Quirk (among many): I have a giant stuffed dog named Olaf who sleeps on my bed.
The secret is out.
About 13 years ago, I was experiencing my first pangs of homesickness while living in Louisiana, coupled with heading toward my first true major depressive episode.
So, I bought Snoopy’s brother Olaf and shipped him to my apartment. He was “adopted” from the “Ebay Puppy Farm” via Los Angeles and Japan.
When he arrived, he stared out at us with his trademark half-asleep expression, his bright pink tongue out.
Several weeks later, at the behest of a then-devastating break-up, I would squeeze my new friend tight each night. He comforted me at a troubled period in my life.
It became a running joke because I’d strap him in the passenger seat of my car for cross-country road trips. I even went as far as to get a sticker that said, “dog is my co-pilot.”
When I had my breaks fixed in 2006, a woman accused me of being a Satanist for having that sticker.
When I was lonely or lost, I had Olaf to squeeze. When things got rough, my “trusty beast” (my Mother’s term) was next to me. He went with me to the hospital when my Dad was diagnosed with cancer. I’ve spent 90% of nights in the last 13 years holding this rotund little dog.
He’s a little worn, part of his shiny pink tongue is gone following a run-in with a live dog, and I have to take him to “Optometry Appointments” (using a Sharpee). My husband knows he makes me feel calmer and more sane.
Sure, this makes me weird and quirky or “eccentric.” I don’t mind because it makes me feel better. Have I been teased about it before? Yes. But, that’s okay–people can be very narrow-minded.