A Natural Blond

July 26, 2012
My friend Katelyn is a true blond, in both body and mind. Her favorite word “like” permeates every sentence and she never wears anything but blue or pink. She is always indignant to our stereotyping, but has yet to disprove her fitting title. Added with her immense gullibility and good humor, she is often the focal point of many recounted stories.

One particular day Katelyn and I were watching a movie. A Barbie commercial came onscreen with the typical sickly sweet theme song “I’m a Barbie Girl” playing in the background. Katelyn, being the inquisitive and innocent one, turned to me with doe eyes and asked, “Where does Barbie come from? Is it a nickname or something?”

I stared blankly at her, blinking rapidly as my mind churned. Should I? No, that wouldn’t be right… In the end I gave in to my impulse. Raising one eyebrow, I turned in my seat to face my best friend.

“Katelyn, Barbie is short for Barbecue. You didn’t know that?”

“What? No it isn’t!” Her sentences ended with that questioning lilt she always gets when she has begun to believe the irrational.
“She’s Australian Katelyn.” I scoffed, battling to keep a straight face.

At that her entire countenance lit up, I could almost see a tiny light bulb shine above her blond head. “Oh! That makes sense! Like Malibu Barbie!” I nodded, disregarding the obvious error in reference.

That’s the beauty of our friendship.

In my defense, I confessed to my deception a month later. Katelyn thought the joke was hysterical. Yet, on other occasions people exploited her good natured personality. Michelle, a girl in our grade, clung to Katelyn like a piece of velcro. After successfully isolating her from the rest of our group, Michelle began to treat poor, oblivious Katelyn like a doormat. At Michelle’s sweet sixteen Katelyn was stuck at the door the entire night greeting guests and arranging the pile of presents. Anytime Katelyn received an invitation to a party and Michelle didn’t, Katelyn couldn’t go. Whenever Katelyn protested Michelle would appeal to her compassion using the well worn line: “But Katie…you’re my only friend!” Eventually Michelle left our school, tired of feeling ostracized from everyone else. Katelyn was shut out along with her.

A year later Katelyn and I switched schools as well, I for monetary reasons and Katelyn for a more welcoming and inclusive atmosphere. My fair haired friend blossomed in the new environment. On the first day of school she vowed to make a new friend every day. She did. Students found out very quickly her impressionable tendencies, but only fell in love with her more. With an easy smile and bursting energy, her optimistic view on life was contagious. Her Barbie-like tendencies began to play out in a more positive light in real life. A day has never passed without her having at least one blond moment and swearing it would never happen again. Her gullibility has never ceased to amaze me.





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