THE SAGA OF JODIE & PETER or: BARBIE MASTERPIECE THEATER
A few years ago, my younger sister and I found a big Rubbermaid container of our old Barbies. We spent the rest of the day recalling the intricate Barbie storylines of our childhood, one of which is recounted here. You should know that we were exposed to a lot of Days of our Lives in the '80s and '90s.
- 1.👦🏻👩🏼Jodie & Peter were our Will & Kate.👑We accumulated a lot of Barbies in our time, but for some reason, these two were our prize couple and the heroes of perhaps our most ambitious storyline. Jodie was named for Jodie Foster. I think my parents had let me watch part of Silence of the Lambs recently (and there is, of course, no better inspiration for Barbie play).
- 2.🗂Planning their wedding took months.👠👠I didn't care about the proposal or the love story; Jodie and Peter were simply plucked from our doll inventory and assigned to the wedding storyline, which I treated as if it were my job. My little sister basically functioned as an unpaid intern and still holds against me that I delegated digging through all the Barbie shit for matching pairs of shoes for the entire bridal party.
- 3.👰🏼They married in an intimate ceremony on the beach.⛱We (I) planned a full schedule of wedding events to be held on an actual upcoming family vacation to the Caribbean. My sister and I packed two little plastic pink cases in our vacation bags: one for wardrobe, and one for the wedding party themselves. (I am amazed that my parents put up with this shit, but it was back in the day of free checked bags.) We held the ceremony on the beach near our hotel, to the amusement of many passersby.
- 4.🐣Soon thereafter, baby made three.👨👩👧J&P welcomed their first child mere weeks after their wedding (the pregnancy just flew by, no morning sickness!): a little girl.
- 5.🌩Alas, their domestic bliss couldn't last forever.👗👕👖When Jodie's maternity leave ended, she and Peter hired Blair (who was some sort of "teen" Barbie) as a nanny. Problem was, Peter worked from home as a brooding artist of some kind (you can see where this is going). One thing led to another, and Jodie walked in from work one day to find Blair and Peter in a compromising position.
- 6.🙍🏼It was a dark time for Jodie.💊Despite Peter's reassurances and Blair's swift dismissal (she would go on to star in some entertaining storylines of her own), Jodie's despair proved too much, culminating in a dramatic moment on the ledge of the weird wooden cabinet we'd cleaned out and turned into their apartment, carpeted with scraps from our actual house. But she didn't jump. (We weren't monsters.)
- 7.🌈They picked up the pieces as a family.🏕Life returned to normal, and they decided to get into camping .
- 8.⛺️But their story met a tragic end.🐺🐺Their wilderness training couldn't save them from the pack of wolves that attacked their campsite one night (actually our rescue dog, a Rottweiler named Pearl, who found them on the back patio one night and mistook them for dog toys). Upon discovering their mangled bodies the next morning, I actually cried and (as my sister recalls) screamed, "I HATE YOU, PEARL!!" Ever loyal to the narrative, I subsequently constructed the "pack of wolves" angle to tie up loose ends.
- 9.⚰️⚰️⚰️They were buried together in a simple service in the backyard.We really buried them in the backyard. I think my dad helped dig the hole. I sometimes wonder if the new owners of that house ever needed to dig around in the backyard for any reason. Along with about 27 pet graves, they'd find one chewed up Barbie family. (And yes, I realize this makes my family sound like serial killers.)
- 10.#neverforgetJodie's father walks her down the aisle as Peter awaits. Look closely: that's my sister's little hand, propping up the father of the bride while crouching behind a small retaining wall so as not to ruin the wedding photography. I am truly amazed that she still speaks to me.