Zen and the Art of Teddy Bears

I wish I could say I remember when I got the bear, that it was a gift from an important relative. But, I don't remember. I have no recollection of receiving him: no memory of unwrapping him from a box or pulling him from a gift bag and saying, "Oh my gosh! I wanted this bear so much." It could have been a Christmas gift, or something I got on my birthday. He might have come directly from a plastic store bag, given to me at some random moment rather than on a special occasion, or could have been a toy I earned for being a good girl one day in Wal-Mart.

Maybe the reason I don't remember the moment I received Snuggles is because it just seems like he has always been there. Without shame, I will admit that I slept with that little guy until a man started sharing my bed on a regular basis. These days, he lives in my closet, in a tote bag with some lesser-revered stuffed animals. He's actually in pretty good shape: still has two eyes and a little nose firmly attached. His hot pink tongue hasn't faded. There is a little hole in his left leg, and the stuffing in that limb is no longer as plentiful. Still, for twenty-eight-ish years, the bear is in pretty good shape.

Over the years I have given up many items of sentiment. I threw out the shoebox full of snail mail from my camp friend Amy, lost the necklace my mom and dad gave to me when I turned 18. I put tons of photos from my high school years into the trash before I left for college. The cd containing an ochestral piece of music my exboyfriend wrote for me? It's long gone. A toy chest my grandfather bought for me went for $5.00 in a yard sale. All my Baby-Sitter's Club books went to charity along with the barbies and other playthings from my childhood.

It felt good, in fact, to purge myself of a lot of that at the time, though I wish I had kept the photos and the cd.

I know that ultimately, it's just stuff.

But, be that as it may, I will never get rid of that bear.

What are your prized childhood posessions? Is there something specific you can't bring yourself to toss out? Is there anything you wish you'd kept, but didn't?


Travener said…
I'm a hell of a lot older than you, and I still have my stuffed lion (much more worse for wear than your bear) in a box somewhere, along with a felt pillow cover in the shape of a sheriff's badge that my mom made for me.
Jm Diaz said…
I don't have any items that cannot part with. None, and than in itself seems a little sad. You protect Mr. Snuggles...
I have a stuffed lamb that is still kicking around somewhere. Same sentimental value, and I gave it to my sister when I went off to college. When she died, I took it back.

I also have a Cubs jacket that I'll never fit back into, but I loved it so I'm keeping it.
saucyminx410 said…
Its so funny that you had a stuffed Snuggle Bear that you loved - when I was a little, little girl that was a family owned drug store that had a big plush snuggle bear for sale there- they must have been asking a majillion dollars too much for a stuffed animal because no matter how much I loved it and longed my mom would never buy it for me. Apparantly no other parent would buy it either because it sat on the shelf for as long as I can remember and I used to visit with him every time we went to the drug store.

For me the one toy I will never get rid of is the "real life" baby doll my grandma got me for my 5th bday- she died shortly after that and its the one piece of her I have left- she's in a bin in the basement but she's still loved!
saucyminx410 said…
Oh and I meant the baby is in the bin- not grandma! Lol!
Carol said…
I'm still holding onto my big baby dolls, 2 Crissy dolls and the little mini barbies.
Maybe someday when I have a grand-daughter I will finally give them away.
Or there is always Ebay! (Help pay for that retirement home)
Shandal said…
My cabbage patch dolls! I'm so glad that I saved them, now my daughter can have them!
Jayme said…
i have this real special fake, press on nail that fell off my grammys nail when she was cookin my lunch this one day when i was like four and i've kept it forever. there's a real nice little paintin of a flower with a jewel and it reminds me of her, cigarette smell and bourbon stained. man i miss that little philly.
carissajaded said…
I also have a bear that I can't give up. I don't keep it on my bed, but it has traveled with me to every house I've lived in post high school!
Tina Lynn said…
I have a bear also. It still plays music:)
I still have that scarf thingy that Catholic priests wear, I got it from Father John- he took my anal cherry :)

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