Pat Pratt

If you have read my column before (and I hope you have; it’s a writer’s worst nightmare to believe his or her words are languishing out there in the universe unread), you are aware of some of my foibles. 

So, based on my belief you’ve indulged in reading my ramblings, I’ll simply remind you of my former confession of being a collector of things: many and varied things. And, before you judge me, let me repeat in this column, I’m not a hoarder. No sir or ma’am, not me. 

I’ve seen that show. And, when I occasionally get overwhelmed by the volume of stuff in my house, I binge-watch it for comfort and validation that I’m definitely NOT one of those people. I can still see my floor  – for the most part – although I have noticed a few narrowing passageways lately. 

However, I finally came to the realization that my collecting vision/vice may be getting out of control and something had to go. I grabbed a plastic tub and ventured toward the guest bedroom that has, for the last 10 or so years, been inhabited only by various members of my family as they transitioned from one place to another. Those people have shared the room with Barbie and Ken – more specifically, many versions of Barbie and Ken. I’ve only entered the room to add another fashion doll to my growing collection. 

Thus, armed with my determination and my plastic tub, Barbie and all her friends were going to be relocated. I rented a booth at the Tin Barn flea market in Italy and was ready to give Barbie her marching orders. I stepped into the room and gasped. Somehow, over the years, Barbie had commandeered a formidable army. If she wanted, she could rally her troops, rise up in rebellion, plant her pink Barbie flag and bring me to my knees. I was outnumbered on all sides.

I looked around and considered that it might be easier for me to relocate. I could buy one of those cute little playhouse-like storage buildings they sell at Lowes, put in a recliner and a reading lamp – and my magic coffee maker – and I could relax in peace away from all the chaos of a Barbie coup.

But, NO! I refused to be intimidated by a platoon of fashion dolls and began pulling boxes from the shelves. To be on the safe side, I started with the What’s-Her-Face Company. Remember them? They came with stampers and markers so their faces could be stamped on and their expressions changed. Since they were still in their original boxes, like most of my collection, they had no faces and so never saw me coming. Divide and conquer was my war cry. The battle was on!

As I waded through 10 years of collecting and as many years of dust, I discovered Barbies I had forgotten I had. I found Mickey and Minnie Mouse Barbie, Alphabet Soup Barbie, Sponge Bob and even a controversial, pregnant Barbie (actually it was Midge – Barbie would never compromise herself like that; after all, she’s a role model for young girls.)

Besides the fashion dolls, I came across a dozen or more Harry Potter figurines and some Star Trek collectibles. And, surprisingly, my husband allowed me to put his Texaco trucks and planes in my booth. 

I managed to relocate not one but eight tubs of stuff to my new booth. It’s not the whole of my collection but it’s a start. I loved collecting them but no one has been able to appreciate them for a long time. It’s time to let them go. If Barbie and her regiment don’t fly off or drive away in the Texaco vehicles, you can go check them out Fridays and Saturdays at the Tin Barn in Italy. (Check their Facebook page). 

The troops are thankful to be out of that dusty room. They would like to see you – and Barbie and all her friends would love to have new forever homes.

Today I saw God as I recalled the joy Barbie and her friends have brought to my life.

Where did you see God today?

Pat Pratt is an Ellis County author and writing coach who facilitates the Write Way and Write On writing groups. She also serves as pastor of Community of Christ Church in Red Oak and may be reached at triciajunison@yahoo.com.

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