Word on the street is that the Barbie movie is the best movie ever, even though it isn’t anything like Fargo. I don’t know much about Barbie, period. I was nearly unscathed by her. My next-door neighbor got a Barbie as soon as they came out, and tried to get me up to speed on what was to be done with her, but it didn’t take. It’s always been hard for me to pretend to be having a good time when I’m not. I mean, sure, I can fake an orgasm, because how long does that take? But you’re just not going to get me to play with dolls.

I think people often show their true natures early in life. There’s never been a doll I was interested in. Some distant relative once sent me a life-size doll with shiny hair and a fluffy dress. I must have stared it down like an invading force, and I think it was given away as soon as the requisite photo was taken of it to send to the relative. I did have a Betsy Wetsy at some point but the novelty of pouring water in the front end and watching come out Down There wore off in a day or two. It lacked something as an aspirational activity. No one tried to give me a doll after that.

I wanted stuffed animals. They had personality. They had opinions. They had jobs. They were males, every one of them, except Mrs. Teddybear who was a hand-me-down and didn’t do anything. Funkhauser was a grocer. Gronk was a poet. Frisby ran a newspaper. Apparently I was willing to accommodate an entire village of plush-Americans until they grew old and bald but I had no maternal instinct at all.

Barbie was just as dismal. I sort of got what sort of joy a girl was expected to get out of her, but I couldn’t fake that. She had, like, clothes, and stuff? I had no interest in growing up if it meant I had to dress up and do my hair and wear pink. Which is what it did mean, so I was out of luck as an adolescent. Feminine artifice was nothing I longed to acquire, but also, even then I knew I wouldn’t be any good at it.

I didn’t resist other people’s expectations of me so much as they glanced off me. “You were the one who always smiled and said Yes Ma’am and then did whatever you wanted to do,” Mom reported, later. I guess, in the ‘50s, that means I acted like I was a boy. All potential and freedom, but without any of the wayward and superfluous appendages.

So to this day I am a childless woman who can’t put an entire outfit together, who sleeps on wet hair and doesn’t correct the consequences, who wads ups sheets like they’re spitballs and jams them in the closet, and whose dream house has space for a garden and a piano and no mortgage.