Barbie and Ken’s relationship played out a lot like my mother’s favorite soap opera, only ten times more dramatic because Ken always ended up without a limb or two after being caught shacking up with one of Barbie’s attractive friends. Sometimes Barbie would run him over with her pink convertible that was missing a wheel or there would be an all out domestic brawl.
It was during these theatrical hours long “play” sessions that I had no need for Memo, Tebo or Julie. All My Children had become All My Barbies and make-up sex was a guarantee in these dramatizations at which point Ken would be granted his limbs back – You know, logistics and stuff.
When my third grade teacher suggested to my mother that I was probably too young to be watching Susan Lucci’s character, Erica Kane, strip down to her skivvies with just about every male character on the ABC soap opera, All My Children, she was probably right. Although, my mama wasn’t having it and I don’t blame her. Not only was another adult woman telling my mother that allowing me to watch such smut was bad parenting, these hour long episodes served as serious bonding time for her and I. It continued to do so until I moved away to college in Los Angeles and just didn’t have the time nor the patience for daytime drama any longer. Let’s just suffice it to say that my imagination had expanded from the dead returning from the grave and when you’re an eighteen year old female on your own in a big city, the distractions are endless, not to mention your own personal dramas.
My fanciful dreams of one day moving to New York City and landing myself a part on the show, specifically Erica Kane’s daughter, Bianca, were a distant memory by the time I trekked to the west coast. Memo, Tebo and Julie were, too. I had the advantage of distance, over 1,600 miles of distance, in fact. With that kind of space, one no longer needed imaginary friends and disproportionate, big-boobed, blonde pieces of flesh colored plastic to create it.