My first love

10 Dec

I just discovered this fabulous writing world of The Red Dress Club. They give weekly prompts, we write. I love it! (Thanks, The Mother Load, for inadvertently introducing us.)

This week’s topic: “Write a short first-person story about your first love, or write a short fiction piece about a character’s first love.”

* * *

I met my first love when I was six. Twenty years later, I am still sleeping with him.

Mom and I shop together. It’s how we bond. It’s our thing. One of my earliest memories of shopping with Mom involves Marshall Field’s at the Louis Joliet Mall. I would find something soft and fluffy and carry it around with me. I was not too young to realize that I was all but begging Mom to buy me the stuffed animal. Sometimes she did. Sometimes she didn’t.

On one mall trip, I saw him. A polar bear. He had no neck, and he had a little “I have a secret” smile. He had a soft, small, fuzzy nose. He was snow white and oh-so soft.

I have found an Iggie for sale on ebay before. See how fab???

I grabbed him and marched around with him. When it came time to leave Marshall Field, I asked mom if I could have the bear.

It was kind of pricey for a stuffed animal, $20 in the late ’80s, especially over-priced considering I had enough stuffed animals to completely cover me, leaving not a breathing hole. She, understandably, said no.

Every time Mom and I went back to Marshall Field’s, however, I found the polar bear, and I marched around with him. Every time, I asked for him. Every time, Mom said no.

Then, one time, Nani came shopping, too. “I bet I get my bear now,” I thought.

So I grabbed him, and we marched around Marshall Field’s. I don’t remember asking Nani verbatim to buy him for me, but I must have, ’cause I took him home.

Later that day, at lunch in the food court likely, Nani told me a story about growing up, when her friends used to call her “Iggie.” I loved the name, and my polar bear got himself a moniker.

Today, Iggie isn’t white so much as dirty. His soft, small, fuzzy nose has been all but kissed off, revealing the salmon pink plastic beneath. He’s kind of misshapen, now the perfect geometry to fit in the crook of my arm, where he spends most every night. The stuffing is kind of misplaced, too, certainly from his many “baths,” when I bring him home and say, “Mom, Iggie needs a bath.” I’m too terrified to wash him myself, so I make my mom do it. She has confessed more than once that she’s petrified he’ll fall apart in a bath and I’ll lose my mind.

But he still smiles that “I have a secret” smile.

I brought him out to show Nani one day about two or three years ago.

“Nani, remember Iggie?”

She smiled, and she took him, and she patted him. Nani remembers winning a watch when she was 9 years old, but she doesn’t remember that the day is Christmas, or Easter, or her birthday.

“Remember how you told me your friends used to call you ‘Iggie’?”

She looked confused.

“No one ever called me ‘Iggie.'”

My eyes bugged, but Iggie just smiled.

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9 Responses to “My first love”

  1. Suburban Sweetheart December 10, 2010 at 12:28 pm #

    Oh, I love this. I love it so much…

  2. Carrie December 10, 2010 at 1:51 pm #

    My daughters each have a special stuffed toy. I hope they have the same love for it when they are older πŸ™‚

    Great story

    Visiting from Red Writing Hood

  3. Mrs. MidAtlantic December 10, 2010 at 3:26 pm #

    You are kidding me. I just wrote a very similar post about Iggie’s brown twin, Bear! My mom found a new one (in the same colors) on eBay for my daughter when she was born.

  4. The Drama Mama December 10, 2010 at 3:29 pm #

    Oh, so cute!! What a great story.

  5. (Florida) Girl with a New Life December 10, 2010 at 4:51 pm #

    How sweet. And what a cute ending.

    Stopping by from the red dress club.

  6. Cheryl @ Mommypants December 10, 2010 at 5:45 pm #

    A very sweet story. I loved my stuffed dog – literally to death. My mother replaced it with another one, like I wouldn’t notice!! I totally noticed. It wasn’t even close. Sigh.

    SO glad you linked up!

  7. Jen December 10, 2010 at 9:31 pm #

    Aw, what a great story. My kids each have a special animal. I kinda of hope they keep that love.

  8. Liz December 14, 2010 at 11:36 pm #

    Bring him home at Christmas He must be in need of a bath. Dad heard the story about the watch today!
    SMILE!

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