BARBIE: A CHRISTMAS GIFT
By: Jake Jakubuwski
Copyright 2012. All rights reserved.
I have a confession to make.
Actually, I have two…
First, I am not a Christmas person.
Nothing to do with religion, per se, I just can’t get myself into all the hoopla, hustle and huckstering. In fact, I am sincerely happy when December 26th gets here. It’s like the first day of vacation after months of Christmas Specials, Sales flyers in the mail and used car sales people dressed as Santa (Or reindeer, or elves — Please!) and telling the unwary how much money they can save if they buy a car from them with no payments for the first 6 months!
I mean all of that hype and histrionics begin to wear thin by the time Thanksgiving dinner is over — and you realize that you’ve still got another month to go — with Black Friday getting here before your left over turkey gets cold!
Now, I don’t want you to take that to mean that I am a Scrooge — I just don’t get all wrapped up in wrapping, swapping and returning shirts that don’t fit or gizmos that I have no earthly idea how to operate and neckties(!) that I never wear.
I am fortunate. Christie does all our Christmas shopping and she is a world class shopper. By mid-January, she’s scouting out bargains and sales for stuff that she will send to family and give to friends the following Christmas! The only one that I have to buy for is Christie — that suits me just fine.
I don’t mean that I collect Barbie’s — I mean that I have one in my office. She’s mine!
My granddaughter, who is now twenty-five, could never understand why, as a little girl, Grandpa would not let her play with HIS Barbie doll.
My Barbie is about twenty years old now and proves the old adage about being careful what you wish for — ‘cause you just might get it!
Let me tell you how I came to be the proud owner of my very own Barbie…
To really appreciate this tale, you have to understand that my wife, Christie, has a really great sense of humor and she and I have always been able to play pranks on each other. With that said…
Just before Christmas of ’92 we had been to the State Fairgrounds Flea Market inRaleigh. On the way home we decided to stop and have dinner at a Golden Corral. As we’re standing in line, Christie is giving me the rundown on what she’s found for everyone and what else she might add to the list.
I was sort of in my Christmas Grump mood and was giving answers like: “Uh, right,” “Okay”, “That’s fine by me,” etc. and so forth. She could tell that I really had the spirit.
The place was busy and there was a hostess who was seating people. The young lady that led us to our table had long, blonde hair that hung nearly to her waist; a short skirt that hung well above her knees and a somewhat noticeable figure. I looked at her, turned to Christie and said: “Can we renegotiate my position on Christmas, this year?” She said: “Forget it, Charlie!” I reminded her that my name was Jake and she had to understand that all I wanted under the tree that year was a “…little blonde…”
Sure enough! I got a Barbie doll, dressed in a pink outfit that showed off her long blonde hair and long shapely legs! See what I mean about being careful what you wish for?
So, what does a guy pushing his mid-50’s do with a Barbie doll he got for Christmas? I can tell you this: Even Christie was surprised!
For a long while, I set my Barbie on the top of the passenger seat of my van! She went on all of my service calls with me. She didn’t get out and help me but she’d wait patiently until I finished the job and then accompanied me to the next one.
Every once in awhile, a customer would see her sitting on the seat back and asked if my daughter, or granddaughter, forgot to take her home. I’d tell them that “Barbie” didn’t belong to my granddaughter, she belonged to me! And, that she was a Christmas present from my wife.
That got me some strange looks. It also got a lot of laughs and “Yeah, right!” comments. At the same time some customers wanted to know the story. And I’d tell ‘em.
Barbie also travelled with me. The first time was when I went to an ALOA show. When I unpacked my suitcase: there was Barbie lying on top of my clothes! So, I took her out and set her on top of my TV. One evening Greg Mango, TNL’s managing editor, came to my room to yack — saw Barbie on the TV and asked it I had bought her for my granddaughter.
I said “No, she’s mine and travels with me when Christie can’t come!” I’ll say this for Greg; he laughed and then wanted to know the full story.
About six, or seven years ago, Barbie quit travelling with me and sits on top of the file cabinet in my office. Remarkably, she hasn’t seemed to age much although she has to be dusted off every now and again.
Even today, when someone comes into my office for the first time and sees Barbie sitting there, they frequently ask if my granddaughter left her there…they look puzzled when I tell them she belongs to me.
Most of the time, they laugh and I tell them the story. Every now and again, I get one that says: “Oh.” and nothing else. When that happens I find it really difficult to keep a straight face.
Like I say, Christie and I still have a lot of fun together. Someday, maybe, I’ll tell you the story about the green plastic frog…