On the Big One's 7th birthday, she became a woman. Well, sort of. See, she'd never had a male Barbie before, and she'd been talking about it for months. Before Ken arrived, all male parts of her elaborate plays had to be acted out by a vaguely humanoid stuffed green superhero with a turban that I bought for 2 dollars at one of those stores on Clement Street in San Francisco.
When the Big One opened up the Ken doll, the high-pitched, very excited girl screams began, and I think they lasted for about 30 minutes. Dogs around the neighborhood were howling as the Big One ripped open the box to liberate Ken. Her grandmother was thoughtful enough to provide a few outfits for Ken to enact various scenes: pink tuxedo for their wedding day, surfer outfit for days relaxing beside the Barbie pool, powder blue v-neck for dance numbers. As the costume changes began, I turned my back on the scene to start the dishes.
"Settle down, Ken."
I decided not to turn around right away.
"Ken! You have very big....."
The sound of a pod of dolphins coming up for air told me--without even looking--that my husband's drink had been ejected from his mouth. I heard it hit the floor, which had just been cleaned.
At this point I had to turn around, because I just wanted to see Ken's crotch and how it had changed over the years. When I was a girl, it was a vaguely penis-shaped bulge. Benign, but with enough definition to allow some kind of pretend intercourse to occur in the privacy of my own bedroom when we girls were sure no parental figures were around.
WARNING: the image you are about to see may be disturbing for some viewers.
They have sexually hobbled Ken past the point I thought possible.