Valley Of The Dolls

The other week, some of my wife’s family was here on vacation. Her older brother and his family and her only sister also came out for a brief visit. It’s really great to see everyone, although they only live as far as the West Coast. Naturally we planned a lot of recreational activities with them.

My sister-in-law is a master shopper. She is quite fashionable and is a total bargain hunter. Even though they don’t spend a whole lot of money, when she gets together with my wife they can turn shopping into a science. For me, it’s the science of time stoppage. An hour of shopping to them is like seven hours of shopping to me.

While the family was here on the island, we had planned to celebrate the birthday of our 7-year-old niece. She is way into dolls, especially American Girl and, of course, Barbie. We planned to throw a little birthday party for her, so a few days before, my wife and my sister-in-law asked me to take them to Toys “R” Us.

Their plan was to buy new clothes for some of her Barbie dolls. In case you’ve been in a coma the last 20 years, Barbie dolls have a wide array of fashionable outfits on par with all the latest trends, and she also has outfits for every occupation you can think of. So we walked into the store and found the Barbie doll aisle. Both their faces literally lit up.

It was as though they were shopping for clothes they intended to wear. They were mixing outfits and looking for matching shoes and accessories. An entire hour had passed and they were still deciding on a purchase. Then they asked for my opinion, and my head nearly exploded. I scribbled a note on a piece of paper that said, “Help Me!” and I tried to pass it to a store clerk.

Nearly two hours had passed when I ventured two aisles over. My god, it was chock-full of Star Wars and Star Trek toys! The girls eventually finished and came to find me so we could leave. I looked up from my re-enactment of the Star Wars cantina bar scene and said, “What’s the rush?”