Rearranging life

When I was a kid, I wasn’t a Barbie doll fan. Mostly because my brothers tended to behead Barbie on a pretty regular basis, but also because she was…well…boring.

The neighbor girl down the street had a ton of Barbie junk. The cruise ship, the fancy cars, the fold-up case that held all Barbie’s shoes and her wardrobe. And Tina, the neighbor girl, always wanted to play Barbie. I always wanted to climb a tree or jump out of the hay mow.

Just for clarification, this is not the same Tina who was my best friend and died years ago. She lived on the other side of town. Neighbor Tina was a year or two younger than I was. And loved Barbie.

The only interesting thing about playing Barbie was arranging all of her stuff. Setting up the cruise ship, deciding which line in the carpet marked the shore, using a shoe box as a dock and a flip-flop as a runabout. Setting up the Dream House, getting everyone dressed (Why did they always get put away naked?) and parking the camper and car.

But once everything was all set up, there was not much to do, especially when two young girls had such different interests. Tina would plan a date for Barbie and Ken, while I would set Ken up for a kidnapping so Barbie could rescue him. Which means we had to go into Jim’s room (Tina’s brother) and swipe a few GI Joe guys.

My brother Paul and I had the same thing with Legos. We wanted to build and arrange, not play with the finished product. That is why today’s Legos aren’t as cool. They come with all these parts already formed into stuff, and there are directions to show you how to build the toys instead of the kids having to figure it out.

These days, I have fun with a few games that allow me to rearrange stuff. Farmville is fun once you have a ton of money, because you can just arrange to your heart’s content. I barely pay attention to the crops anymore, just plant whatever takes the longest to grow so it won’t bug me, then go in and move trees, fences, barns and the villa. I’ll spend an hour getting fencing to line up, hauling cows and chickens to the other side of the section, lining up trees in pretty ways…then a few days later I move it all, just because I can.

It is so much simpler than rearranging the furniture in the living room, and much easier on my husband’s back.