December 5, 2012 6:21 PM   Subscribe

When everything was unknown, they were there. / When anything could happen, they were there. MuchLoved is Mark Nixon's series of photographs of well-worn transitional objects.
posted by Egg Shen (19 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I think a quote from The Velveteen Rabbit is appropriate:

"What is REAL?" asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. "Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?"

"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real."

"Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit.

"Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. "When you are Real you don't mind being hurt."

"Does it happen all at once, like being wound up," he asked, "or bit by bit?"

"It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."

"I suppose you are real?" said the Rabbit. And then he wished he had not said it, for he thought the Skin Horse might be sensitive. But the Skin Horse only smiled.

"The Boy's Uncle made me Real," he said. "That was a great many years ago; but once you are Real you can't become unreal again. It lasts for always."

posted by 1367 at 6:40 PM on December 5, 2012 [15 favorites]

posted by DU at 6:46 PM on December 5, 2012 [1 favorite]

Awwww. Mine would fit right in here. Theodore (bear, hell yes I named him); Bubba (raccoon). My grown-up transitional object is a manatee named Miss Wyoming.
posted by clavicle at 6:53 PM on December 5, 2012

My stuffed cat is definitely on the more well-worn end of the spectrum. People look at him now and say "what animal is that supposed to be?"

And also yes I am an adult and I still have my stuffed cat, he's the BEST.
posted by capricorn at 7:07 PM on December 5, 2012

Gerry the giraffe is mangled and scary and looks like a severed limb with a stomach and intestines dangling off it.
posted by Beardman at 7:10 PM on December 5, 2012 [2 favorites]

Also oh my god Suzanne Kearney's Teddy is going to haunt my dreams.
posted by capricorn at 7:11 PM on December 5, 2012 [1 favorite]

I still have the Snoopy I got when I was two. He was almost as big as me; but floppy and rag-dolly. When first got him I would always carry him around by the black pompom nose, but then it fell off a year later, so my parents have all these pictures of me with this noseless Snoopy. I kept him anyway - and then somehow found the pompom in my mother's sewing table when I was about twelve, and handsewed it back on - and secretly, even though I wouldn't have confessed it, I felt very, very glad I could do that.

He is still here. He and I watch A Charlie Brown Christmas on TV together every single year. (This year another MeFite met him.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:03 PM on December 5, 2012 [1 favorite]

My original teddy was lost in a house fire we had when I was 11. I can still picture him - a larger, maybe 2-foot-tall, brown bear with curly fur and a plastic nose that separated from the fur intriguingly while remaining attached. Brown plastic eyes with a hazel color and such depth to them. More than that, though I can remember his comforting cloth-y smell. Thanks teddy.
posted by Miko at 8:20 PM on December 5, 2012

I have a very-beat-up Cuddly Dudley that happened to become available when I was born... now I need to see what I can do (repair the holes, mainly) so that my nearly 2 year-old daughter can get to know him.
posted by 1367 at 9:33 PM on December 5, 2012

Now I want to get my teddy out of storage.
posted by caryatid at 9:36 PM on December 5, 2012

I assume it just means a toy horse covered in leather, but the name "Skin Horse" has always freaked me out.
posted by gingerest at 10:07 PM on December 5, 2012

I'm freaked out by that horror show giraffe and the terrible green sweater bear. How could you give something so totally evil to an innocent child?
posted by BlueHorse at 11:13 PM on December 5, 2012

I'm happy to say I still have my best friend Teddy. The old boy is going on 53 years old now.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:24 AM on December 6, 2012

Mr. Ted is just about thirty.
posted by 256 at 5:59 AM on December 6, 2012

My 3yo daughter found a battered and tattered little blue bunny at my Sister's house when she was just about a year old. It was my nephew's "transitional object" and now it's hers. It goes everywhere with her, and she plays with "Cutie Pie" (or Blue Bunny or Baby Bunny or sometimes just Bunny) constantly, inventing all sorts of games and adventures for the two of them.

We don't have cable, she gets all of her TV commercial-free through the Roku, so when you ask her what she wants for christmas, she'll tell you what she wants, not what the cartoon commercials tells her she wants. So, we asked her, and she told us. Straight up, no hesitation:

A Batman costume for Bunny.


Bunny likes Batman.

A Batman costume?

Yes. Very little.

And this is the only thing she wants for Christmas. We keep trying to change her mind on the sly with psychological tricks:

Would you like Santa to bring you a tea-set?

A tea-set? Oh my gosh! I want a tea-set!

Well, maybe if you're a very good girl...

And a Batman costume for Bunny.

But wouldn't you like...

Bunny likes Batman.

So now we need to find a Batman costume that fits a small stuffed animal. Now you may think that this is comedy. No. This is comedy:

We found one.

(According to the reviews, the costume comes off, and it looks to be about Bunny's size.)
posted by Slap*Happy at 6:00 AM on December 6, 2012 [4 favorites]

So now we need to find a Batman costume that fits a small stuffed animal.

My friend's daughter latched onto a Piglet handpuppet as a small baby. As she grew, she always kept it close, and named it "Baby," and it went everywhere with her. When she was five, her parents asked what she wanted from Santa, and she said she wanted Santa to bring legs for Baby.

My friend is one of the least crafty people you'll ever meet. She can't sew a button. But she found a friend who could so and had her make a pair of legs for the Piglet puppet. They had to sneak Baby away long enough for the friend to make measurements. On Christmas morning, there was Baby with legs - what a mindblowing gift! Her daughter was truly amazed.
posted by Miko at 7:16 AM on December 6, 2012 [3 favorites]

Hmm, I should share the story of my stuffed cat here. You see, even when I was just a tiny capricorn, I LOVED CATS. I loved cats so much that as an infant I could not enjoy my family's beach vacation because my neighbors' cats were not there with me, and kept disconsolately asking my parents when I could see them. My parents bought me 'Caramel' (named after one of said cats) so that I could bring a cat with me EVERYWHERE.

However it was then determined that there was too much of a risk of losing Caramel if I brought him on all errands, so a special animal was given to me for the purposes of errand running: the Philly Phanatic, which I thought was a dog and named 'Car Puppy', since he went in the car with me. I also had a special lineup of Caramel + 6 other stuffed animals which had to be placed in the correct order on my pillow every night before I went to sleep, and I brought a different Beanie Baby to school every day in 1st grade and introduced it to my school's receptionist. Apparently years later she was still reminiscing about this to my parents.

Caramel's birthday was celebrated at some point in the late summer of each year, and his age (in cat years) was determined to be whatever my dad's age was that year. His favorite type of cake I somehow intuited was chocolate cake, and we always baked him one. The funny part of the story is that I myself did not like chocolate cake, but I would eat it anyway for Caramel's sake.

My brothers (younger than me) also have stuffed cats named Caramel because they decided that it was only fair, since I had one.

I still sleep with my head on Caramel because he provides a convenient buffer between my head and the pillow, so I can breathe more freely. I am almost 22.
posted by capricorn at 9:00 AM on December 6, 2012 [1 favorite]

I still sleep with my head on Caramel because he provides a convenient buffer between my head and the pillow monsters that may or may not be under the bed, in the closet or around the corner in the hallway, so I can breathe more freely.

Let's be honest, here. We're adults.

(I'm more offensively minded, and have a nice LED Mini-Maglight on my bedside table to blast 'em if they're feeling froggy.)
posted by Slap*Happy at 10:45 AM on December 6, 2012 [1 favorite]

The monsters are very real and that's what I have a real live fluffy cat for. She eats them, eight legs and all.
posted by capricorn at 8:27 PM on December 6, 2012 [1 favorite]

« Older End of the world   |   O modernista Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments