All for the love of Barbie

Published 7:47 pm Friday, July 28, 2023

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With all the hoopla surrounding the release of “Barbie” the movie on Friday, July, 21, no one was surprised that Jackie Britt wanted a Barbie Birthday party for her own July birthday.

The party room was, perhaps, just as Jackie imagined it to be. The table was decorated with pink bows, netting and frills. The centerpiece was a Barbie house with, of course, a pink car waiting to take Barbie on a birthday buzz around town.

Jackie’s family and friends were there to celebrate with her. She entered wearing a pink T-shirt, pink tutu, pink shoes, a big pink bow in her hair and a Barbie smile on her powder-pink lips.

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The Barbie birthday party was more than Jackie Britt could have imagined.

As she thought back 50 years to the Barbie birthday party she enjoyed as a five-year-old, Jackie decided, perhaps, this one was even more special.

“Barbie dolls have been a part of my life since I got that first Barbie,” Britt said, adding that Barbie quickly became her constant companion, along with Monkey and the Pillsbury Dough Boy.

“Barbie had a camper and a car and I loved to take her on rides and on trips,” Jackie said. “We did everything together — Barbie, Monkey and the Pillsbury and me.”

Then, one day tragedy struck. Jackie’s older brothers thought it would be fun (for them) to bury the camper with Barbie, Monkey and Pillsbury inside.

For Jackie, that was a tearful and unforgettable happening.

“When our family moved away, I had to leave Barbie, Monkey and Pillsbury buried somewhere deep in the Florida dirt,” Jackie said.

From that time forward and over the next 50 years, Barbie often appeared as a new resident at Jackie’s home. Jackie’s parents, uncles, aunts, cousins, daughter and grandchildren and friends would surprise her with Barbie dolls.

No matter where family members went or how far they traveled, they were on a constant “Barbie watch.”

For Jackie Britt, Barbie was more than doll, but not a cuddle-up confidant. Barbie was a playmate, a schoolmate, a roommate, a friend, a sister. Barbie shared Jackie’s childhood days and her girlhood secrets. But, no matter the time or the place, Barbie has been a part of Jackie’s world, if only “collectively” for 50 years.

With her Barbie birthday party still close in memory, Jackie sat silent for a moment, reflecting on how, after 50 years, Barbie still has a place in her home, in her heart and in her life.

Barbie is a sweet reminder, she said with a smile, of all those who have shared her 50-year love of a Barbie and “love me in a pink tutu and a net hair bow.”