Today’s Teddy Bear Day is not a Nationally recognized holiday but one completely worthy of celebrating.
I love my teddy bear. His name is Roger. I got him as a birthday present from a school friend (Kristie Kohn) and named him after my first major crush (Holly Crawford’s dad). Whew. That Roger Crawford was a good-lookin’ man. I must end this fantasy train of thought immediately or I will never talk about Roger the Bear. Roger Crawford, however, is completely worthy of his own holiday. Maybe next time there’s nothing on the holiday schedule I’ll talk about him. 🙂
Roger (the bear) and I formed an immediate bond. I took him everywhere. Not only was he a constant companion throughout my primary school years, he also traveled with me to Ohio University. I’m sure he saw more than he wanted to throughout my five years of college, but if it bothered him, he wasn’t sayin’.
When I completed my degree I moved back to the Central Ohio area. My sister had an apartment in Grove City so I moved in with her. It was a strange transition time. I was looking for a job, dating a boy in Cincinnati who I traveled to visit every weekend, and doing a whole lot of cross-stitching. Roger was always somewhere close by.
My sister wasn’t a fan of Roger the Bear. She thought that a 23-year-old woman had some severe mental issues if she was spending so much time with an inanimate object. I was offended. Roger was real to me. After all, I always cried when I stuck him in the washing machine thinking he was going to get sick from all the spinning around, and if I ever had to put him in a plastic bag I always made a couple of holes for him to breathe through.
Okay, maybe I had a slightly unhealthy relationship with my stuffed animal. It was, however, never an inappropriate relationship even if there were some questionable boundary issues.
Anyway, one particular evening, my sister came home from work to find me snuggled up on the couch with Roger. I was cross-stitching a gigantic project for my mom and had stuff strewn all over the place. I think her anal retentiveness radar started screaming (she is a major neat-freak, I am not) and since she didn’t want to complain solely about the mess I had made, she started fussing about Roger. She said something revolving around the phrase “I can’t believe that you still have that stupid stuffed animal.” I picked up Roger and said something to the effect of “Did you hear that, Roger? Cassi thinks you’re stupid.” This really set her off. She then started picking on me for talking to a stuffed bear. That’s when I cupped my hand around Roger’s little teddy bear ear, looked directly at my sister, and started whispering to him. My sister’s eyes grew wide with the thought that I was sharing secrets with my bear about her. I think if she would have had access to a firearm, she would have shot me. She stalked out of the room and didn’t talk to me for hours. I almost shouted out to her “See! You think he’s real, too, or that wouldn’t have upset you!” I didn’t though. And I’m still alive today!
I’m 41 now and I still have my Roger. I don’t sleep with or snuggle up on the couch with him anymore. He hangs out in my closet. He has a prime spot on the top shelf where I can see him everyday. His current job is to guard the box that contains the cremains of my cat, Bob.
Oh, my Bob Cat. His is a story for another time. I had a similar attachment to Bob as I did with Roger. But at least with Bob I chose an actual living and breathing thing to obsess about.
If you still have your stuffed animal from your childhood, go find him/her and give it a big old hug. If not, then go buy a teddy bear and donate it to your local Children’s Hospital. There are lots of sick kids out there who need a friend like my Roger. He brings such joy to my life.
More tomorrow. 🙂