Ken dolls whose heads wouldn't stay on.

1:39 PM  
Anonymous honestyrain said...

i HAD growing up skipper. i totally HAD HER. and i loved her. i was not so much a fan of barbie as my several skipper dolls. skipper was awesome! i tell me 3.5 year old daughter all the time - you've should have seen skipper!

6:42 PM  
Blogger Kyran said...

see? SEE???

and they called me mad.

11:09 PM  
Blogger BlogWhore said...

Can I curse here?

That is so fucking funny.

1:23 PM  
Blogger Kyran said...

curse at will. it helps repel the wrong sort of religious people. in fact, consider yourself deputized as a holy roller deterrent.

but try not to freak my mother out too badly, okay?

2:20 PM  

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