*ducks for cover from snowbirds who disagree with the cheering*
I had to cover the plants last night, and while I don’t know how cold it got here, the last time I looked it was 30F and getting colder.Woot! Yeah, yeah, I need to live elsewhere, lol. That is the plan, but until I can do that, I’ll celebrate the day or two of winter I get here. ;)
It’ll be a day of pixeling here, one of my favorite hobbies. I’ve got quite a few adorable bear graphics I want to use, and as I think about the fact that I really do love pixeled bears, I can’t help but think about another bear I love…Boyd’s.
This little story always makes me chuckle when I remember it. Back in grad school, fairly early in my program and before I’d been made miserable by it, I dated one of the guys in the program. He wasn’t my usual type, which is probably what initially attracted me. He was very serious and practical and committed to being an academic (which, I found out, can turn a person into a total bore…but that’s a story for another time). In other words, no room in his life for anything lighthearted, whimsical, or silly.
I’m very often lighthearted, whimsical, and silly.
When he and I went to visit his mother, she introduced me to her collection of Boyd’s Bears. It was a very big collection, too. I’d never heard of them before, but I couldn’t help thinking they were just the cutest little things I’d ever seen. Plush bears and stoneware bears, all in the cutest little country outfits and poses. Just cute, and existing for no other reason than to make people smile. I always figured that his mom picked up on my whimsical side, and knew I’d appreciate her bears.
Oh, these “cute” things were not to be borne, according the boyfriend. As we drove home, I remarked that I’d have to go looking for Boyd’s near my house, and if I got one, I’d have to let his mom know. He told me, very seriously, “Don’t encourage her!”
Uh huh. Don’t “encourage” his mom in her enjoyment of the bears. You’d think I had offered a drink to an alcoholic. Of course, I immediately found and bought some Boyd’s, and shared it with his mom the next time I saw her. She was thrilled! He rolled his eyes and acted the part of the pained intellectual lamenting the mental failings of the lower masses. All this was the first nail in the coffin of our relationship, and the final one was when he claimed love didn’t exist. But I digress…
As I went through grad school and tried to turn myself into the “serious academic” you’re supposed to be in such programs, I one day packed away the Boyd’s and anything else I had that didn’t fit the image I thought I was supposed to convey. I considered getting rid of them, since I kept telling myself it was silly to have stuffed bears as an adult, especially an “educated” adult, and I wasn’t one of those women to have dolls and the like.
I never got rid of them. No matter how difficult things got, I hung on to the bears and other things I’d kept over the years that made me smile when I looked at them. This past year as I mourned my mom and was forced to take stock of my life & where I’ve been & where I’m going & who I want to be (amazing how losing a parent does that, but I guess it’s part of the process), I realized that I am who I am and I’m darn well done with apologizing for it. I have my serious/intellectual side—fine. But I also have a side that loves cute fuzzy bears and a host of other silly and fun things for no other reason than that I like them. The heck with anyone who thinks it’s ridiculous.
I really, really hope that the ex-boyfriend (who is now married with a child and a full-time academic) has been able to find his own silly side. What a shame to go through life without one.
Life is too short to keep my bears packed away. So in honor of this post…I went and pulled out all the Boyd’s. Here is my little collection:
I know of two that are missing, and probably at least two more of the little bearstone figurines. Hopefully I’ll find them all soon and they can rejoin their little family. ;)
Pulling out the Boyd’s, I got to chuckling because apparently I really do like little cute stuffed bears, because I’ve accumulated a few non-Boyd’s as well!
Yes, that is even a Care Bear in the back row. I never had Care Bears when I was a kid, but always wanted one, and I found this one at a thrift store a couple of months ago…for $1, I could not pass him up. ;)
I’m not sure where I’m going to put the Boyd’s just yet, but I’ll find a place for them (maybe sprinkle them among my books on my bookcases). And I think I’ll make a few “bear love” pixel sigtags today. ;)