(Or, The Reason Why Jess, at 22, Has a Teddy Bear in Her Apartment)
Once upon a time (in 1987), a man and a women who lived in a small town had a baby girl. They decorated her nursery with teddy bears. They loved that baby girl very much. The baby girl lived with the man and the woman for 18 years. And she loved them very much. But, it was time to leave. The small town didn’t have anything for her. Before she left, the woman took the girl to Build-a-Bear Workshop. The woman thought it was fitting, full-circle or something. The girl did the requisite kissing of the heart and jumping and making a wish, only slightly embarrassed because well, she was leaving for college in a few days. It was time to be an adult, she though. But the girl did it anyway.
The bear was the cuddliest one in the store, with a big belly that made it a little hard to clothe him. His shirt kept riding over the pooch of his stomach. Much like Cinderella’s friend, Gus.
The girl took the bear with her to college. And she didn’t just do it for the first quarter, or the first year. Gus went with her back to the dorm 3 years in a row. And when she moved into her first apartment, all alone, she wasn’t really alone because she had Gus. And although it might be silly for a 22 year old to have a teddy bear on her bookshelf, every time the girl looks at him, she feels comforted. Gus is a reminder of the love that the man and the woman have for her. His soft, cuddly body has served as a replacement for a hug from the woman many a night when nothing seems to be going right. He’s gotten the girl through heartbreaks, illness, loneliness. Gus has been cried on, smooshed, occasionally kicked under the bed for a day or two. (Because lets be honest, the girl is a little messy and sometimes things fall of the bed…). Every moment that the girl was in college and needed to be comforted, Gus was there.
On Sunday, the girl will graduate from college. But Gus isn’t going anywhere. He’ll still hang around for those moments that the girl needs him. In the girl’s eyes, Gus isn’t just a childish toy. He’s a treasured gift from a special woman. Gus is a reminder that the girl will always be loved.
Gus gets to graduate too. The girl is not sure what his degree was in exactly. As far as she knows, he’s just hung around the dorm/apartment for the past four years. This is what happens when the girl makes a joke at the mall. It goes too far. The girl wishes that her pointing out of iPads got the same result.