The other day I was having coffee with my friend, Jill, when her two girls asked if I would come play Barbie with them. Of course! I love seeing the world through kids eyes. The girls showed me all of the lovely princess Barbies they got for Christmas. There was Belle and Cindy, Brave and the palest of them all who really just needs to get out of the house more, the one who really has to get migraines from all that hair and the one who spends waaaaaay toooo much time at the beach (imagine the amount of sunscreen that redhead must go through!!!). And then they pulled out Charming. Just Charming.
"Where are all the princes?" I asked.
"There's only one," they replied.
"Well, which princess did he marry?"
"All of them. They take turns."
Sheesh. Barbie has the same problem I do. Too many princesses, not enough princes. In the real world, to find a prince, princesses either have to find a handsome prince during college, fight for one at the bar scene, chance encounter one at church, or ford the white-water streams of online dating. Maybe if she's lucky, mutual friends will introduce them in the infamous "Blind Date" scenario. In the Barbie world I just went to K-Mart. I figured it would be easy to pick up a few more Ken dolls. Would you believe in the aisles and aisles of glittery, organza swathed Barbies, who can be doctors, dancers, Olympic champions, horse whisperers and rock stars, the selection of Kens was severely lacking?
Let's see. There were 5 to pick from. The Justin Bieber doll came with his own guitar and autographed album cover. Again, fostering the competition with the young Barbies that would certainly not help Barbie find true LOVE...There was the Twilight Edward doll whose pale face would scare even White away. Plus who wants to marry a 112-year-old. Eww. Next came the Real Prince Charming...but he already came pre-packaged with Cindy. Again, story of my life. The ever-elusive Charming always seems to already have found his wife. Sheesh.
Finally, there they were. Smooshed between the hot pink traveling kits and the mermaid accessory sets, side-by-side as if defending manhood together, there they stood. The Fashionista Kens. Ken and Ryan. Attempting to exude masculinity in the estrogen filled environment. I snatched them up.
The next time I went to Jill's I presented each girl with a new man-doll (yeah, that reads as odd as it sounds. I'll leave it in for its awkwardness). I carefully helped them take Ryan and Ken out of their boxes and introduced them for the first time to the ladies. Everything was going so well. Cocktail parties were planned. There was love in the air. I could hear the faint din of wedding bells in the distance. My match-making was so happily coming together...until Ken started karate-chopping the ladies and Ryan discovered he was Belle's brother. Oh, well, the imagination of childhood wins again.
Ok. Lesson learned. It takes patience and perseverance to wait for just the right Charming to come along. While there seems to be a severe lack of decent men in the world, no matter what you do, you cannot simply go to the store and buy love. It will leave you karate-chopped or with your brother. And Barbie should take a lesson, too. No matter how perfect you think your body is, that's not what really matters to Ken. The right Charming will always look for a quality Princess. Barbie, you're hungry. Go have a cheeseburger.