When FatJ and I were first dating, I lovingly gifted him a stuffed bear on our first Valentine’s Day together. I don’t know why I thought he’d want a stuffed bear at the age of 20, but when you’re young and in love you do odd things. Poor FatJ was not able to live down the fact that he received a teddy bear from his girlfriend. His evil college roommates gave him plenty of crap in regards to the bear (who I named Charlie); and then they began a round of bear torture.

First, Charlie was crucified**:

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Then, he was microwaved. And was forced into a ‘nappy’ with M.Ode:

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I know Charlie succumbed to many other unfortunate happenings, but no photographic evidence remains of his ordeals at the hands of the Virgil Michael boys.

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Charlie recovered from all of this molestation, and eventually I took him with me and moved him around in boxes to our various homes. In 2007 with the addition of Ryan, Charlie was lucky enough to finally leave his cardboard box in storage and join some other furry pals in Ryan’s bedroom. Charlie sat happily on the shelf for months and months and months while Ryan read books and played with toys and chewed on other stuffed animals. And then one day Ryan decided he needed EVERY teddy bear piled into his crib. And then Ryan wanted to know what each bear was called. And NOW, Charlie Bear has become the apple of Ryan’s eye. When we are gone somewhere he asks about Charlie Bear. Today he squealed for joy when he found Charlie Bear lying on the floor in the corner of the bathroom. And at this very moment, Ryan and Charlie Bear are napping together.

Yes, it’s a heartwarming story that surely could make the 10:00 news this Valentine’s Day.

Here’s Charlie Bear now…

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(okay, and he still gets tortured every now and then) CHARLIE BEAR DANGLES DANGEROUSLY OVER THE CRIB EDGE
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But for the most part, he is surrounded by a circle of love. Happy Valentine’s Weekend, everyone!!

**being the Catholic university that it was, many on-campus apartments came pre-furnished with crosses. As you can tell by the other decor on the walls, FatJ&Roomies did not hang that cross themselves in honor of their spirituality and puritan morals.

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