Why I Sleep with a Stuffed Animal to Connect with My Inner Child But Put It Away If Anyone Remotely Fuckable Comes Over

I’ve been sleeping with a stuffed animal my whole life, and it’s a comforting guilty pleasure I’d recommend it to anyone. My animal is Bun Bun, an erstwhile bunny who, after heavy wear and tear, now looks like a balding, vaguely mammalian creature. He may not have his tail or his left ear or his bright white coloring anymore, but he does hold plenty of comforting memories. Bun Bun is my ride or die—he stays on my bed at all times, except of course when I think there’s a possibility of getting laid. When that’s the case, I immediately shove Bun Bun into the closet. I’m not insane. 

Not only is Bun Bun soft to cuddle with, but he also anchors me to my sense of self. Bun Bun was there for me when I learned to read, and tie my shoes. He was around when I got my braces on, and then got them removed two years later. Bun Bun has seen me through the ebbs and flows of each stage of life. He’s a real one. I love Bun Bun, and I don’t care who knows. (Besides potential romantic partners. I would kill myself if they saw that decrepit thing on my bed). 

One time, I brought a date back to my room and I realized I forgot to hide Bun Bun. I knew I’d have to sneak in to the apartment ahead of him to cover my tracks. I needed an effective cover story, so I told my date to wait in the hallway because I had to take a really loud shit. He looked confused but remained in place, thank god. Then I rushed inside, snatched up Bun Bun, tossed him into a dark corner, and welcomed my guest in so we could go to town. He had already left for some reason, but that’s besides the point.

For some people who don’t have stuffed animals, other tokens from childhood provide a similar source of comfort. Maybe you still have a music box, or an old piece of jewelry, or framed photo that helps you connect with your inner child. For many, an old blanket is their go-to. I’m honestly really jealous of those people. At least they can lie through their teeth and be like, “This old thing? Oh, just some throw blanket I thrifted. $3 bin! Look how cottagecore I am! Fuck me in my sundress,” and no one would be the wiser. Actually, you know what, fuck those people. They don’t know how good they have it. They probably bone on their childhood blankies all the time. 

Meanwhile, I’m stuck here with fuckin’ Bun Bun. How am I supposed to explain Bun Bun to Tyler from Hinge, huh? That’s right, I don’t. I live a double life, sue me. It’s called survival.  

Mary Gulino
Author: Mary Gulino
Mary is an LA-based writer from New Jersey whose work can be seen online and on TV (unless you count streaming platforms as online, in which case, it's all online). She got glasses when she was two, and would love to talk optometry sometime.