Barbie Dolls and Hot Pants This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

In summer day care, outside had always been my favorite place. Going out was a prelude to another epic adventure. As a tomboy, I stuck with the boys who made up games in which we were all characters with names, personalities, and skills way beyond our real selves. That had to be the best part – being someone you knew you could never be. When I played, I threw my whole being into it. I became that person.

There was only one problem. I, as the only girl, had to be the damsel in distress. Princess So-and-So, who did nothing but sit in the tower and wait to be saved by Sean, who always played the role of my savior since Andrew thought we were destined to be together. My good friend Jake was always arguing, because he wanted to be my victor, and agreed with me that girls shouldn’t always be in distress. He was my closest friend from the first day we played together.

During the summer of fourth grade, I decided to state my issue. Pace, our leader, stood in our little fort (we’d proudly conquered it from the Barbie players) with regal air and told me that I was a girl and that was the way things were going to be. I told him it wasn’t fair, and Lara Croft didn’t need any help from men. He thought about it and looked at Stephen, saying, “She does have a point.”

Stephen shook his head and said, “She isn’t tough enough to be like Lara Croft.”

“I’m tough!” “She’s tough!” Jake and I said at the same time.

Pace sat Indian-style and stroked his bare chin as though he had a beard, and said, “Let us test her skill then, shall we? I say we have her do a mission, and see if she can roll with the men in our … quests.”

Pace was always admired for his wise demeanor and mature word choice, and I respected him, so I nodded, accepting this as fair, saying, “Bring it on.”

My first mission was simple: Sneak up to the girls’ fort, steal a Barbie, and bring it back so we could hold it captive. Pace approved the mission, assigning Jake as my escort. We approached the fort in James-Bond mode, rolling and pressing ourselves against walls like secret agents.

“Are you ready?” asked Jake, with a grin. I nodded, and he stooped so I could climb on his shoulders and peek into the fort’s upper room. The girls didn’t see me, engrossed in making Ken and Barbie get married, as they did every day. They had abandoned Barbie in her “dressing room” as Ken spoke to a friend. The moment was all too perfect.

“A little higher,” I whispered, and Jake lifted me up, resting against the gate behind us to hold my weight. I rose a bit, feeling my skirt drag on the metal behind me as I reached, and reached, and reached …

“Hey!” exclaimed one of the girls.

My world spun, and panic pumped adrenaline through my veins, making my mind run a million miles per hour. I felt my support falter, and I quickly grabbed my captor before tumbling to the ground. There was an awful rip, and I knew (and denied and hoped) it wasn’t, but knew it was – my skirt catching on the fence. As we ran to our fort, I felt it slipping down my legs, so I kicked it off to reveal tie-dyed hot pants. The trip to my safe haven seemed to take forever, and I thought, If my counselor sees me with my skirt off in multicolored hot pants running for my life with a wedding-day Barbie in my hands … and smiled to myself as I imagined his reaction. My smile widened when I saw my friends cheering and yelling. Pace, with all composure gone, was rolling on the floor laughing. I didn’t really care. The excitement of victory was too great to be fazed, and I felt amazing, floating on clouds, or at least running.

My allies rushed me into the fort and blocked the path of the angry girls as Stephen began his negotiations with his sister, the leader of the Barbie players. Jake joined me in the upstairs area, where I sat in Pace’s corner, feeling embarrassment for the first time as the adrenaline died, and tears ran down my face. Never one to pull the macho act, he embraced me in a big bear hug and told me everything was okay, saying I was “totally awesome.”

Of course from then on I was allowed major action-filled roles in our games for my heroic skill, and talk of my skirt incident faded among the boys, except Jake.

He still laughs about it to this day.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

Join the Discussion

This article has 48 comments. Post your own now!

LestyP said...
Oct. 27, 2012 at 6:28 pm
I can totally relate to this XD
HOTLOVE said...
Sept. 25, 2012 at 11:44 am
KnitsandPurls said...
Aug. 22, 2012 at 11:52 am
Totally corny but oh so cute!! And well-done, too!
TMarie42 said...
Jun. 17, 2012 at 6:48 pm
Haha, this sounds like something I would do (I hate Barbies and I always hang out with guys). Loved it! Great job!
AbbyMarie said...
May 4, 2012 at 9:44 am
I love this! It is so cute! You managed to get me excited about a barbie stealing mission!
the3rdkindThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Apr. 12, 2012 at 9:37 pm
I loved this article!! Really great voice ;)
AlliterationAce said...
Apr. 12, 2012 at 6:13 pm
Sounds like some trouble that I would get into... 'Cause honestly I hate Barbie Dolls.
spacer scott said...
Mar. 6, 2012 at 7:51 am
wow i was just amazed by your use of dialogue
Kaffeine said...
Feb. 6, 2012 at 7:13 pm
This is so adorable! I played games like that too...
EPluribusUnum This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jan. 15, 2012 at 11:29 am
I remember games like that, I didn't give them up until the seventh grade when my best friend moved away. We'd get all the kids in the neighborhood into it and create these huge lion prides and wolf packs. Those were the days...
novella said...
Nov. 10, 2011 at 7:56 pm
loved this! adorable and heroic, which is hard to achieve:) you actually had me excited and nervous about stealing a barbie! it was like being a little kid again:)
Bones96 said...
Nov. 10, 2011 at 5:32 pm

Very cute I loved this story. Reminds me some what of when I was little kid My friends and I played games like that it was very fun wish I could go back to those days.

Keep up the great writting! :)

Gumballover replied...
Dec. 24, 2011 at 9:28 am
I used to play these games too! I found them sooooo much fun!
Hobbit@Heart said...
Nov. 10, 2011 at 3:31 pm
Does this "too this day" line mean that Jake and her got married?  I hope so...
Saphirra said...
Oct. 19, 2011 at 3:01 pm
Very good writing! Your descriptions were great and it was just Amazing!!!! Keep up the good work!
Raven-Mcdonald said...
Sept. 27, 2011 at 9:26 am
My skirt got caught and fell off too, difference, I was running from my brother, who at the time held a dead snake, my skirt was caught on a branch, and it was in the middle of the schoolyard, and i was thirteen.... not fun to explain to a teacher, and esspecially not fun for my brother.
zadiekatie23 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Sept. 5, 2011 at 3:47 pm
This was a great article; I enjoyed reading it! Actually forgot halfway through that it was nonfiction! XD You have a gift for storytelling; keep up the good work
ayesha20 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Sept. 5, 2011 at 6:01 am's such a cute story!
Lola_Black said...
Aug. 14, 2011 at 10:05 pm
Aww! This is so cut and funny! I love it! Do you have any more stories?
shoelessjoe This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Aug. 14, 2011 at 11:46 am
This is so cute!!!! and i love that it's nonfiction!!haha keep writing :)
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