Devin Dearing Preston: NYC writer, playwright, and storyteller

Teddy

September 17, 2010

Hello, my name is Devin, I’m a grown ass 27-year-old woman, and I still sleep with a stuffed animal. A bear. A very big bear. And, no, he’s not from my childhood. I acquired him in High School. (Yes, I’m blushing with embarrassment as I type this.) So, at 16 or 17, instead of inviting boys into my bed, I welcomed an oversized plush toy that would have been coveted by girls half my age.

If there was a support group for this, I wouldn’t go. That’s right. Because I don’t think that it is a problem. It’s not. Right? I don’t hug him round the neck while simultaneously  sucking my right thumb and compulsively rocking myself to sleep. Well, at least not every night. But seriously, weird as it sounds, and telling as it is about my resistance to grow up, I think it has aided in my 10 and half month stint of abstinence on my way to nundum (I just made that word up) (It means my inevitable life as a nun) 

Now, there is nothing naughty or unsavory about my relationship (if you can call it that) with my stuffed bear. For one thing, he doesn’t even have a name. But he happens to be a he.  He’s about 3 feet tall. Matted caramel fur. Sincere contented smile. Shiny eyes. Silent. Soft. Squishy. He’s everything a celibate girl could want in a bed partner.

Think of him as a giant body pillow. But with a little more personality. It helps me rationalize it. Who doesn’t have a body pillow? It might help you right now too, if you think I’m flying my freak flag a little too high at the moment. Its funny? And a little sad. But mostly funny. So I have a cuddle problem. Its better than a crack problem. Right? 

Here are some solid reasons why “Teddy” is the best bed partner I’ve found.

1. He’s always down to cuddle. Always. And I never have to have sex with him first.(Gross) Or watch a sporting event (Teddy doesn’t like sports). Or an action film (he hates those too)

2. He never complains when I squeeze too tightly. Or gets hot and sweaty and pulls away. He’ll let me hold him all night long if I want to.

3. I never have to worry about him climbing into bed with other lonely women. He’s an inanimate object, people. He’s not capable of leaving the apartment. Right?

4. I never have to worry about him growing tired of me and moving onto younger/hotter/better cuddlers. He’s loyal. We’ve been going strong for 12 years now. I’m expecting a ring any day.

5. Teddy is never critical of my physical appearance. Granny panties and a holey T-shirt? Sexy negligee? My party dress from the night before? Teddy never says a word.

6. Teddy never gets his feelings hurt when I don’t feel like cuddling. Or forget I have him as a form of comfort and support. Or neglect to meet his needs. Sometimes I don’t feel like it. “You’re taking me for granted” has never appeared on a passive aggressive pink post-it. But “Can’t wait till tonight!” hasn’t either.

7. Teddy doesn’t have a substance abuse problem. Or rage issues. Or both. He is dependable and kind. And is always exactly where I left him. Not drunk in a ditch somewhere. And mad at me about it.  

8. Teddy also doesn’t mind that I use him only to sleep with. (which is quite male of him.)We’ve never had a conversation that started…” You never take me out anymore, what, are you embarrassed of me?”  I mean, clearly, I never took him out in the first place. Our relationship has clear boundaries. Also, we don’t have conversations. That would be crazy. 

(In case you were wondering what the line between cocky and crazy is: Having a Teddy bear on your bed, cocky. Having a Teddy bear next to you in a booth at a New York restaurant, full-blown nuts.)

9. Teddy isn’t intimidated by my complex emotional life. He actually likes when I’m upset, because it means I’ll hold him longer and harder. He was there when my dad passed away. When I lost my best friend. And he was there when I thought I was in love. No judgement. Or advice. Just hugs. And soft fur to dry the countless tears. 

10. Being as it is, this is a relationship I am bound to grow out of. Eventually. Hopefully. Teddy understands. And when, we’ll say when not if, go with me on this, when it has run its course, I can put Teddy in the closet. And be comforted knowing he’s just behind the door if I ever need him.

Of course a real boyfriend would be better. But maybe not. Only accepting applications for future bed partners who posses at least 8 of the aforementioned qualities.  7 is non negotiable.

Categories: See Jane Give Up Dick

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