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Sleeps With Stuffed Animals

I sleep with a stuffed animal.

Every night.

There. I said it. And I am not ashamed. Although you probably think less of me now.

Old Barfey in the foreground

Growing up, I always slept with stuffed animals. As I grew up, I consistently slept with Old Barfey every night. (For more on Barfey, click here.) Old Barfey was the right size to wrap my arms around and his ground nutshells provided the perfect amount of weight to prevent him from bouncing out of bed in the night. I loved his aged nappy fur. Touching it gave me a sense of security.

As I got older, I feared I would lose Barfey’s nose one night in a freak boating accident. (I kill me.) So, I admit, I took other stuffed animals into my bed. (Is that considered sleeping around? Does that make me a plush slut?) It was hard to find one that was the right size and softness. A stuffy whose quality was good enough that fur wouldn’t fall out instantly. I found that generic animals usually won out over licensed characters. And cuteness in the daytime did not always equal comfort in the night.

I moved out and got my own apartment. Did I still need a stuffed animal to sleep with? Hells ya! It was lonely and creepy in my apartment all alone at night.

Then my boyfriend (now-husband) moved in. It wasn’t so lonely then. But he didn’t find the both of us sleeping in my twin bed comfortable, so for several years we would take turns, one sleeping on the couch and one sleeping in the twin bed. No boyfriend to cuddle = I still needed a stuffed animal.

We bought a Queen size bed. (My boyfriend said we should have gotten a King. There is no way that would have fit in my apartment. We could barely walk around the Queen size.) Guess what? It turns out my boyfriend was not a cuddler. And I usually went to bed before him anyway. So, I still had a stuffed animal.

I tried on and off for a period of time to go to sleep without a stuffed animal. I could. But it took a lot longer to fall asleep and I didn’t sleep as well. I tend to have panic attacks as I am trying to fall asleep. A lack of stuffed animal seemed to make them markedly worse.

Dave sleeping with a borrowed friend

We moved into our house in 2004 and got a dog. Finally, I thought, I can snuggle with my canine. Dave is furry and orange and beautiful. But my husband instituted a “no dog on the bed” rule. Which stayed in place about 15 months, until my husband got a dog of his own. Two dogs, guess which one sleeps on the bed most nights–my husband’s dog, Parker. He is all legs and he snores. Although I must say, he comes in handy come wintertime. Parker is a short-hair Pointer, so he shares his heat better than Dave, who is a fluffy Lab-Chow mix. She keeps her heat to herself.

Parker Pointer

But even with a snoring Pointer next to me, I find that I still sleep better with a stuffed animal in my arms. My current favorites are larger than I would have chosen as a kid. There are two Build-A-Bears, a Stitch, A Ty Panda Bear (Beckett, created exclusively for Borders), and Max, from the Grinch Who Stole Christmas. My asbestos friend bought me Max while I was in the hospital having my son. I had told her I needed a stuffy to sleep with while I was there. He didn’t help that much. I really didn’t get much sleep while in the hospital anyway.

Current Selection: Adult-Sized

So, there. I have admitted that I am a grown woman who sleeps with stuffed animals. What is there to be ashamed of? So I find comfort in a pile of fur and plastic pellets? A bundle of plush and polyester fiberfill? Isn’t that better than resorting to sleeping pills or alcohol? Isn’t it better than being the crazy cat lady and having a house that smells like ammonia?

Everyone, find a stuffed animal that meets your particular needs and snuggle up with it tonight and see if you don’t sleep better. Plus, you could have fun going to Build-A-Bear! But make sure you take a small child with you, for cover:)

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The Werecart

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A golf cart Halloween decorating contest. Sounds crazy, right? What if it wasn’t even held in October.

…and that is how the Werecart was born.

The Werecart

My Mother-in-Law has camped for years at a nearby campground. My husband and I would go out occasionally throughout the summer to spend time with her and just relax. She has a camper that she leaves parked there year round. Almost everyone there has a golf cart to speed around the dusty campground on. Riding on the golf cart and watching a campfire are the big entertainment there. And that is what makes it relaxing.

The campground closes in mid-October every year. Fear not, the children still get to celebrate Halloween. They usually hold a Halloween celebration during the summer. (Note: You can’t necessarily just use your costume from last year. A Halloween costume for October in Michigan needs to be warm. In the summer, it does not.) One year the campground announced a golf cart costume contest. It sounded completely insane. And that is how I knew I had to enter.

I pitched my idea to my MIL. She was open to anything I wanted to do. My husband and I made a quick weekday trip to the campground, so that I could take measurements. The campground is very deserted during the week. To measure the angle of the front of the golf cart (very critical to my design), I just folded a piece of paper. I am sure my Geometry and Trigonometry teacher would be very disappointed in me. I only had a week to complete my crazy project. I had to go the next day to JoAnn Etc. and buy a lot of fur. Fur ain’t cheap. Then I laid on my dining room floor for a week, trying to measure my limited amount of fur correctly. The fur was flying. I believe there were a certain amount of frustrated tears. By Saturday, there was more black fur on my floor from my project than from my two actual dogs.

Notice the blood on the fangs!

My husband and I drove out to the campground. It was a rainy, dreary day. I worried whether the pieces would fit properly. I also worried whether the weather would damage the fur. You never want a werewolf to be mistaken for a drowned rat.

It turned out everything fit fine and it was as cute as Hell. It even proved very durable when we test drove it around the campground’s gravel road and over potholes. But due to the rain, the Halloween festivities were delayed till the following weekend. This was a potentially devastating development for us, as now our competition had seen what we were bringing to the table.

My asbestos friend's daughter isn't afraid

Neither is my nephew

The next weekend we saddled up the Werecart again. Strange circumstance number one was that the judging for the golf cart contest was taking place after dark. It is hard to see details, or anything, that way. I had brought a tape player so that the Werecart could even growl while being judged. The winner would get a cash prize. I planned to split it with my MIL, and use my half to recoup materials costs and to buy a weather radio (which I desperately wanted). Strange circumstance number two: I believe the cart that won was just a big box over the top of it, with some windows cut out that had flashing lights and smoke coming out of them. But I have to admit, I don’t really remember who won. I was too busy being mad that we did not. My MIL felt robbed as well. We believe that the judges gave preferential treatment to their friends. We got a $10 prize for honorable mention, I think. I let MIL keep it for bingo money the next day.

The next year there was another cart costume contest. The Werecart emerged from his den to stalk the day. But, when it came time for the contest, he was gone. He doesn’t put himself up for rejection twice. The Werecart knows it rocks. ‘Nuf said.

The End.

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