I have a secret. And it's time to tell it to all of you out in the blogosphere....
My name is Jen. I'm 30 years old...and I still sleep with my baby blanket, AND my old Cabbage Patch doll (her name is Lizzie Marlene). Of course, most of my friends know this about me already, but I felt that eventually, an entry about these keepsakes would be appropriate. And I KNOW there are plenty of you out there in the same boat as I am when it comes to the childhood objects we sleep with that have accidentally carried into our adult lives. But there may be some of you thinking, "Wow. She's 30? She should let that crap go already. I got rid of my blanket when I was 7." Well, you people are heartless robots. Get over it. And don't think that I can't see you on the other side on your computer, clutching your old balding Teddy Ruxpin on your lap whilst you judge me. Hypocrites.
When I was younger, there was no way I could sleep without either of these items, ESPECIALLY Blanket. I took them on every trip my family ever went on, they went to college with me, and they made the big move to Boston (and back). And my future husband better make room for it on our honeymoon, because it's coming with us to Bora Bora. But, in 2001, their traveling days were greatly restricted. When I still lived back east, they traveled with me (as always) to a friend's wedding out in LA. After the wedding weekend, I packed up and went back to my parents' house for my last night in town. It wasn't until later that night that I realized I'd (*gasp*) LEFT THEM BOTH AT THE HOTEL. You'd have thought I left my child behind. I suddenly felt nauseous, and I was actually starting to panic. What if the hotel had thrown them away? The thought of it was too horrible to imagine. My train was leaving the next evening, and I HAD to find them before then. I called everyone that was staying in our room, leaving messages all over the place. I called the hotel...numerous times. None of my friends or the hotel staff had any sign of them. With a heavy heart, the unthinkable happened. I left LA without Blanket and Lizzie. With every mile of train track, I was farther away from my most important childhood items. The next morning, in the middle of nowhere in New Mexico, my phone rang (I was shocked that I had any reception on my phone in the first place). It was Ro. She was the only person I wasn't able to get a hold of, but she had BOTH Blanket and Lizzie. She said she saw them after I left the hotel, and knew she'd better take them with her. I think I started to cry. She was shipping them to Boston, and they were waiting for me at my apartment when my train arrived a couple days later. In my mind, this automatically secured a place for Ro in the Friend Hall of Fame. Now, if I travel anywhere, only one of them goes with me, or neither of them go. I can't have this happen twice. I think it would actually kill me.
And if you're still not convinced of my unhealthy attachment to these items, check this out. We've all been asked the hypothetical question, "If your house was on fire, what items would you take with you?" I can tell you with confidence that my TRUE answer to this question would be "Blanket and Lizzie." How do I know this? Because the last place I lived in was ACTUALLY ON FIRE. I came home to discover a hot door handle and black smoke coming out the windows. One of many things to fly through my head in those first harried minutes was a worry that Blanket and Lizzie might be burned or ruined. I didn't think about clothes, my computer, or even pictures (which is the answer everyone gives to the whole "house on fire" question... including me). But it turns out my knee-jerk reaction is to want to grab those tattered old relics. Thankfully, they were only slightly smoke damaged, but survived the ordeal. They were so brave. :)
You may be asking, so what's all the fuss about? Well, here they are, in all their grandeur. Drumroll, please....TA DA!
Notice that my blanket is virtually transparent, and now resembles Swiss cheese. It used to be thick enough to wrap around me and keep me warm while I watched The Smurfs on Saturday mornings. It's slowly disintegrating. Here's Lizzie close-up:
Lizzie's head is BARELY hanging on. What began as a tiny hole in her neck has grown to run around her entire head, with the exception of 2 tiny strips of fabric that connect to her body near her ears. You can actually see through her neck. It looked like a tracheotomy at first, but now she looks like a crime scene. She is also not supposed to be black. I assure you when I was 5 and first got her, she was as ginger as they come..but that dirt is now permanent. And only God knows what happened to her cute little red gingham dress and giraffe bib, because those babies are LONG gone.
Good God, I think I may have shared too much with you. You now know the sick levels my mind goes to (as if you didn't already). I'm sure both Gandhi and Mother Teresa are looking down on me, shaking their heads in disappointment at such an attachment to material things.
Oh well. To quote Popeye, "I yam what I yam."