Cuddle Bear

Last evening my beloved Jan presented me with an adorable teddy bear. She said she’d thought to give it to me for Valentine’s Day but decided that I should have it immediately, just a day or two into the new year, now that freeze warnings are in effect for Sebring FL.

The teddy bear is really cute, nice to cuddle, “warm,” soft. It feels like “her,” certain parts of her, in a soft wool sweater.

scan of similar toy
borrowed from centralsquareflorist,

Jan told me that the cuddle toy is her substitute for the “real girl” she’s joked about getting me for when she goes off and leaves me for a time next time: visiting her family, going to Nova Scotia to maintain one of her other homes …

Lars and the Real Girl

Lars and the Real Girl

For two and a third years now Jan and I watched DVDs together. I show her my favorites: La Strada, The Seven Samurai … Last night on tap was Room with a View. Jan is now introduced to Fellini, Bergman, Kurosawa, Lang, Renoir … But a movie she keeps talking about as one of her favorites from the whole historical string is Lars and the Real Girl! I like it too, I like it a lot, but …

But never mind that: the one particular relevant point is that the protagonist has had an inflatable female shipped to him, he introduces “her” to his friends, family, church … She’s a piece of plastic!

I assure Jan that I want to cuddle her, not some plastic balloon. But actually, this teddy bear is really cute. And I’ll love it, even if it didn’t feel a little bit like a bosom in a sweater, because she gave it to me!

This morning I told her of the fate of my boyhood teddy bear. One day, sixth or seventh grade, my friend John was over. He saw my ancient teddy bear in its usual place in my room: worn bald, an eye missing … John said, contempt creeping near his voice, “What do you still have that for?” John proceeded to kick the stuffing out of my old love toy. John took the bear out my sister’s window onto the front roof and proceeded to kick it into the tree branches. John was bigger than I, so I had to think twice about “killing” him, and in fact, except to cry and scream, I began to half-approve of his destruction of my icon. At some point the kid being weaned knows he has to be weaned, move out, get a job, find a girl friend …

2012 02 19 Jan and I are still basking in the glow from Valentine’s Day. That evening’s dance was the best dance I’ve attended since the late 1950s, the Skylarks may be local, but they’re a great swing band: ten musicians, huge sound, excellent selection. Man, did we look fabulous, individually and together. Of course Jan dressed me, put me in a bright red jersey and hung a string of her Mardi Gras pearls around my neck. She wore great red pantaloons, an adorable top, green beaded necklace …

Paul & Jan, New Years 2012

New Years Eve, 2012

The other evening I pointed out that while we were very vital and healthy, active, limber, I could drop dead “tomorrow.” “If you die tomorrow,” she said, “I’ll remember you.”
“What if I die the day after tomorrow?” I asked.
“I’ll still remember you,” she said, sustaining the joke.

pk & Jan, Mardi Gras
pk & Jan, Elks Mardi Gras ’12


About pk

Seems to me that some modicum of honesty is requisite to intelligence. If we look in the mirror and see not kleptocrats but Christians, we’re still in the same old trouble.
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