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Monday, November 9, 2009

Barbie from Madeline


I’m positive this day will go down in history. I carve paper rulers and airplanes and pass them out to my friends to hang on a life-size poster of a buff naked bloke, which is taped to the refrigerator in my boss’ apartment. I plan the event for weeks. I shop for days. And I cut paper wieners for hours.

The wieners are pink and purple and have silly, suggestive poems on them. According to the directions on the box, I’m supposed to write a guest’s name on each one. I think about the personalities that best fit the poems and neatly inscribe a friend’s name on every piece of paper. I place the ridiculous cut-out sausages on the glass coffee table in my boss’ home, thirty stories in the sky. His condo scans the city’s bright lights and black water, and the fog rolls in at eye level.

I prepare for the game “Pin the Macho on the Man,” a grown-up rendition of the childhood birthday-party favorite. On the coffee table, resting on every macho is a pink goodie bag stuffed with candy, with a doily ribbon fastened around the top.

“Girls are so much better than boys,” Ydette notes as we curl the ribbon for an entire hour before the party starts.

“Yeah,” I reply lackadaisically. Stars dance in front of my face, and I feel like a cartoon character that has just been hit in the head with a brick. I imagine chirping birds circling my skull. The curling is getting to me, and I can’t see straight. “Boys suck.”

“Boys would never make party favors for a bachelor party. They’d just hire a stripper and call it good. And the guests wouldn’t even care that they didn’t get party favors. Because there’d be a stripper.”

“Totally.”

“Pass me a tattoo?" We have twelve temporary tattoos sprawled across the table. They’re doused in glitter and say things like "Girls Night Out" and "Final Fling Before the Ring" and "Sexy Mama." We shove them into the pink bags along with the candy – Sweet Tarts with risqué phrases printed on both sides. Ydette and I chuckle as we read them aloud. We give the funniest ones to the bride.

I’m proud of the party favors and games I have planned for the group. But nothing tops the cake.

Rachel, my boss’ girlfriend – who is a guest at the bachelorette party but is letting us host the shindig in her breathtaking, sky-scraping home – prances through the door holding a box the size of her little body. It’s from Madeline Bakery, a fancy-schmancy place for morning coffee and pastries and, apparently, bachelorette cakes. She’d lugged the rasberry-and-vanilla torte all the way home from the bake shop without smudging it against the sides of the thin white box.

Rachel sets the box onto the counter and leans over carefully to produce the most amazing thing I’d ever seen. “I told them to make it cute,” she says, shrugging. “And this is what they did.”

There are no words to describe it, so Ydette and I draw our cameras from our back pockets and start snapping photos like the paparazzi. It’s Barbie. The edible part is made of her dress – a spongy, champagne-flavored cake draped with pink, white, and black frosting – and her ravishing, anorexic body is plastic and rises confidently above the cake part. Her wild hair is even thrown up in a ‘do like the bride's.

Until we have to cut her open and eat her, she's perfect.


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