While wandering around Palo Alto, I spotted this toy hanging from a rack at a grocery store:

Do not stare directly into the bride’s eyes, or you will succumb to her dark power.

-

There are so many problems with this, I know not where to begin. I could point out the sheer sexism of this toy (“Why don’t we have Dream Groom playsets?!”), but that almost feels too obvious. Besides, I feel like to make that point, I would have to – at least, to some degree – also denounce marriage as an institution, which I can’t do because, lest you haven’t been paying attention, my husband friggin rules.

But for the record, this toy is absurdly, blatantly sexist. Let that be known. (Though I have no problem with playing dress-up. Sometimes I put on a cocktail dress and pretend I’m Jeff Goldblum’s date to a cake-tasting-party. As, I’m sure, the rest of you do, too.)

The other issue I have is the contents of this toy. Let’s take a closer peek, shall we?

Me: “Honey, do you think I’m weird?” / Rand: “Yeah.”

-
GAH. Okay, let’s not focus on that poor model, who I’m sure is much maligned by an over-zealous make-up artist, a bad printer, and whatever the precursor to Photoshop was. That’s not what I wanted to take a closer look at. Let’s try again:

I … BWAH?

-

There is a toy marriage license.

I’m going to repeat that: THERE IS A TOY MARRIAGE LICENSE. Because, obviously, the most fun part of getting married is filling out the paperwork that goes along with the process. Absolutely. This was certainly the case for me. It was not that I got to wear a pretty dress and dance with my brand-new and totally awesome husband (taking breaks now and then to stuff my face with fancy cheeses). Oh, heavens no. It was the trip down to a windowless office in city hall, dimly lit from above with a buzzing neon light. There I handed over a check to a surly government employee, who, judging by her facial expression, I had cannibalized in a previous life (and she had a clear memory of it). She wordlessly shoved a packet of paper at me and Rand and wished us a swift dissolution to our marriage. Oh, heavenliest of days!

Seriously, WTF, nameless toy distributor.

But here’s an even bigger WTF: I had this toy when I was a little girl.

I remember it distinctly. The graphic “art” on the packaging may have differed slightly (though, to be fair, the woman pictured could definitely have been there back in the mid-80s. Poofy bangs are timeless, so it’s difficult to say). But I remember tearing open the package and littering the floor of my playroom with it. Here is what I did with the contents therein:

  • Rings: Attempted to get them to fit on my small (yet surprisingly pudgy) Vienna-sausage-like fingers. Failed miserably and then used them as tiaras for my Barbies. There were inevitably cast onto the floor and accidentally shattered under my feet. No tears were shed at their loss.
  • Watch: put this on, rather excited, and then became incredibly annoyed when I realized that it was not, in fact, a functional timepiece. I was moderately thrilled when, at 10:40 every morning, the clock was suddenly accurate, but this joy soon faded a matter of minutes later.
  • Bracelet, necklace, and everything else: I don’t know. I probably ate them or something.
  • Marriage license: Played with that thing for hours on end, until it fell apart, resulting in a deluge of tears that would not be matched until, 15 years later, my dear grandmother passed.

Yeah. That’s how it went down, I’m pretty sure.

No, wait. No it’s not.

I don’t think I thought twice about that marriage license. I might have hastily scribbled Ken and Barbie’s names on it. Or perhaps my own name and Red Butler’s from Rainbow Brite (I kind of had a thing for him. Even though he was a ginger. And animated). And, as I noted above, the rest of that toy didn’t get much love from me as a child, either.

But seeing it there, in a small grocery store in Palo Alto? It was all I could do not to buy it again. To relive some of the joy of being a kid. Even if wasn’t a toy that I liked that much to begin with.

WTF, indeed.

Full list of categories:  WTF » WTF Wednesdays
«
»

Comments (16)

  1. 25. Jul, 2012 / Marina:

    Haha, I love this. It’s so over-the-top offensive that it’s funny. I’m surprised there aren’t in-law toys to go with the super fun marriage license.

    [Reply]

  2. 25. Jul, 2012 / Kianwi:

    When I was little, I loved the play sets that had the plastic high heels, along with various jewelry and fake make-up. Seriously, when one pair of heels was used up, I’d want another set immediately.

    The irony is I probably wear heels now all of 10 times a year, at most. Although, I was in a wedding where the shoes for the bridesmaids were clear plastic sandals…so similar to my childhood heels, so even though they hurt like heck, I loved them anyway.

    [Reply]

  3. 25. Jul, 2012 / Mandy:

    But where is the veil?!!!

    [Reply]

  4. 25. Jul, 2012 / Suchitra:

    Laughed reading about your once-a-day-i- am-right watch!

    [Reply]

  5. This was hilarious! I agree with Mandy…where’s the veil and the bouquet? If you’re going to play bride…you’ve got to do it right! Really love your blog!

    [Reply]

  6. 25. Jul, 2012 / kokopuff:

    I had a molded plastic wig. Doesn’t get any more badass than that.

    [Reply]

  7. 25. Jul, 2012 / Noelle:

    You should have bought it! I passed up on a doll in Omaha because she was a creepy goth skater I feared would kill me in my sleep. But I couldn’t stop thinking about her and when I went back a few months later she was gone.

    [Reply]

  8. 25. Jul, 2012 / Leigh:

    I think I had this same toy. Holy shit.

    [Reply]

  9. 25. Jul, 2012 / Carol:

    Begs the question, of course: why does a bride need a watch on her wedding day? Of all things. Isn’t someone else watching the time, if indeed it’s really necessary at all? I mean, unless your honeymoon plane is jetting off at exactly 5 hours and 13 minutes after your ceremony begins, well….?

    [Reply]

  10. 25. Jul, 2012 / Ruth:

    Red Butler was attractive because he was the bad boy. He doesn’t play by anybody’s rules but his own, and usually also Rainbow Brite’s. #trufax.

    [Reply]

  11. 25. Jul, 2012 / Casey:

    They messed with her whites. Only happy brides have whites like that!

    [Reply]

  12. 25. Jul, 2012 / Elissa:

    The bracelet? I totally thought it was fake birth control, which would have added a whole new slew of issues with this toy. As it stands, it only adds a whole new slew of personal problems that I clearly need to deal with…

    [Reply]

  13. 25. Jul, 2012 / CheezyK:

    So realistic … the bride even has a nice stress rash!

    [Reply]

  14. 26. Jul, 2012 / Katamal:

    Funny … but pleease … enough with the ginger bashing … my gorgeously lovely paramour is a glorious shade of ginger …

    [Reply]

  15. 26. Jul, 2012 / Mike:

    Your thing for Red Butler is entirely understandable. I distinctly recall that at some point in the late 70′s I went totally gaga for Anne Murray. I got my hands on the LP (yes, people were still listening to records back then and 8 track tapes were in full swing too) “Let’s Keep It That Way” and I listened to “You Needed Me” until my parents threatened to take away my Fisher Price record player. I think this was all happening about the time when my sister had formed a similar kind of attachment to the movie “Oh God”. I’m pretty sure she watched it (Beatmax, not VHS, LOL) at least 30 or 40 times over the course of a couple of months. I think everyone was probably a little weird when they were a kid. Many of us still are.

    [Reply]

  16. 26. Jul, 2012 / Sammi:

    did not realise that woman was real, thought it was a computer generated image. god poor woman. i’m sure she doesn’t look like that…… she can’t, can she?!

    [Reply]

Leave a Reply