Late last night, in a fit of general insomnia, I had a groggy little dialogue with my Inner Child.
I'd been snuggling the t-shirt my fiance (whom we'll call "Rabbit" for the purposes of this story) had given me. It smells like him; this is nice, since we have to spend a few months apart for logistical reasons.
I'd also been curled up next to one of several hand-made quilts that had been given me by one or another aunt in my early toddlerhood.
The dialogue, as follows:
Me: Y'know, this shirt has a similar smell to the quilts.
IC: Duh. Rabbit is your new Blanky.
Me: Uhmn. What?
IC: Think about it! For starters, he's warm and cozy and smells nice and clean. He lets you hug him all the time, but not anybody else.
Me: That's true, but he's not the only person I hug. C'mon, kiddo, gimme' more to work with, here.
IC: Okay... well, he lets you drag him all over the place. He follows you around the mall, he follows you hiking, he even let you drag him into your history and physics lectures a couple weeks ago. He didn't complain. He's a Blanky! When you were my age, you carried your security blanket everywhere. Stores. Outdoors. Grandma's house. Kindergarten. You would have snuck it along to church if Mum let you.
Me: That's also true... man, I owe him for sitting through physics.
IC: No kidding! And there's even more! You tell Rabbit your secrets, right?
IC: And you don't feel too comfortable sleeping without him, right?
Me: Pretty much, yup.
IC: When your tummy hurts, you want him there to help you feel better.
Me: Mhmn. Please stop sucking your thumb; it's unattractive.
IC: Don't interrupt me when I'm making a point, okey dokey? Anyways, another thing. He doesn't mind when you chew on him a little bit, or anytime you play too rough. He doesn't hurt you ever, and you like when he wraps around you. He feels like home. You freak out a little when he has to go away and get washed and dried.
Me: cough-giggle- Yes, that's all true enough, I suppose.
IC: If the velociraptors from Jurassic Park were chasing you, you'd hide with him in the cabinets, wouldn't you?
Me: Of course I wou- Oh, wow, I completely forgot about that.
IC: You remember now, don'tcha'? The time you took your Blanky down to the basement of your Grandma's house and had a Velociraptor Drill, hiding in the under-sink cabinets-
Me: -in preparation for a possible velociraptor attack. Yes, I remember. So good of you to remind me; now I'm gonna' have nightmares.
IC: Don't be a sarcastic putz. Anyway, to top it all off, he has the same personality as Blanky.
Me: All due respect, LittleMe, but that's a little bit out-there. You're gonna' have to explain more.
IC: Oh, c'mon! Stop being such a dumb grown-up and think like me for a minute! Remember, all soft warm things have personalities. It's a rule. Mickey Mouse has a personality. Your teddy bear has a personality. Blanky definitely has a personality, and it's exactly like Rabbit's. It's all quiet and sweet and likes to laugh in a nice way. It's lovey.
Me: I'm not even sure that's a word.
IC: Stop being obtuse.
Me: Okay, see, this is why I should not watch The Shawshank Redemption and eat Flamin' Hot Cheetos before bed. My inner voices get prolix on me.
IC: Get over it, doodoo-head. Don't forget, there's cheesecake in the frij-adator. I want some for breakfast.
Me: Not a chance, twerp; it's mine.
IC: Eh. It was worth a shot. Night-night!
Me: uh-huh... zzzzzzzzzzz...
...at which point the insomniac spell collapsed and I firmly zonked out.
The whole episode made me wonder, though, if people are predisposed from the very start to love one personality type, and they assign that personality to the things they keep near them... including blankies... or else do we just associate back the same feelings of warmth, comfort, home, and safety to the objects that we viewed as sources of those feelings when we were tykes.
I was an only child of a single mother in a very small town; sometimes that blanket really was the only thing I had available to call "friend," as awkward and sad as that probably sounds. I don't think it has hurt me, and if Rabbit really is, as that childish corner of my imagination phrased it, "my new Blanky," I don't think it hurts him or me, either.
I am genuinely curious, now, just how much those security blankets and teddy bears shape our future interactions, especially with the people we decide to marry.
I just hope Rabbit doesn't mind if someday I drag him under the sink for a Velociraptor Drill.