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Another Day in the Country

Barbie’s world

© Another Day in the Country

When I first read about the Barbie movie coming out in theaters, I wondered what on earth anyone would have to write about.

Then again, Hollywood has come up with movies about comic book characters like Spider-Man and Superman that bona-fide adults seem to enjoy, so why not Barbie?

Would I go see the movie? Well, that was up for grabs. What I really wanted to see was the movie about Oppenheimer.

My birthday was coming up, and my sister asked, “So what would you like to do on your birthday?” 

That’s a question that requires reflection. What would I really like to do? Usually, the answer is, “Go somewhere,” which means explore something or someplace I’ve not visited before.

Friends were visiting. While they were here, the subject of my looming birthday came up in conversation.

“We should go see that Barbie movie,” Michaela said. “I’ve read about it and I’d like to see it.”

Now I must admit, Michaela (who’s from Austria) going to see the Barbie movie was something I had to see. I never dreamed she’d be interested.

“Let’s do it.” I said, jumping at the chance to experience something I’d never done before — explore the world of Barbie.

Truthfully, my going to see the Barbie movie was rather outlandish. The Barbie phenomena came along after I already was a grown-up. But Jess, my sister 12 years younger, hankered after Barbie dolls. 

My mother, being frugal, bought her what Jess called, “a knock-off Barbie” that was very inexpensive. I made clothes for her doll.

Somewhere, I found a cigar box that I turned into a “closet” with an appropriate length dowel, and I made hangers out of pipe cleaners. (What would we crafty types do without the tobacco industry?)

When my own daughters came along, they never had Barbie dolls either. I thought they were too mature for little girls to be playing with. Furthermore, they were out of my price range. 

There was a family of dolls that came out when Jana was little. I think they were called the Sunshine Family.

One Christmas, we built Jana a doll house that looked more like a cabin in the woods. I proceeded to furnish this house with a bathroom (I was taking a pottery class), couch, beds, table and chairs, and a kitchen with an old-fashioned wood stove.

I had fun creating all this stuff, and Jana had fun playing with it. It was a win-win. But she never had a Barbie doll. And here I was going to see the Barbie movie — for my birthday, no less.

So four women of a certain age, dressed up like Barbie (or as close as we could get) went to the movies.

Reviews were mixed. Phyl was horrified at all the previews we had to watch before the movie even started.

“Do people really bring their little children to watch this kind of thing?” she wanted to know. (She doesn’t have kids.)

Despite the fact that the movie seems to be doing well in other places, attendance was sparse on a Sunday afternoon in Salina. The theater was empty when we walked in. We were early. Eight people joined us. I counted.

My review of the movie would be: It’s a well-written, thought provoking, fun movie to see.

I hadn’t expected a lot of content, so I was pleasantly surprised.

The most fun, for me, was a picnic I planned for my friends after the movie.

I’d found some retro-looking individual coolers on sale, now that some stores are putting up things for Christmas, and filled them with goodies like old-fashioned potato salad, baked beans, apple pie, and Jell-O.

We found a lovely park in Salina, spread an old quilt on the picnic table, and had ourselves a party.

It was quiet in the car as we drove home. Then, my sister asked, “So, was it as much fun as you thought it would be?”

“What more could you want?” I said, “We went somewhere, with good friends, had fun conversations, laughed together, and now we’re headed home — on another day in the country.”

Last modified Aug. 17, 2023

 

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