But what my best friend, Leslie and I had was so much better. It was more of a Barbie tenement house, really; a kind of Hooverville for Barbie and her friends. I have never been an elitist--everyone could pretty much play: GI Joe, Skipper, and all the Little Kiddles. If you needed more kids in the family, there were always Leslie's green plastic Army men. We'd line them all up and pick, kind of like a slow, thoughtful sports draft. You'd think the actual Barbies would get chosen first, but it was the plain, sometimes ugly generic dolls that often got scooped up at the beginning. They were much more interesting, because they got to have tragic situations like incredibly mean or just dead parents.
Then we got to build the tenement house. It took hours, because you had to divvy up different areas of Leslie's living room. Everyone wanted the double decker end table, because that was an instant 2-story house. The piano bench was also a prime piece of real estate. There were some things that we saved in her closet and brought out each time. Like the big blue Tampax box that we'd made into a stove. Or the Kleenex box swimming pool.
Who needed the Barbie Dreamhouse? Our Barbies kept it real.