Posted by: Chelsea Novak | January 2, 2005

28 and still not a grown-up

Like Mr. Sun, I also suffer from Annual Organization Disorder, though my takes a slightly different format. I’m already well organized and documented (Clie and special event notebooks at home, the blog – Notebooks and Lotus at work), but every couple of months I feel the need to purge. I don’t mean in the eating disorder sense, but in the “Oh-my-god-I-have-too-much-stuff-too-much-clutter-I-am-going-to-torch-my-house” sense. I walk through the house looking for things I can give to good will, throw away or re-organize.

It’s during these times of trimming that I am faced with some very upsetting and emotional decisions. I like to think that being an adult with a job, bills to pay and the prospect of an aging body I can let go of the emotional attachments that I clung to in my youth. Sometimes I’m really good at doing this. I’ve been able to part with most of my teenage obsessions (sorry Donnie, but you just had to go), but there is one group of things that I just can’t let go of.


My stuffed animals.

I’ve done a decent job of letting so of some throughout the years. A mouse that nested in the body of one while it was in storage in Kingston, made letting go of a few a really easy decision. What I am left with is the creme de la creme. 14 stuffed animals which are almost all Gunds.

Spartacus the 9-Volt Pig and Leo

Last night I was so sure that I would be able to pack the ones in good shape up and send them off to GoodWill and the others I would throw out. I then walked into the guest room and almost started to cry.


I can’t betray these wonderful stuffed buddies of mine who made sleeping possible so many nights, who made the sting of stupid boys and scraped knees hurt a little less. I have an unusually strong attachment to my animals. The two below got me through about 10 or 12 years of my life.

Vienna & Basil

I’m 28. I should be able to let go of these things. I have lots of live things to hug and to help make things sting a little less, but I just can’t let go of these toys. When I think about what I would grab if the house were on fire the list goes like this: M (though he should be able to handle himself, Zeus and Bundy (I’d say Dee, my double bass, but practically speaking the odds of getting a double bass out of a 3rd floor apartment in a fire…). I’m totally not kidding. I go nowhere without Bundy and it’s been this way since I could walk and go places. My parents bought Bundy for me just before I was born. Being the second child Mum wanted to be sure that all my toys weren’t hand-me-downs. He’s more than 28-years-old now, but I still sleep with him at my bedside (much to M’s chagrin, as a 28-year-wornout stuffed animal is admittedly not in the best ascetic shape possible).


He’s my stuffed animal and I think I just have to accept that there is a part of me that will always be a child and will need her stuffed animals.




  1. I made a half-hearted attempt to dig my parents out from under the detritus of my childhood while in Kingston over the hols and didn’t get far because of the same emotional attachments. I’m totally drowning in clutter (not just toys but paper, books, clothes, etc. etc.) because I remember exactly from whence or from whom all of it came and I feel like I’m therefore cutting away a small piece of my life in disposing of it. I keep waiting to outgrow this … so I’ll watch your own progress eagerly …


    (And happy new year!)

  2. I don’t have stuffed animals from my childhood, but I have one from my teenage years that has become very dear to me, and I have no intention of ever getting rid of him. Why should I? How does it matter less than scrapbooks or photographs of the past? Humans have memories and emotional attachments to the past and to symbols and personifications; I don’t see any reason to deny those elements unless they seriously impede our ability to deal with the present and with actual people.


  3. Let them go only if it would make you feel better to have them gone than to keep them. Just don’t leave them for me to give away, because I can’t do it either.

    Those little guys were of great comfort to you all through your childhood – more than for most kids – so don’t feel a moment of guilt, but treasure them for what they represent.

    We all hang on to meaningful stuff. Sort of like your dad and his generations of mobile phones. (sigh)


  4. Um. Did this post say “Animal Organization Disorder” at one point, or has TMJ affected my vision?

  5. I think it always said Annual, but Animal is much more clever.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: