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Marry A Man Who Plays With Barbies

"Will someone play Barbies with me?" Our four-year-old
daughter, Brooke, gives us her sweetest smile, knowing that
her father and I, snugly nestled on the couch reading, will
be helpless to resist her plea. I sigh, unfold my legs and
peel myself from the warm blanket to follow her upstairs to
Barbie Central.

"Not you, Mommy. I want Daddy."

My breath catches in my throat, my heart skips a beat, time
freezes in a shock of surprise. Was I actually stabbed in
the heart or did I actually hear these words from my
daughter's lips? She wants Daddy? Has something warped
the space/time continuum? Has chaos finally reigned supreme
over the universe? And so I stand there staring,
open-mouthed, unable to comprehend that for the first time,
I am not the parent of preference. I still stand there,
motionless and glassy-eyed, as my husband sets down his
paper, takes our daughter's hand and leads her up the

Unable to fully process this situation, I follow them.

Peering into my daughter's room, I spy on them. They have
the entire Barbie City sprawled across her room. I would
have urged her to contain her activities to one corner of
the room for easy clean-up, but my husband has no regard for
this. Towers, houses, stables, castles, a salon, a mansion
are precisely aligned across the center of the room. And
then they open the Chest of Barbies, where dozens of
perfectly dressed and manicured dolls sleep when my daughter
is not playing with them. They all come out, each and every
one of them, scatter throughout the mini-Metropolis. Just
when I think I've discovered the key to her preference -
uncontrolled mess and mayhem - I realize something. My
husband, serious faced and with full focus, is diligently
positioning the Barbies within the city.

And I realize that this is anything but madness. As I stand
there, spying on my family, I watch my husband call each
doll by name. Not only that, but each doll apparently has a
coordinating outfit, purse and shoes. Dumbfounded, I observe
my husband, a man who refuses to wear pink shirts in public
or order a cocktail with an umbrella for fear he might
appear 'effeminate', discuss the intricacies of purse/shoe
matching and hair accessories. There appears to be some
conflict between Cowgirl Barbie and a Barbie dressed in a
minuscule blue bikini. My daughter and my husband
enthusiastically discuss how these girls should try to
resolve their differences and better get along.

Somehow, during my multi-tasking of answering the phone,
making dinner, planning playdates and cleaning up, I have
been too distracted to know these most important details.
And as I watch my husband and daughter happily arrange the
Barbies in the Barbie Mobile for a trip to the beach
(Cowgirl Barbie and Bikini Barbie having somehow resolved
their differences), I take note to remind Brooke one day far
in the future, when she is ready to choose a husband, that
the best men play with Barbies.

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