As I got older, I acquired practically every Barbie, Ken and Skipper in the known universe, along with their corresponding homes, vehicles, wardrobes and accessories.
I'd spend hours setting up elaborate and innocent scenarios like "school", "office" or "hospital". Ken would always court Barbie properly, taking her on fancy dinner dates in his sporty red car, and the evening would end with a chaste kiss on the doorstep of Barbie's Penthouse or a sweet hug as he safely returned her to the site where her camper was parked for the weekend.
Then, when I turned 12, my endocrine system was flooded with raging adolescent hormones. That's when shit got real in Barbie's world. Ken started noticing her enormous perky rack and the junk in her trunk - and I'm not talking the trunk of her bubblegum pink Camaro. KWIM?
Inevitably, Ken morphed from a chivalrous silicone gentleman who was content to accompany Barbie on an afternoon of romantic beach-side horseback riding, into a lacivious, panting, plastic-peened manwhore whose goal in life was to bend Barbie over the roll bar of her hot pink Jeep and pound her mercilessly whilst Skipper did a strip tease on the hood.
One day, my mom invited her infamously pretentious friend Constance over, along with Connie's daughter Chrissy who was roughly a year or so younger than I was. While our moms engaged in catty gossip about the other ladies at the Country Club, the primped and pigtailed Chrissy and I were sent off to play. (Before you get any ideas, I should inform you that my mom was the bar manager at the Country Club and Connie was a bonafide "member". You HAD to know I would work the word member into this post somehow, eh?)
Having just recieved Barbie's awesome new Olympic Gymnastics set for my birthday, I was excited to show it off to Chrissy. We were having a grand 'ole time, until that is, Connie arrived on scene and caught Ken 69-ing Barbie on the balance beam while a second Ken (whom also happened to be black because my mom believed in multicultural toy exposure) was orally pleasuring Skipper as she hung from the uneven bars.
Chrissy and I froze.
Connie was rendered speechless.
In an effort to preserve her relaysh with my mom (and I suspect her half-price top-shelf drinks at the Country Club), Connie paused for about ten seconds, pondering about how she should react to the Pornstar Barbie & Friends scene that was lain out before her.
After what seemed an eternity, she calmly told Chrissy it was time to go and led her from the room. Then, she smiled a Cheshire Cat smile over her shoulder at me while apologizing for missing my birthday and promising she'd be back in a few days with my gift.
That may have been the first ever "WTF?" moment of my relatively short existance.
She and Chrissy left without so much as a single word to my mom about how flexible Gymnast Barbie could be when she really put her mind to it.
Three days later, Constance showed up with my birthday gift while Chrissy was at piano lessons, or ballet class or maybe even gymnastics, which I suspect she was seeing through a whole new set of eyes.
I opened the gift and it was a "Collectors Edition" Pretty Princess Barbie. I was ecstatic. Ken adored Barbie in lavish dresses because they played into his Sleeping Beauty fantasy. However, when I went to open the box, Connie swiftly swiped it from my grasp, shouting "STOP!" just before I broke the seal.
I was like, "whaddafuck?!?". Only in my head, of course. I'd clearly already done enough damage to my rep without adding potty mouth to the list.
Her explanantion came in a sickly-sweet, sacharrine voice. "Sweetie, don't you know what this is? This Barbie is not meant to be played with. It's for looking at only. It's a collectors item. It's only valueable if you leave it in the box."
I was willing to bet my Pet Rock that Ken would disagree with that shit wholeheartedly.
"Oh, ummm....okay." I replied reluctantly, and unceremoniously plopped the pristine, Mint-In-Box Barbie on my shelf. I told myself I'd wait until she left, and then Ken would be all over Perfect Princess Barbie's lacy-clad ass like white on rice.
I politely thanked Connie and she went on her merry way, thinking she'd very cleverly cured my perversion by introducing a bit of upper class culture into my otherwise lewd, headed-for-the-gutter life.
I went back into my room and looked at the Barbie, all pretty and virginal in her untouched state inside the shiny box.
My fingers twitched.
Ken sprouted a wicked woody from his spot inside my toy chest.
Skipper was whispering to him, "Ken....baby....think about how hot it will be to tie THAT to your four poster bed with the belts from our Ken & Pals Karate outfits."
Who knew Skipper had such a naughty Dominatrix streak? I did.
In the end, I just couldn't do it. This particular Barbie was just too pretty, too entirely flawless to be touched by human hands. Before long, the very idea of any type of physical contact with this Barbie absolutely mortified me. So much so, that my mom bought a glass case so that I could put her inside and protect the box from dust or fading or anything that would sully her undefiled perfection.
What's the point of this story, you ask?
It's simply this.
THIS is the adult version of my Pretty Princess Barbie.
When this picture hit the internet yesterday, my gut reaction was...animalistic. Raw. Instinctual.
Safe to say, Mama Cougar was gutteral-growling and poised to pounce and explore the mind-blowing possibilities as this image painted the canvas of my fantasies.
But once the initial visceral reaction receeded, the very same cataclysmic shift occured in my mind as had occured 30 years ago when I was presented with the Collector's Edition Pretty Princess Barbie. What remained was an overwhelming desire to protect The Precious One; to preserve forever his perfection...locked in the polished glass display case of my brain.
I'm sorry Pretty Princess Barbie. I am.
I'm just sayin'.