...there is a portal to the past in my parents' basement
By far, my favorite form of travel is time travel.
Lucky for me, when I was digging through my parents' basement this past weekend, I found a secret portal to the past in some blue Tupperwear storage containers.
While looking for my holiday decorations in what felt like a giant game of Tetris consisting of meticulously labeled and stacked boxes, I stumbled upon key elements of my childhood.
First, there was a container packed solid with stuffed animals and Cabbage Patch Kids, including Preemies and Koosas (Koosas were scary half-man, half-animal type creatures).
Maybe it was the basement air or my general tendencies towards two-minute meltdowns, but I proceeded to pull each stuffed animal out of the box one-by-one, call it by name and hug it while borderline-sobbing on the cold, concrete basement floor because I felt I had abandoned my old friends and they were now suffocating.
Raise your hand if you just became very concerned about my mental health.
Nevertheless, my first instinct was to rescue them from the depths of the Elysburg underground where they were being held captive and offer them sanctuary and security in confines of my apartment.
Then, I remembered I live in the Fifth Ward where friendly people steal disco balls from your patio and singular chairs that are part of a set from your front porch.
Thankfully, clarity took over and I piled them back in the box. They were safe there and I had a boat-load more of boxes to get through.
The next box was fun. It had a really old-looking scrapbook (I scrapbooked?) titled "8th Grade Memories."
Inside were hilarious pictures of my eighth-grade class at Queen of Peace.
Besides the hilarious graduation dance photos - which, believe me, classmates, we're all lucky I didn't include with this article - there were photos of our class trip to New York City.
The majority of the pictures were from the bus ride down, and there were a few here and there of St. Patrick's Cathedral and the U.N. building, but the bulk of the photos were taken when we stopped for a big city bite to eat at - wait for it - Ponderosa.
That's like big city Bonanza! We're really living now, kids.
Moving on, I struck parents' basement gold: A wicker suitcase filled with all my old Barbie dolls.
I seriously thought my mom got rid of them and was secretly upset about it for years now.
But here they were, and, at first glance, I have to say, Barbie had a tendency to dress like a two-bit hussy.
And that may or may not have something to do with the way I dress today, but I'm not here to analyze.
I could go into the controversy of Barbie and body image:
- Barbie is 11.5 inches tall which would translate to a real person's 5 feet 9 inches (which happens to be precisely how tall I am).
- Her measurements are an estimated 36-18-33 (Um, no. Not quite my measurements)
- She would tip the scales at 110 pounds (I don't think I've seen that number on a scale since 4th grade).
- Her body mass index (BMI) would hover around 16 (again, no.), landing her in the weight criteria for an anorexic.
- A BMI of 16 would also mean her body fat would be so low, she wouldn't even get her monthly visitor and she'd be at risk for organ failure, anemia, bone loss and death.
But, thankfully, she's just a doll, so there's no need for an intervention.
So, rather than cracking open that old body image chestnut, let's make fun of her outfits, which I sure did, and still do, think are awesome in their own right:
Jenna's First Barbie
I believe I recognize this dame in a sheer, blue halter dress as my original Barbie.
I also think she was taken away from me a few times when I was insubordinate because I just had a flashback of her being on a very high shelf in my mom's closet.
Her hair, like the lot of them, has seen better days and could use conditioner, but her outfit says she's ready for a semi-casual outdoor party to which she's bringing deviled eggs and potato salad because she has an overabundance of mayo.
This Barbie's electric blue spandex leotard tells the world she has the "Let's Get Physical" cassette single forever loaded in her Walkman.
At the gym, Jazzercise Barbie works up a sweat, but she has very poor upper body strength due to her inability to bend her arms, rendering bicep curls and similar arm exercises physically impossible.
She's overenthusiastic about fitness, which gets kind of annoying at times and her favorite movie is "Xanadu."
Studio 54 Barbie
The silver tinsel details on this gal's strapless blue disco dress were my favorite; I've always been a fan of anything shiny and sparkly.
Her hair is delightfully frizzy in a 1970s kind of way and she, unlike Jazzercise Barbie, can bend her arms.
Unfortunately, she can't unbend them.
Even more unfortunate is her enormous drug problem which started when she smoked "angel dust" with the frontman Devo in the bathroom of Studio 54 while doing "the robot."
Hot Pants Barbie
By far, my favorite outfit, this Barbie sports a hot pants jumpsuit complete with black bottoms with red and purple sequin detail and a red, high-neck top.
Barbie's gams are 50 percent longer than her arms, whereas the average woman's are only 20 percent longer, so kudos to Hot Pants Barbie for showing off her best asset while balancing it with a more conservative top. Wouldn't want to look like "Street Corner Barbie."
Hot Pants Barbie also loves rollerskating and New Wave music.
Baby Steps Barbie
I had an affinity for this particular doll because she has the longest hair of the bunch.
Her purple polyester wrap dress is forever on trend with its halter neckline and pencil skirt, but an issue lies in the cut of the bottom half of the dress.
Despite having a tiny slit in the front, this dress, although body-hugging and figure flattering, completely impairs Barbie's ability to walk like a normal human being.
She cannot get out of her pink Corvette, nor can she step down from a curb or over a puddle in this ensemble.
Street Corner Barbie
Wearing a glittery, pink bodysuit with a luxe, white fur coat does not a hooker make.
Standing on a street corner and accepting cash for dirty deeds, however, does.
This Barbie probably makes a good buck parading her long gams along the city streets, but the dark side of the world's oldest profession can be seen in her taped up, broken ankle - an injury she clearly suffered while fleeing from her pimp who insisted his cut be raised to 80 percent.
Street Corner Barbie also loves mariachi music.
Drunken Prom Barbie
Much like Donna Martin in the "A Night to Remember" episode of 90210, this Barbie is drunk at the prom.
Whether or not Cathy Dennis is playing is anyone's guess, but one thing is for sure, this doll shouldn't have had that champagne toast her boyfriend's dad was cool enough to offer pre-prom.
Now she's in huge trouble after taking a spill which stinks even more if Cathy Dennis is actually playing her prom because "Just Another Dream" is, beyond question, her favorite jam.
Cult Member Barbie
If she looks familiar, it's because Cult Member Barbie is the same doll as Studio 54 Barbie, but in different, very cult-like garb.
This doll unintentionally joined a cult seeking the very enlightenment she never found in her years of heavy drug use.
When she's not at the commune, she spends her days handing out pamphlets at the airport.
Her favorite band is Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, which is her only redeeming quality at this point.
(Jenna Wasakoski, a News-Item editor, is a graduate of Von Lee School of Aesthetics and is certified as a professional makeup artist.)