We found ourselves at Target (Oh! How unexpected!) looking for a very special birthday gift for a very special little girl who is about to turn five.
There we stood, amidst the pink and the glitter and the glam that now surrounds the former queen of the make-believe plastic doll world when three women came around the corner. One was obviously the mother, a nice enough looking woman dressed all in black with a gorgeous head of silver hair. She leaned gracefully on the shopping cart as her reading glasses dangled from a delicate chain around her neck.
She was accompanied by her daughters, who (and I am just guessing here) were around 40-45 years-old. They, um, were not as classy as the mom - but not obviously trashy, just (I'll keep it simple) not as classy.
I take that back, the younger of the two had on a pair of Chuck Taylors with glittery splatter paint all over them, sequined jeans and a top so tight I could have given her a visual breast exam.
As Katie and I checked out the selection of Barbie Mariposas, the daughters were oohing and aahing on the opposite side of the pink aisle.
"Just look at these dolls mom! Aren't they cuuuuuute?"
"Oh yeah, I've heard how Mattel and Barbie are in big trouble because of these dolls, and look - they are so much better than stupid 'ol Barbie."
"Yeah, look at this one," said the older of the daughters holding up another Bratz box, "she is, like, such a rock star!"
"Oh my god, totally, and look - her legs come off!"
'Cause we all know that rock stars really dig the girls with removable legs - for easier access, I think to myself.
"Yeah, Mattel is going to have to do something to make Barbie better, because these are totally what all the girls want."
Really? Is a whored out coke addict looking doll really what all the girls want? I look down at my daughter. She is fascinated by a box of pint-sized birthday party girl Barbies, oblivious to their comments and my increased eye rolling in their direction. She stands there in the aisle of Barbie wearing her soccer cleats and soccer shorts because she is just so excited for her first soccer season to start.
We have until September 6th.
Even though when we first entered this particular aisle, she looked over at the Bratz dolls and said "ick," I wondered about their comments, even considering the sources. I wondered if they even thought about what they were saying, that looking across the aisle and seeing a Barbie scuba diving was really such a bad thing?
I looked down at my girl again, smoothed a protective hand over her blonde hair and wished with all my might that women like that didn't exist.
I'll probably go to hell for that, but she's worth it.