Once upon a time, on the South Side of Chicago…

I don’t quite remember how old I was, maybe seven? But I was given a Barbie doll as a gift. Not just any Barbie doll – Ballerina Barbie.

It should have been a great gift – I loved ballet, I loved dolls, and I was truly excited to get an actual real Barbie doll. Then, the truth came out – Ballerina Barbie’s crown didn’t come off. No matter what I did with her, she’d have to do it with a freaking fake gold crown on her head.

as found on Pinterest
as found on Pinterest

I was not impressed.

I was so not impressed that I didn’t really play with her. I mean, she was always wearing a crown. As much as I loved princesses and crowns and owned my own little tiara, the fact that her crown was not removable made Ballerina Barbie all but dead to me.

Meanwhile, life moved on, and we got a basketball hoop for the back yard. This was back in the day when you got the hoop, backboard, and pole – no nifty base to fill with water or sand. No, a hole needed to be dug, and the pole needed to be set with cement to ensure we wouldn’t knock it over (which, considering we probably spent more time shimmying up the pole instead of playing basketball, this was a smart move.)

We watched as our grandfather mixed a bucket of cement, pour some into the hole, set the pole into it. We also noticed there was leftover cement in the bucket. My grandfather dug a hole in the no man’s land that was the narrow space between the garage and the fence, and then he poured the rest of the cement into the hole, basically to get rid of it.

My brother and I eyed the cement.

“We should bury something in the cement.”

“Yes, but what?”

Then I decided to sacrifice Ballerina Barbie to this cause. I remember how we pushed her into the setting cement, feet first, by her cursed crown, until just the little points of plastic crown stood out. The hole of cement was then covered with dirt, sealing Ballerina Barbie in her cement tomb forever.

No, really. Someone in the backyard of my childhood home, this Barbie could still be there, buried, by two little kids of Italian descent.

Our neighbor’s son bought our house when my mom sold it years ago. So if he ever finds it…actually, I wonder if he has found it, since the garage eventually was replaced.

Well, at least they know us.

Wait…that’s not a comfort either.

I wonder if they found our pet cemetery as well…

I wonder if my mom even knows we buried Barbie in cement like good little mafia kids?

<waves to mom>

31 Days of Family tales


This is part of the 31 Days writing challenge…to find out more about it or read more from this challenge, check out the 31 Days page!