Jeremy got lots of presents on his last day yesterday. Someone even got him hemorrhoid cream, because he’ll be sitting on his ass all day now. So thoughtful. Anyhoo I had planned awhile ago that on Friday night I would trek up to Yonge & Eg to pickup one of his Christmas gifts, as it was too big to get in the apartment unnoticed and that would be the last night he would be working late for some time. About 5 minutes to 5 I impatiently decided that I would make it a ‘happy last day’ present and give it to him when he got home. There are some things that just can’t wait in the closet until Christmas.
So I headed up to Toys R Us with Margaret (she thought it humorous that only for Jeremy would it not seem odd to go to a toy store to get his present). I knew exactly what I needed, as Jeremy himself had gone nuts over it months ago. It’s a big stuffed bear. I mean BIG. When I got there the only one left was a display bear, strung up into an action position. After a few minutes of playing with the other toys in Animal Alley, Margaret and I tried to get someone to help us. The first cashier looked at us and then up at the bear and called for some guy, who said he couldn’t. Eventually someone did come over and the ordeal began. This was a well strung up bear. After several ladder adjustments, three employees managed to get the bear down and begin the delicate process of unraveling him from his snares. I apologized for wrecking the display but was told ‘oh it’s okay we have more in the back, we’ll just put another one up’. Margaret looked at me then at her and asked ‘why didn’t you just get one from the back?’. She looked up like she was going to say something, then just handed me the bear. ‘Hey it’s not like I needed that particular bear (though he has scar-like marks across his neck from being hung up and I feel I kinship with him for that). I hated to be a bother and I felt bad, but not that bad because (and here’s a tip for anyone in customer service who takes it even a little seriously, the rest of you please quit you are making people miserable) – when a customer says, repeatedly, ‘I’m sooo sorry I don’t want to be a bother’ the appropriate response is ‘it’s no trouble’ or ‘no problem’. Not silence.
Between the guy who cashed me out (and got the last strings down on the bear) and the girl in Customer Service I felt well taken care of. Thank you very much. And I do not blame the other girl for stopping half way through this laborious process and turning to me to ask ‘you’re going to buy it right? You don’t just want to see it?’. Indeed it was only fair to ask and I know how annoying customers can be. Believe me.
The subway ride home was great. I felt like a celebrity. Everyone, young and old, gazed upon me with envy. They were probably wondering what lucky kid was getting that bear. I was hoping someone would ask me so I could tell them it was for a 25 year old manboy. I imagined then the look of horror on their face as they remembered that girl from high school (everyone knew one) who bought some boy a froofy teddy bear on valentine’s day and put it in his locker or on his desk, embarrassing them both. I imagined them thinking ‘dear god this poor guy’. Then I decided it was best no one asked me. They just wouldn’t understand Jeremy’s specialness.
So I get the bear home, welcoming him and introducing him to the other stuffed animals (hey if they do come alive when I’m not around I want to be on good terms with them. Have you never seen puppet master?). I carefully made the bed and decorated him with ‘goodbye starbucks’ stickers that I made. Then I tucked him under the covers and left him as a conspicuous lump. Now I had to wait two hours for Jeremy to get home. I could barely contain myself.
When he did arrive it was all I could do to sit there quietly while he told me about his day and showed me his presents. Eventually I knew he’d go into the bedroom and there was no missing that lump. The moment comes. I mute the TV and listen for his exclamation. I wait. And wait. And wait. He comes back in. Continuing his story he walks in and out of the bedroom several times. Finally he says ‘do I want to know what’s under the covers?’
Gasp! ‘What’s wrong with you?!? You go in there and there’s a big lump under the blanket and you don’t look?’
‘I thought you’d piled all the dirty laundry under there. It seems like something you would do.’
What? It does?
Suffice to say this motivates him to investigate further. This time I hear a high-pitched
‘Tee hee’. I go in to find this -
I think he likes it.
He was giggling and saying he didn’t need Clara anymore. You see I’ve often told Jeremy that he just views me as a living hot water bottle to help him sleep. Now that he has a stuffed animal big enough to spoon I’ve proved my point. Sigh. I asked him what he was going to name it. He looked at me like I was simple and with an implied ‘duh’ he said ‘Big Bear’. Of course.
Now I didn’t really think about the logistics of having such a huge bear in such a tiny apartment but I did put forth the option that at night he could lay across the foot of the bed at night. Like Brian in Family Guy. Jeremy did not like this and when it came time to retire for the night it was with Big Bear between us. I brought up an old argument.
‘You always complain that you never have enough room as it is –‘
‘Yes but it’s better than having your knees in my back’