Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy 2012!


Photograph courtesy of Romona J.

50th Anniversary Barbie by Robert Best and Barbie Basics Model 4 wearing the 50th Anniversary Ken gown are accompanied by their dates, Ken and Ken. The dolls and I wish you a Happy and Prosperous-in-mind-body-spirit-and-finances New Year!

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Thursday, December 29, 2011

NY Times Article: Why We Collect Stuff



Why people collect anything is often a puzzle to non-collectors.  I answered a NY Times reporter's questions on collecting as it relates to dolls.  My answers and those of other collectors of other "stuff" can be read here.

When someone asks why you collect dolls, what is your usual reply?

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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

I Heard From Mattel Re: The Overpriced Rocawear Dolls

As noted in the eighth comment here, I contacted Mattel regarding the overpriced new Rocawear dolls at Target. I received the following reply from a Mattel representative:

We are so glad you contacted us! We realize life is busy and appreciate that you took the time to share your thoughts with us.

We do suggest a retail price on this doll to be about $14.00. You will have to contact Target, as to why they are pricing it as they are.

As a global manufacturer of children’s products, we make toys with the enjoyment of all consumers in mind, representing different backgrounds and ethnicity. Market research and our major retail account customers help us determine which ethnic products will generate the most interest among the general population.

We believe it is important to challenge ourselves to set the industry standard in making products that are contemporary, and reflect the ever-changing fabric of our world. Your feedback helps us identify areas that may require more attention, and we appreciate your help in this objective.

We promise to continually review our products and promotions, to ensure we represent families all over the world.

Thanks again,
Robin G.
Mattel Consumer Relations Team

I replied:
Thank you Robin G. Your time to reply is greatly appreciated and your suggestion to inform Target of their pricing error will be done on my next trip should I find the dolls in stock at the incorrect price. I must inform you that others have informed Target managers in their areas of the pricing error, specifically Atlanta, where the managers insisted their price was correct.
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Fighting Dolls? No, New Tonner Doll Dueling Site

Read about the new Tonner Doll Dueling (picture-sharing) site here.

Visit, vote, read the stats, and/or participate by entering your own Tonner dolls here.

(Let me know if you see familiar faces... vote!)

dbg

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I've Got All My Skippers with Me

Skipper from childhood wears original red and white sunsuit underneath the blue-trimmed red Cut 'n Button coat (that my sister says belonged to her Skooter).
Skipper is one of the Barbie, friends, and family childhood dolls I was reunited with during the 1995 Christmas season.  She didn't have as many fashions and accessories as Barbie, but I enjoyed playing with Skipper.  I guess I liked her because we had at least two things in common -- a thinly framed body and 10-year-old flat chest.

In 2009 after discussing African American Skipper, Janet, and Stacie with another collector and finding an online Barbie and friends list that documents the names of the AA dolls, my search for these dolls began with an initial focus on AA Skipper.

Seeking Skipper and friends began while writing my third book, which chronicles my doll manipulation over a two-year period, written in the voice of each manipulated doll.  In the voice of Cool Tops Skipper, On December 24, 2009, I recorded the following entry in The Doll Blogs: When Dolls Speak, I Listen:


Thursday, December 24, 2009

I arrived today. Baby Sitter Skipper from 1989 arrived on the 21st. Debbie is making a conscious effort to add all African American Skippers to her collection. She already owns the first one, Homecoming Skipper from 1989, which is packed away and was acquired several years ago, before she ever thought about owning all nine of us. With three down, she only has six more to find. It should not take her too long to locate the others. The others needed are: Pet Pals Skipper 1991, Baton Twirler Skipper 1991, Cool Crimp Skipper 1991, Pizza Party Skipper 1994, Baby Sitter Skipper 1994, and Phone Fun Skipper 1995. She already owns one teen skipper: Cool Sitter Teen Skipper 1998. She may try to find Pajama Fun Tote Barbie and Skipper (2002), a Wal-Mart exclusive that includes a Teen Skipper. She’s focusing on the 9-inch (22.86cm) dolls, like me, first.

Debbie still owns her childhood Skipper, the original, redheaded version from 1964. The first time she saw that doll was when her brother, Ronald, eased it out of a shopping bag to give her a sneak peek of one of her Christmas toys. She had accompanied her mother and Ronald on a Downtown Dallas bus ride to retrieve a layaway of Christmas toys at Cullum and Boren. On the way home from that shopping trip, she and her mother shared a seat on the bus. Her mom held shopping bags full of toys while Ronald held another. He was seated behind them. Debbie had no idea what was in any of the bags until she felt her brother’s tap on her shoulder. She turned to look at him and saw his wide grin as he flashed Skipper’s box. She shook her head “no” to cue him to return the doll to the package before their mother caught him. She had to act surprised that Christmas morning when she saw Skipper for the second time underneath the Christmas tree. The fond memory of her brother giving her a sneak peek of Skipper is quite pleasant especially now in his absence.

Cool Tops Skipper (1990)

~~~~~~~~~~
Cool Crimp Skipper was the most difficult AA Skipper for me to find.

My search for the nine AA Skippers ended in December 2010 after finally locating the most difficult of the nine to find:  Cool Crimp Skipper.  I searched and searched and almost gave up on finding her.  Hastily, I purchased the white version, modified the box graphics, and redressed a loose unidentified AA Skipper in the white doll's fashion.  A few weeks later, I found the AA version.  (The white doll is now redressed in a BFC Ink Calista fashion.) 

During the hunt and chase for Skipper, I was also able to add all, made-to-date, AA Stacie dolls. These include Dream Wedding Barbie, Stacie, and Todd and my most recent on-the-way-as-I-type-this acquisition of  Wedding Party Barbie, Stacie and Todd.  The latter set had been wish-listed for well over a year.

I was also fortunate to find all Janets.  The most difficult and final Janet to find was Gymnast Janet.  She entered the collection last month, which is when I also purchased a second Homecoming Queen Skipper from a very accommodating eBay seller whose $12.99 auction had ended without bids at the time I began looking for a duplicate.  The seller, when asked, agreed to relist the doll for me in a buy it now for $13.99.
 
Party 'N Play Stacie - image captured from Black Dolls: An Identification and Value Guide Book II, M. Perkins, page 256

My original HCQ Skipper is stored away along with Party 'N Play Stacie.   I knew HCQ Skipper was packed, but did not realize PNP Stacie was not accessible until I gathered my girls to photograph for this blog.  It's probably good I didn't know this because I might have been obsessively compelled to buy a second PNP Stacie  (for documentation purposes, you know).

Some took longer than others to arrive, but in just under two years' time after the determined hunt commenced, the girls (and Todd) are all finally here (or will be soon). 

Now that the collection is established, I'll add to it if and when Mattel resumes the manufacture of AA Skipper.
~~~~~~~~~~

Below is a link to a slideshow with images of my AA Skipper, Janet, and accessible Stacie dolls.  Below the slideshow is the list I created after beginning my search for the girls with notes to self and modifications after the dolls arrived:




African American Skipper (Roberts) 9-1/2 inches

Homecoming Skipper, 1989, first AA Skipper

Cool Tops Skipper, 1989

Babysitter Skipper, 1990  (has one baby)

Pet Pals Skipper, 1991

Baton Twirler Skipper, 1992

Cool Crimp Skipper, 1993  (the hardest to find)

Pizza Party Skipper, 1994

Babysitter Skipper, 1994 (has three babies -- this one was hard to find, too!)

Phone Fun Skipper, 1995


Taller Teen Versions (11-1/2 inches tall):

Cool Sitter Teen Skipper, 1998 (Nikki is Teen Skipper’s AA friend, first made in 1997; I have AA Teen Skipper)

Pajama Fun Tote Barbie and Skipper (Wal-Mart exclusive), 2002 or 2003 – this was a teen Skipper, so not a must have.

 

Janet -- Name used for the AA doll only, 8 inches tall

Happy Meal Janet,  1994

Polly Pocket Janet, 1994

Gymnast Janet, 1996  (pretty elusive, probably because of her bend and move body)

Bicycling Janet, 1997

Flashlight Fun Janet and Tigger, 1998

Bowling Janet, 1999

Awesome Skateboard Janet, 2000


Stacie, 8 inches
Party ‘N Play Stacie, 1993

Dream Wedding Barbie, Stacie, and Todd,

Wedding Party Barbie, Stacie, and Todd (need) (on the way!)

Singing Holiday Sisters Barbie includes Stacie and Kelly, 2000

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Monday, December 26, 2011

Rocawear Darren

New So In Style Dolls
New So In Style Dolls by aurorakinta, on Flickr

I saw Rocawear Darren at Target today... scanned the box to check the price, and had a silent hissy fit in the store (by tossing him back on the shelf after scanning the box and seeing the $24.99 price).

Darren was the only one in this new line of overpriced dolls on the shelf.

For $24.99 I need articulated elbows, wrists, knees, ankles and any other joint that is supposed to move. I also need extra accessories. The only accessory I saw in the box before tossing it back on the shelf were his boots, which were not on his feet.

After carting some 50% off Christmas decorations, I went back to the toy aisle to snap a picture of Darren with my cell phone, but he was nowhere in sight. I guess someone else did not find him overpriced. Personally, I'll have to hold out for a sale.

What is Mattel thinking?


dbg



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Dolls for Christmas

This marks the first year in several past that I did not answer with the specific name of a doll when my daughter asked, "What do you want for Christmas?"  I asked for a camera instead, which I am going to return today at Daughter's suggestion.

After purchasing the basic Nikkon model I asked for (solely because of the price--didn't want her to spend too much), she said she read the reviews, which are not very favorable. After my tekkie son examined the camera, he agreed. So back to Target it will go today.

I took pictures with my on-its-last-leg Kodak Easyshare camera of the wonderful dolls and doll-related items that my best of best doll friends sent me as Christmas gifts this year.
This 2011 Barbie Ornament has since been added to my almost-Charlie Brown Barbie ornament tree.
Circa 1963 Effanbee Blue Bird had been on my wish list for a while.  I have the Girl Scout and the Brownie from the same period by Effanbee.  The AA Blue Bird is one of the hardest in this series to find. I've searched for quite a while.

Disney Store Exclusive Princess Tiana Fashion Doll and the Princess Tiana ornament
Tiana fashion doll, close up; she is gorgeous!
Close up of the Princess Tiana ornament, which has also been added to my Barbie ornament tree.

1998 reproduction of the1962 Barbie Silken Flame fashion -- I haven't determine which doll will wear it.  Until I do, I have it stored in my 1964 double-sided blue Barbie case.
Patsyette Christmas Gift Box Set -- the doll is a reproduction of the original 1931 Patsyette.
Finally, of the doll-related gifts (there were several non-doll related), is this Possible Dreams O Holy Night Santa -- doll friend knows this is the only Santa brand I will buy from here on out.  The facial sculpt is on point and the 10-inch size is not too intrusive. 

Thank you, Debra R.  You are the best!

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Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!


Leneda holds a Christmas-tree shaped ornament, the front of which is an elaborately decorated Christmas tree. The base of the front reads:  When you strip away all the tinsel and glitter... The back is cut out to reveal a wooden cross on which a gold crown rests.  The base of the back reads:  God's real truth shines through.

Luke 2:11 - For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

Remembering the reason for Christmas,

dbg

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Friday, December 23, 2011

Could this be Wigged Out Lizette Dionne?

See another sneak peek of new 2012 Tonner dolls here.

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Giving and Receiving S.I.S OOAKs

As a member of the So In Style Yahoo Group, I participated in a holiday swap.  The goal of the swap was to customize a So In Style (S.I.S.) doll and send it to a designated member.

For the swap, I customized (S.I.S.) Rocawear Grace and received a beautifully refashioned S.I.S. Chandra.  I cannot share images of all the lovely dolls that were given and received, but I can share the images I took of the S.I.S. Holiday Grace and those of my lovely OOAK Chandra that Cynthia Wilson so beautifully customized for me.

Giving...


Formerly S.I.S. Rocawear Grace, meet S.I.S. Holiday Diva Grace, renamed Nikki by her new owner because her dramatic hair reminded her of jazz flutist Nicole Mitchell

Nikki was actually my first boil perm-Afro (with my daughter's former childhood doll being my second).  I was very pleased with the end result.


Because I do not sew, Nikki wears an off-the-rack Barbie Fashionistas Fashion T7481 from Assortment N8328. The shoes of that fashion were upgraded to silver glittery mules from Barbie Basics Look No. 2, Collection 1.5.  The fashion is embellished with a silver shimmery shawl. Nikki's ears were pierced and faux diamonds set in silver studs added.  She wears a silver necklace and holds a silver clutch in one hand and a silver gift box in the other.


Finally, Nikki was presented to her new owner in a silver paper-lined, ivory doll box.  The outside of the box bears her before and after images and the word, DIVA, is attached to the silver box band.  A story card detailing her customization and a doll stand were also included.  The box was gift wrapped in silver wrapping paper. 

~*~*~*~*~*~
Receiving...

I was very pleased that an S.I.S. Chandra was customized for me.  Chandra is one of my favorite dolls in the S.I.S. line.  I just love her deep, rich ebony complexion.  The embroidered fashion Cynthia Wilson dressed my lovely Chandra in enhances her beauty, which is minimally captured in the following photographs.

OOAK Chandra customized by Cynthia Wilson

The lovely Chandra wears a black and gold ribbon-tied top and matching wrap skirt of embroidered material.  Her fashion is accented with gold tone chain link drop earrings with matching necklace and  bracelet.  Gold high heels appropriately add to her new customized look.


As illustrated in the above three images, Chandra also received an appealing up swept hairdo.


The back of Chandra's vest-style top is as lovely as the front. 

Chandra also came with a doll stand.  Along with my lovely doll, Cynthia sent the following note:

I hope you enjoy this doll as much as I [enjoyed] putting her together.  I am a first timer doing anything like this and I like how she turned out. 


Cynthia you did a fab-u-lous job!  I love everything about Chandra!
Because no one else has dolls exactly like these two (or the others that members gave and received), they are now all one of a kind.

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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Tonner's Wilde Tease

Who (or if you think of them as objects, what) is 16 inches, will be available in two (dark) skin tones with painted eyes, as a wigged out version and also with rooted hair, shares the Ellowyne (Wilde) body and access to her extensive wardrobe, and will have her very own storyline????

Answer: Lizette Dionne of Wilde Imagination!


When: Early 2012 with a debut at IDEX.

Robert Tonner shares a sneak peek of Lizette in the following video!  (She's the second doll!)


I just visited the Wilde Imagination Facebook fan page where Lizette is currently the featured doll.    Click and see. 

News about Lizette has me pumped up.  I haven't been this excited about a doll in a while and look forward to learning more about her!

dbg

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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

Below are images of dolls I incorporated into my Christmas décor this year.
Daddy's Long Legs Santa
Madame Alexander dolls on dining table include this year's Christmas doll, far right, Ribbon Candy.
Shirley Temple-type transitional doll circa 1940s holds a ty Beanie Baby.
Almost Charlie Brown-looking, mini Christmas tree is decorated with Barbie holiday ornaments, one mini Bratz Sasha, and a porcelain angel on top.
In a basket under the full-sized tree are Ginny dolls, an OOAK Ginny Boy, Tonner's Christmas Dru and Gingerbread Dru.  An OOAK baby rests in an antique-style pram.
Emilee and Matoka are inseparable.  They love to wear matching Dollie and Me fashions.

Singing Holiday Sisters, Barbie, Stacie, and Kelly adorn the coffee table in living room alongside another mini tree.

American Girl Cécile and Addy 25th Anniversary mini dolls and the regular issue Mini Cécile visit Santa.

~*~*~*~*~
"Borrowed" this year by my mother and shown below are Tevin and Ayana and the two dolls she "borrowed" last year, all redressed for Christmas.
Tevin and Ayana are the babies seated in red chairs.

Finally, click the arrows to listen to two different versions of the Christmas song that inspired this post.





Have a Merry Christmas and a healthy, productive, prosperous New Year!

dbg

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Sunday, December 18, 2011

Correction: We Have Two Winners!


Correction:  Only seven of the nine commenters expressed a desire to enter this first of two planned giveaways.  So technically there were only seven entrants.  Because I miscalculated the total, I am giving away two books.  Using Custom Random Generator, entering numbers 1 through 7, CRG chose #1 as the second lucky winner. 

Congratulations, Lee (1x1000), you are the second of the two winners in this first of two planned giveaways! Please email your address to me, and I will mail your autographed book with CD.


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We Have a Winner!


Nine people commented with a total of eight expressing their comment-desire to participate in the first of two giveaways I am offering.

Using Custom Random Number Generator (CRG), random numbers from 1 through 8 were entered.  CRG randomly chose #8.  Congratulations Beads, you are the lucky winner!

I will mail your autographed book and CD to you after I receive your mailing address.  Please click here to email me. 

Thank you to all entrants.  

Stay tuned for giveaway #2, which is a work in progress.  (That's all I'm going to say for now) 

dbg

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Saturday, December 17, 2011

A Joyous Barbie Reunion

The following post was originally published online by DOLLS magazine in November 2009.  I was one of their "industry experts," blogging under the title:  Dolls in Black: Chronicles and Perspectives.   I shared the link to this post the same day it was published, but for the benefit of new readers, and because I do not know how long my blogs for DOLLS will remain online, I have decided to re-blog this post here.

~*~*~*~*
L-R: #3 Barbie®, brunette bubble cut Barbie®, Ken®, Midge®, Talking Barbie®, Francie®, Skipper®, Tutti® – the #3 Barbie® was a 1990’s gift from my niece; all others are from my childhood.

I cannot recall the exact age when I received my first adult-figured, 11-1/2 inch Barbie®, but it was probably May or December of 1965 at age 10. The doll and accessories were either a birthday or Christmas gift. My mother, a high-fashion aficionado who always "dressed to the nines," made certain that I owned Barbie® and her friends. She also ensured that they were properly dressed in the current haute couture fashions.

I do recall enjoying several hours of play for at least three years with my inanimate friend, Barbie®, and her host of friends and accessories. Hours of doll play were spent in the bedroom of hot pink and orange décor that I shared with my younger sister, Robin. Being six years my junior, Robin played with baby dolls and I played alone with my more mature girls and one male, Ken®.

I enjoyed redressing the dolls in their trendy outfits, mixing and matching their clothing, popping heads on and off; and after play concluded, I made certain that each doll and accessory was properly stored in my baby blue, double-sided Barbie® case. I can still visualize the graphics on that patent-leather doll case, those that were on the rectangular-shaped doll boxes, the fashion packs, and the miniature brochures that advertised additional fashions and accessories. Those were the good old days when doll play was truly enjoyable and I acted and thought like a child.

At age 12 or 13, things drastically changed. Brunette bubble cut Barbie® and the host of other Barbies that I owned along with her boyfriend, Ken®; Midge®, Talking Barbie®, Francie®; little sis, Skipper®, and littlest sis, Tutti® were no longer my inanimate friends. As a result of my juvenile belief that I was too old to play with dolls, I abandoned my former companions.

Before adopting the too-old-to-play-with dolls attitude, I had been mesmerized by a younger neighborhood friend's Barbie® collection, which put mine to shame. Her family's dining area had been converted to what looked like a Barbie® museum. I was speechless the first time I saw all her dolls, clothing, accessories - cars, townhouse, you name it, Rochelle had it. Soon after, without my mother's knowledge and certainly without her permission, I packed up my meager Barbie® collection and gave everything to Rochelle. "After all," I thought, "she's just a kid and she still likes to play with dolls."

That gesture, in approximately 1968, ended my Barbie® and other doll-play era.

In 1991 a fluke incident prompted my interest in collecting all types of Black dolls, Barbie® and friends included. At this time, however, I was only interested in acquiring vintage Black Barbie® and friends because none of these dolls had been included in my doll play as a child. I conducted a mad search for the very first Black doll given the name Barbie® who made her debut 20 years after #1 Barbie®. My doll search and ultimate acquisition included many of the 1960s and 1970s Christie® dolls. (Live-Action Christie® and Malibu® Christie® are still two of my favorites from the vintage era.) Cara® and Curtis®, and any other doll in the vintage Barbie® family that looked like me were included in my list of must-haves. The 1981 "Afro" Ken® (SunsationalTM Malibu® Ken®) and Steven® (the most handsome male friend of Barbie®/Christie® in my opinion) were also must-haves as was Talking Brad®, another hunk of dark chocolate vinyl!

In approximately December 1995, during a Christmas Eve gift exchange held at my home, my mother presented me with two beautifully wrapped Christmas presents. As she handed them to me, pointing to one of the boxes, she said, "You're going to really love this one." After explaining her attempt to retrieve a box in her garage labeled Christmas decorations, another box fell from a shelf into her arms. The contents of the beautifully wrapped package that she knew I was going to love had been in that garaged box. Naturally, I opened that present first. My niece and her family were approaching our front door during the time I unwrapped and opened that box. After I calmed down and answered the doorbell to invite them in, my niece commented, "I heard you outside... why were you screaming?" I showed her the contents of the unwrapped gift. Inside was the remainder of my Barbie® collection, just as I had left them approximately 27 years prior! I had no idea that I had not given all of my Barbie® collection to my childhood friend.

Even though they still do not look like me, I was overjoyed by my reunion with brunette bubble cut Barbie®, her boyfriend, Ken®; Midge®, Talking Barbie®, Francie®; little sis, Skipper®, and littlest sis, Tutti®. I fondly recalled the many hours of doll play spent with my inanimate vinyl friends. It was indeed a joyous reunion!

After the excitement in the room settled that Christmas Eve in 1995, my mother said, "I wonder what happened to all your other dolls." I looked at her with the complete innocence of a 12 year old and did not mumble one word. I will never admit and she will never know (unless she reads this) that I gave the dolls away!

View the following slide show of my childhood and now adult vintage Barbies and friends.




Link to original post

After searching for its replacement for several months to at least a year, I  purchased a baby blue, double-sided Barbie® case like the one I owned as a child.  I wonder what Rochelle did with my stuff. 
dbg

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Friday, December 16, 2011

Ernesto Finds His Niche...

... or I found it for him. 

After redressing Ernesto in Ken Fashionistas fashion* of blue sweater, gray corduroy pants, and blue mock lace-up shoes, I attempted to find a female companion that did not tower too much over his handsome head.  Halle, the shortest of my fashion dolls now that her head is on an Alexis (LIV) body, was my first choice.  She is slightly taller than Ernesto, and her summery PopLife Christie fashion clashes with Ernesto's winter clothes. 

Short dolls... short dolls, who can I use (I wondered)?  My answer:  Calista (the 9-1/2-inch version).


Using Calista as Ernesto's niece was my initial idea, but the following story developed after seeing the two together. (Isn't it strange how dolls seem to create their own stories and use their owners as their facilitators to tell them?)

~*~*~*~*~

For the past several weeks in the math class he teaches at the local middle school, Mr. Gutierrez noticed Calista's normally bubbly personality had changed to quite sullen and withdrawn.  Her classroom participation had decreased and her grades had also fallen.  Formerly an A-student, Calista's average had plummeted to a C. 

Because he knew her academic potential was high, Mr. Gutierrez was determined to get to the bottom of Calista's problem.  The Friday before their Christmas break began, he asked Calista if he could speak with her after class.  Their conversation follows:


Mr. Gutierrez:  Calista, your grades have dropped tremendously and your participation in class has also declined.  Are you having problems that I or one of the female teachers or counselors can help you address? 


Calista:  Well, um, yes, I am.  Briana Joy hates me! (she blurted out)


Mr. Gutierrez:  Hates you?  Why do you think that?


Calista:  She and I were the best of friends.  We did everything together.  She was the person I could always count on to be there for me to talk to if I had a problem, and I have always been there for her.  But that has changed now.


Mr. Gutierrez:  Oh really?  How so?

Calista:  She doesn't want to have anything to do with me any more since...

Mr. Gutierrez (after waiting for Calista to continue):  Since what, Calisa?  What caused Briana Joy's attitude toward you to change?

Calista:  Well, you know we entered the America's Next Top Teen Doll Model competition together and were the two finalists.  I didn't even want to enter the competition.  It was her idea that we enter it together.  But after the competition ended, she stopped speaking to me. 

Mr. Gutierrez:  This seems like a relatively easy problem to solve.  Perhaps I can schedule a meeting with the three of us later today and see if I can help you work this out.

(Calista's disposition brightened.  She looked forward to rekindling her friendship with her former best friend and hoped Mr. Gutierrez could make this happen.)


Calista:  Really, Mr. Gutierrez?  I sure hope you can help me.  It's horrible to be treated like an outcast.  Briana Joy and her new friends stop talking when I enter the room.  They roll their eyes at me when I pass by.  I have felt so awful because I didn't do anything to deserve this.

Mr. Gutierrez:  Yes, I will be happy to help you work this out.  We'll get this resolved before Christmas break begins.  I wouldn't want you to spend the holiday upset, but most importantly, I want you to resume your interest in math and your other courses.  I'm sure your grades are probably suffering in your other classes, too.


Calista:  Yes, they are. 


Mr. Gutierrez:  All right then.  I'm sure we can work this out.

~*~*~*~*~

To learn what put a wedge between Briana Joy and Calista's friendship, click here.  Then read the final passage below.  (Stop scrolling... click the link before you read the rest.)


~*~*~*~*~


Later that same day, during the meeting between Mr. Gutierrez and the two girls, he allowed the girls to talk it out.  Calista discovered that Briana Joy thought Calista's attitude toward her was going to change because she won the ANTTDM competition. 


Briana Joy explained, "After you won, I thought you were going to think you were all that.  So I decided not to speak to you any more to avoid getting my feelings hurt by you.  Briana Joy confided that some of the other girls at school had encouraged her to think that way.  She now realized they had always been jealous of her friendship with Calista and also envious of her ANTTDM title. 

Briana Joy apologized for assuming Calista's attitude toward her was going to change, for being so mean to her, and for allowing the other girls to influence her thinking.  She also admitted that she had been miserable without her friendship.  Hers was the only true friendship she had ever known. 

Calista readily accepted her friend's apology.


After the meeting the two girls vowed to resume their friendship and not allow anything to ever come between them again. 

~*~*~*~*~


Mr. Ernesto Gutierrez, much more than a handsome male specimen, is happy he was instrumental in helping the girls resolve their differences.  He encouraged them to talk to one another first if they had problems in the future or ask an adult to help. 

Ernesto realizes how important it is for children to have someone in authority they can trust and in whom they can confide.  He wishes more educators, parents, and adults, in general, would remain alert to problems children face and intervene swiftly to help prevent minor crises from escalating into major ones.

*Ernesto and I realize the Ken Fashionistas sweater and pants are a little snug.  We also wanted readers to know the pants do not close completely in the back, but the hem of the sweater covers that flaw.  The shoes do fit well.
dbg

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