Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Quinine and Barbie Dolls

Children are such curious creatures and often times find their parent's bedroom a cornucopia of hidden treasures. As a child, I would often sneak into my parent’s room which was located right next to mine to "explore".  It always seemed so dark and inviting in there, plus the element of it being forbidden fruit made it even more appealing.  Many treasures I found remained veiled in mystery until I was much older. Now, as I get flashes of memories from my early childhood years, I ask my mother to help me fill in the blanks.  She was stunned one day a several years ago when I asked her what those brown glass bottles containing yellow "goopy" liquid were that she and my father kept hidden away in a dresser in their bedroom. She told me that it was my father's quinine that he used to treat the recurring bouts of malaria he had.  He had fought in the South Pacific during World War II and like so many others he fell victim to a female Anopheles mosquito.  I discovered those bottles the same day I discovered rain coats for my Barbie's in my father's nightstand.

As children, my friends and I would play with our Barbie dolls by the hours.  We would create elaborate story lines that kept us amused and allowed our creative juices to flow free. We never knew quite where a story would take us nor did we ever seem to care.  One rainy day, my mother walked into my bedroom while I was playing Barbies with a neighborhood friend. I  proudly held my Barbie up to show my mother the rain jacket I had designed for my Barbie. I thought the transparent slicker was beautiful and quite functional keeping Barbie dry when the weather was stormy. 

My mother almost feel over when she saw that my Barbie was wearing a unused condom I had snagged from her bedroom. I had cut the top off so Barbie's head would fit through the opening and then I cut two small holes in the sides for her arms. It fit her like a glove or I guess I should say it fit Barbie just like a condom should.  It's a shame I didn't hold onto that idea for a few more years so I could market life-size condoms for adults going to Mazola oil parties. I could have been rich and not just beautiful!  Somehow from an early age, I think my mother got the inkling that her youngest child and only girl was going to lead a very creative life.


  1. I found my mother's diary when I was in Jr. High. I read it. She was very social and pure. There was nothing juicy. She was PISSED OFF when she found it in my room. I'm glad she never found my diary.

    1. I'll bite! And what would she have read in yours? Isn't it a shame our parents were so boring?

  2. Ha, that's funny about the Barbie condom...a for real raincoat. LOL

  3. I hit that 'Barbie Raincoat' line and now I am cleaning coffee off my monitor.......... and still laughing!

  4. I hit that 'Barbie Raincoat' line and now I am cleaning coffee off my monitor.......... and still laughing!