But if I were the kind of woman who settles, I could've settled for one of two men who wanted to marry me. One ugly woman will easily accept another ugly woman. I ended those relationships, with good reason. I never went for grunting cavemen with jock itch, or any loping bad boy with a cigarette dangling from his lower lip. I had an instinct for certain things when I was a child. So it was far easier, far safer just to stick with dudes.
A group of us were gathered around the dining room table playing Pictionary: me, my then-boyfriend Rob, my mother, my aunt, my sister, my brother, and a friend of my brother. I dated guys because it was easier, but I felt like I could potentially be. Like a giant melted polymer mess in a vat at the doll factory. As for me, well, I had good reasons for sticking with boys, thank you very much. It was the day after Thanksgiving.
Neither was as self-aware as I was becoming, and in both cases I ultimately didn't feel we were growing together. I understood, instinctively, that Malibu Ken was like Monroe. Olga was one of those hollow, blown-plastic fashion dolls who came cheap at Woolworth's, sold in a cellophane bag stapled to a small folded slab of cardboard. My inbox is always open for recommendations and help! She shook her head and cackled. Decently sized stuff, if you can. Much different from, say, my Budweiser-guzzling, fawn-shooting father who liked to spend weekends biting his fingernails and spitting them at Howard Cosell. .
Honestly, I love being a big voluptuous jiggly femme lesbian. They agreed to raise children together, from two separate but neighboring addresses, but it was understood that Ken would never marry Barbie. I was flesh and nerves and thoughts and emotions and electrical impulses. She'll dress like a man, do things around the house that a husband would normally do. In my early 20s, I went to a lesbian nightclub called Hepburn's in Philadelphia with some gay friends. Oh dear god please, somebody help me! I also pored over the bra section of the Sears catalog, trying to detect the dusky outline of a nipple beneath a layer of white lace.
Malibu Ken and Kissing Barbie were the best of friends. And I love having a large body that is full of love, femininity, and comfort for which I keep exclusively for other women. Barbie was solidly asexual unlike her eldest daughter, a 1950s hand-me-down Barbie who was most definitely heterosexual and a raging slut. She was hip for a housekeeper. That's right, the fat girl did the calling off. I was a young 20-something with an office job and two adjoining rooms in my parents' lopsided 1880s house.
Olga had crayon-yellow hair and wore a look of perpetual surprise. I opened myself up to dating again. I think my mother, aunt and boyfriend all groaned. But here's what I did know: Ken liked to spend most of his time at the beach engaged in horseplay with bronzed male surfers. And to my utter fascination, there were quite a few women there who didn't look like lumberjacks. I suppose I'd heard something on a sitcom.
They live together like they're married. Not to the twisted theories my mother used to parrot from god-knows-who. Yes, even at 9, I understood all these things about Barbie, and about Olga, and Ken, but without the benefit of the appropriate vocabulary nor any concrete knowledge of sex. They seemed to make my father intensely angry. I also knew that Barbie's loyal housekeeper, Olga, secretly had the hots for Barbie.
Patent and Trademark Office as a trademark of Salon Media Group Inc. Someone brought up Madonna, and opinions began to flit back and forth across the table -- she was a trendsetter, she was a skank. My appreciation for the gorgeous variety and complexity of humanity was expanding. Despite growing up in a house full of self-righteous bigots, I retained a socially liberal core. Like do I take up a lot of space? The fat girl walked away from the chiseled, sexually artful would-be runway model and yes, he was straight.