Have you heard of Smartees? These worthy creatures are role models for today’s career-minded girls, much like Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen. They also provide endless snickering amusement for men in early middle age, should you fall into that category.

I don’t think I would have wanted a Smartee. The pain of getting a Sindy doll instead of a sexy Barbie for Christmas 1979* is still fresh. Sindy had doughy features and probably a pear-shaped English ass, if I remember correctly. Barbie was pert and glamorously American. Plus, Sindy’s dresses were made out of the same material as our living room curtains, a fact which struck me as suspicious even at the time.
However, judging by the earnest Smartees Q&A, the recipients of these dolls are not such ungrateful wretches. These nine year olds are also far more serious about their careers than I am. Except this one:

    Dear Ashley,

    Are all the Smartees girls?
    Are their ever going to be guys? And will you make another Smartee?
    The smartest people in my school are guys.


    Dear Katie,

    All of us wanted to write you back because we thought your question was very important! Anyone can be smart, Katie, so don’t worry too much about who is “smartest” at your school.
    Whether it’s girls or guys, what’s really important is that YOU dream, study hard and go to college. Then you can become ANYTHING you want to be!
    Take it from us – nothing can stop you if you work as hard as you can!
    You can do it. We believe in you!!

    Friends Forever,
    Ashley, Destiny, Vicky and Emily

*Perhaps I should rename this journal Christmas presents I didn’t get.

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