Monday Morning Questions Post: Happy Last Day of My Vacation!

Well, I’m already homesick.  But then, I get homesick like immediately (which is why I don’t travel so much).  My own bed!  My own stuffed animals!  My own Ovaltine glass!  My own TV!!!!!  I miss it so much!  Although it is also nice being here, my sister has okay beds and glasses and TV and stuff.  No stuffed animals, but that’s just because I stole all of when we were kids, so I can’t blame her for that.  Anyway, distract me from missing my stuffed bear Helga by asking me questions!

As always, you can ask me questions from the personal (“do you have any Indian movie related stuffed animals?”) to the specific and factual (“are there Indian movies with stuffed animals in them?”) to the general discussion (“what is the best stuffed animal song sequence?”).

The only rule is, you have to let me answer first!  Somehow the discussion just goes better that way.  Plus, it’s more fun!

 

Oh, and for the “what is the best stuffed animal song sequence?” example, the obvious answer is this:

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84 thoughts on “Monday Morning Questions Post: Happy Last Day of My Vacation!

  1. Hello! I myself have little stuffed animals because my mother got rid of them all at a certain moment of my life, but I have new ones that I love, like a nice little Trudy mouse 😊and a dog that is the only present form my partner (he has a problem with presents)… I have 2 questions: What is the story of your bear Helga? And there is a movie with Shahrukh and some stuffed animals?

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    • Helga doesn’t have much of a story. I made her myself in sewing class when I was around 12. It’s a cool pattern, it’s a pillowcase with feet attached on the front and back and a head stuck on with velcro with velcro. She’s very large, since her base is a pillow, and cozy, because I made her out of flannel and fleece. And she is named Helga because she just looks like a Helga.

      And I think EricaBlueyz already answered the SRK question perfectly! I would add on DDLJ just because Kajol has her big opening song partly sung to a stuffed animal.

      On Mon, Nov 13, 2017 at 6:14 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  2. Does your predisposition to homesickness help you better understand the “homesick” NRI characters in Hindi films, such as Amrish Puri in DLJ or Kajol in K3G? Does Ganga in Pardes count? Or maybe Amrish Puri again in that? See, I made it easy for you by only asking about all SRK films. 🙂

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    • I hate to compare homesickness to the whole identity crisis of the NRI! But I guess there is a connection. Mostly I look at those characters and think “how foolish! Why would you ever leave home? Home is so wonderful, no wonder you are miserable!”

      On Mon, Nov 13, 2017 at 6:31 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • “Home” depends on many factors. “home” is where the heart is. “home” is where the Navy sends you. I’m rather independent so I’ve had many homes over my lifetime and was never miserable in any of them. I for one love to move and live in different places. Guess it’s just a matter of preference, independence and adaptability. Everyone is different in this.

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    • I thought it was just normal! Everyone I know has at least one stuffed animal floating around that they kept from childhood and is very very special. Are there people who aren’t attached to stuffed animals from their childhood? Who are these heartless people? Are they attached to something else? How do you get through college if you don’t have a teddy bear hidden under your pillow for bad nights?

      On Mon, Nov 13, 2017 at 8:42 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Well kids in India (and the rest of Asia, Africa, south America and parts of eastern Europe) are not given their own rooms and their own beds till they’re in their teens or at times till they’re married. Why would anyone form an attachment to a toy when they’ve had a parent, sibling or relative to hold onto while asleep.

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        • Now I am picturing a secret meeting of evil toy manufacturers sometime back in the 1920s, saying “We will convince everyone that the family bed is a bad idea and children should have their own space, and therefore create a market for teddy bears and stuffed cats and all kinds of new items, bwa-ha-ha-ha!!!!”

          Watch out, with Disney trying to move into the Indian market, the same thing could happen to you!

          On Mon, Nov 13, 2017 at 8:52 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Well I was reading this study about bed sizes in UK around five years ago (yeah, I’m the weirdo thay reads stuff like that!) and it claimed that bed sizes have permanently increased manifold since pre war times where even a twin bed was slimmer and shorter than a twin from today. Everyone, including the royals, had smaller beds and a twin was a standard. Whereas a queen or a king size is the basic bed for a starter home today.

            I wouldn’t be too surprised if the real estate mafia were responsible the “kids can’t sleep in the same bed as their parents” thing. It sold more houses and multiple generations could no longer live under the same roof.

            You know the chainstore “discount” theory and the fast food portion size theory right? The toy theory COULD be real.

            And Disney India is going to fail if it has ulterior motive. Because 60-70% of India lives in the villages and tantrums get village kids the back of the hand, not a toy 😂

            Liked by 1 person

          • Now you’ve got me thinking about bed sizes! People have also greatly increased in size in the UK and other places since that era as well. And, on the other hand, indoor heating has gotten much more efficient. So instead of having two 5’4″ people huddled together for warmth, now you have two 5’9″ people who each want to stretch out a bit because they are at a perfectly comfortable temperature.

            I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if that last thing you site is why Disney India eventually packs up and leaves. Their profit has always come more from merchandising than film tickets, and if the Indian market is selling a lot of tickets and no stuffed animals, they aren’t making any money. It’s part of why Ra.One was such a failure (along with a lot of other things), Red Chillies leaned heavily into merchandising as part of the promotional strategy and it just didn’t work.

            On Mon, Nov 13, 2017 at 9:08 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Ittefaq!!! Everything should be like Ittefaq! Can you imagine elections if the candidates were forbidden from giving interviews or making personal appearances, and everything was restricted to a poster, one ad, and a press conference a week before the election?

            On Mon, Nov 13, 2017 at 10:02 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Actually, I’d rather have a ban on promotional material of any kind. No posters, no banners, no social media posts, no ads on TV. Basically no advertising for politicians. If they want votes, they should have to go meet voters in person. No coverage, no one hand distance from real people.

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          • Same thing for film promotions. Make Shahrukh come to my house personally if he wants me to see his movie!

            On Mon, Nov 13, 2017 at 10:18 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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        • I love the direction this conversation took! When I was 14, my parents divorced (thank goodness) and Mom, sis, and I moved to a smaller place which required that sis and I share a room the whole time I was in high school. It was wonderful! I think it made me a much better person. And it was great to have someone to snuggle with. I do, nevertheless, still have a couple of stuffed animals from childhood.

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          • As someone that snuggled up with mom and aunts as a kid, shared a double bed with kid brother (the snuggles were replaced by lots of kicking each other from under our blankets when we got our own room), had a room to herself as a teen and had a dog that helped herself to the bed in her 20s, I can vouch for snuggles!!!

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    • Do you know the children’s book The Velveteen Rabbit? It’s about a beloved stuffed toy that has to be discarded after the little boy becomes seriously ill and how his love enables the toy to become real. I don’t know anyone who can read that story without becoming a puddle of tears, so yes, having a beloved stuffed toy is a touchstone of childhood in the West.

      To address your other point, I grew up in a multigenerational household and I shared a bedroom with my sister as a kid (though not a bed) and she was still extremely attached to her Cabbage Patch doll.

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      • Here’s a weird thing, one of our commentators (skrogers) gave a copy of the Velveteen Rabbit to Shahrukh Khan! She was one of the special fans invited to meet him on his birthday, and she brought a copy for him to give his youngest son. Anyway, that is now the only thing I can think of when I hear about that book!

        Just running this by you, as I run it by everybody to make sure it’s not just me that thinks this is weird, Tusshar Kapoor and his sister Ekta Kapoor (most powerful person in Indian television) shared a bedroom until they were 12 and 14, which is kind of normal, and then they switched to having adjoining bedrooms with an open door between. That all seems normal, but it came up casually in an interview a few years ago that they STILL sleep in adjoining bedrooms with an open door between, at age 40 and 42. That’s weird, right? Even in a combined family situation?

        On Mon, Nov 13, 2017 at 9:44 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • skrogers255 is her full user name. She kindly shared her whole story about meeting Shah Rukh in a thread here. I’m terrible at searching WordPress sites, but perhaps someone else is better at it? Or if you read this skrogers255, perhaps you remember what thread you posted it in?

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          • Alisa RIvera: I don’t remember where I posted it. And, I, too, have trouble navigating all the fabulous posts on this blog. I get reading one and forget where I was going.

            I am a member of the SRKCHENNAIFC and have been for a long time. I was their Fan Club’s gift to SRK for his 50th birthday. I will never ever ever forget it. And get such enjoyment from seeing the look on the faces of Indians that I meet when I show them my picture with SRK. It’s that “how did this little old white lady get the chance to meet Shahrukh?”

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        • Why would that be weird? They’ve already broken social norms by not marrying and being in their 40s! Also owning and maintaining a house in Mumbai comes with factors like ‘do you have a good maid’ I wouldn’t be too surprised if they didn’t leave their parents’ home just because they didn’t have to worry about the maid there. A good bai is more important than a good spouse!

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      • It must be the bed sharing thing then, mustn’t it? I really don’t know a single person who is attached to their childhood toys.

        At least in India toys get handed down to other kids in the (extended) family or donated to the poor. It’s the same with clothes. The household help has dibs on clothes and shoes you no longer wear or you donate them to the poor.

        Of course, most people can’t afford to buy toys and those that can have toys donated to orphanages or give them to kids of their household workers.

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        • Clothes, sure, I got my sister’s, and then they were mailed off to my cousin, and once she outgrew them, they were donated.

          But those poor people will have to rip the stuffed animals from my cold dead hands before they get them!!!! They are MINE!!!! Mine mine mine mine mine!

          Although now that I think about it, a lot of the non-sentimental toys just got so banged up that I would have felt bad donating them. Which goes back to mass production, they just weren’t that high quality, they were made to be destroyed and thrown out after a few years. Sentimental ones too, they are pretty raggedy looking by now, after going through the washer a few thousand times, but I love them too much to get rid of them.

          On Mon, Nov 13, 2017 at 10:09 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • The impact of mass production on western society really boggles my mind.

            Not that it hasn’t impacted us here. My mom loves to tell me how when she was a teen, they first got a mixer grinder and they didn’t have to pound spices on the stone thingy anymore (the stone thingy from her dowry set is still in our kitchen btw) And how my nani used to tell her that packaged pre-ground spices don’t taste the same (they don’t). Ten years ago, mom used to tell me our generation would survive marriage only because we have mix-with-water-and-boil food mixes!!

            We have all this mass produced stuff too but somehow, at least in my own memory, Indian society keeps going back to the basics. We’re back to organics and using the stone thingy and buying whole spices from the historic spice markets in town!

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          • In Puerto Rico it’s called el pilon y la maceta (we have gendered nouns too) and it’s still used because it’s the best way to smash garlic and plaintains. I have a marble one sitting on my counter.

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  3. So, my daily update on what I’ve watched: I watched part of Mann because it was free on Heera and hoo boy was that a stinker, good lord. What fascinates me is it was released in 1999, just two years before Lagaan. The differences in production values, performances and screenplay are huge! I wonder how Aamir got from Mann to Lagaan in such a short period of time.

    I also watched Queen and I LOVED it. Seriously one of my favorites out of all the Indian movies I’ve watched recently. Kangana is a terrific actress. Too bad she’s also apparently cuckoo for Coco Puffs.

    Next up is The Lunchbox but probably not until the weekend.

    BTW, I’ve watched over 20 movies since I saw Raja Hindustani in September which is more than I’ve seen over the past five years, probably.

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    • When I started watching Hindi films, I had to create a spreadsheet to keep track of them, because I am not that Hindi proficient to remember the names. SInce watching MNIK in 2010, I am up to over 1000+ movies, documentaries and beginning to branch out to the various other language cinema that India has to offer. THANKS to Margaret, this blog, and all the commentators have so many suggestions, I now have another list of “to be watched”.

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      • Hm, it’s hard for me to ID genre because I’m still so new to it all and Indian films define genre so differently. My favorites so far are Dangal, Raja Hindustani, 3 Idiots, Fanaa (in case you haven’t noticed I like Aamir a lot), Queen, K3G, and Bajrangi Bhaijaan. Dhoom 3 was a guilty pleasure. And as you can see I do like films from previous decades, though I’ve only gone as far back as the 90s. Haven’t tackled 70s era films yet but Bobby is on my watch list. Haven’t done any older films at all yet or even films that have come out this year.

        My queue right now has Jab We Met, Tanu Weds Manu, Talaash, The Lunchbox, Swades, Earth: 1947 (though I feel like I need to study up on the Partition before I watch it), Simran, Kaante (just to get in some Sr. Bachchan), Kahaani, English Vinglish, Veer-Zara, and Rang de Basanti.

        BTW, I love your comments, they are always interesting and insightful. I learn so much from your posts.

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          • Premam, Ohm Shaanthi Oshaana, and Bangalore Days. And then for second innings if you like those, Action Hero Biju, Celluloid, Charlie.

            And I’m being rude and jumping in before Asmita because I JUST recommended her first Malayalam movies to her like literally a month ago, so I feel like I can still claim some slightly superiority in knowledge base.

            And shoot! I just remembered that Premam and Bangalore Days are only available through Hotstar. Really, you should check it out anyway. But you can start with Ohm Shanti which is on googleplay, and if you love it enough to want more, maybe start a Hotstar trial so you can see Premam and Bangalore Days.

            If you click the link in the top menu, I have my “starter kit” post for all major language groups.

            On Mon, Nov 13, 2017 at 10:58 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Aw, you are so nice! I wouldn’t say “expert”, but at least I can recommend good ones that will seduce you into the cult of Malayalam.

            Although Alisa is a tough nut to crack! I keep trying to draw her away from Aamir into the Shahrukh fold, but she has remained faithful.

            On Mon, Nov 13, 2017 at 11:46 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • I’m one of the those non-SRK fan fans here. Although I do end up writing a lot of SRK fanfic! 😂

            I like the south stars and Margaret feeds my unhealthy obsessions too DESPITE me not getting around to watching JHMS 😂

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          • @asmita I’m just glad I’m not alone >_<

            I will tackle the south eventually. I can't find Bangalore Days with English subtitles anywhere and I really want to watch that one! Though I haven't checked Hotstar yet, off to look.

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    • Shoot, I missed this until just now! For movies like queen, there aren’t many, but try english/vinglish and dear zindagi.

      I’ve already given you my list of every good Aamir film, so I won’t give you more of those. but watch out, the no-good ones have a lot of Mann level quality.

      Lagaan was a big risk, Aamir took a lot of time off to make it and funded it himself, founded his production studio just to get it made. All that is to his credit.

      Mann, by the way, was a massive hit in india, much bigger than Lagaan for the Indian market.

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      • That is fascinating, thank you! Mann was terrrrrrible except for the Dadi, she was awesome.

        I liked Lagaan, not loved it, but the film making quality seems to have been groundbreaking in that the other Bollywood movies I’ve seen after it was made were dramatically better production-wise than films before Lagaan.

        On the off chance someone else here is also an Aamir fan, I found a nice fan vid with clips from every film he ever made: https://youtu.be/1MNd2D2RF-I

        And for the SRK fans who outnumber me: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kIUBLZSbs0c

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        • There’s definitely a “90s” feel to 90s movies. And Lagaan was part of a revolution in quality. K3G and Dil Chahta Hai, which you’ve also seen, were also part of that. Speaking of Dil Chahta Hai, the naive friend in that, the one who is always falling in love, is Saif Ali Khan. His mother, Sharmila Tagore, was a huge huge huge huge star back in the 60s and 70s. And she is the one who played the grandmother in Mann. She is so amazing that I can’t even hit the highlights of her life without going on and on. So I will just pick my favorite fact, first woman in India to wear a two piece bathing suit in a film.

          On Mon, Nov 13, 2017 at 10:24 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Biwi Hai to Aisa? Or Maine Pyar Kiya? I could believe this comment applying to either! Biwi wasn’t really a “launch” movie, no one noticed him and he was playing the second lead. But Maine Pyar Kiya was his huge huge hit film that made him a star overnight.

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          • The scene shown in Salman’s evolution video is from his first film, Biwi Ho To Aisi. It’s his introductory scene, but as Margaret said, he’s not the focus of the movie.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Margaret, I watched QSQT much later (after Mangal Pandey, DCH, RDB, Talaash & many others). No, I meant Yadoon Ki Baaraat which was one of my first movies after having started my journey into Hindi Cinema 🙂

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          • Wow, Yaadon Ki Baarat is an odd one to see early on! Was it because of the little bit of it in Swades or was that a coincidence?

            On Tue, Nov 14, 2017 at 4:27 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • No, I didn’t know Swades yet at that time…

            After the two weekends with the five ShahRukh movies (&Lagaan), I wanted to know more about this kind of cinema and read a lot and bought some DVDs from a store not far away. The 2nd non SRK-movie I watched was Shree 420 and the 3rd Yaadon Ki Baaraat (I had read that it was the movie that defined the Masala genre). Then followed Mughal-E-Azam, Jaane Bhi Do Yaroo, then my first Amitji movie (Don)… I think, in the span of some months I bought more than 100 DVDs of Hindi cinema from all decennies and different genres, Dilip Saab’s Mela from 1948 being the oldest movie I own.

            Liked by 1 person

  4. A. I had stuffed animals and puppets from doing psychotherapy with children. I have one that was my mother’s bc it always make me think that she had a whimsical side to her.

    B. That Tussar & Ekta Kapoor thing is really bizarre to me.

    C. the sil-battas are sold on AMAZON but then isn’t everything?

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Each of my kids had a stuffed (not quite) animal on their beds and no one took it with them when they grew up and moved out. So I have all three sitting on my Indian purchased bedspread in the kid’s room I took as an office. My complex artist son had a “rescue toy”. It was a very old and not very good raggedy andy doll left in our house by the previous children; my practical oldest daughter had a snoopy with a Christmas sweater which she got for once singing at the mayor’s house with school and my sweet youngest also had a rescue doll but it is a curious george. No one will let you donate stuffed animals because of fear of bed bugs :(…so I sadly through a bunch out.

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    • I got bedbugs, but I quarentined and washed and froze and did everything else I had to to make sure my stuffed animals survived. My furniture, on the other hand, I just threw out and bought replacements.

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    • I am curious in which way…

      About toys…long before “Toy story” I imagined that my toys would play around while I am asleep…so I have a certain respect for my toys but my feelings for them do not excede the liking. I am in the happy position to be able to keep them…at least as long there are children around me 🙂
      But basically, every thing I own, doesn’t have my ‘full’ attachment…and even towards most people I tend to be what ShahRukh describes with “demotional” (emotional but also detached). I have learned that it increases the intensity of feelings without the trappings of expectations.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. I love stuffed animals! I still have like around 20 of them at home, and they all have names. I can’t say I have one favorite, but I do have a little stuffed beagle named Pretzel who I can’t fall asleep without.

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    • Pretzel is an excellent name. Helga is the only one I have a name for. Everyone else is just “cat” “pig” “other pig” “other cat” and so on.

      I only have around 6 now, I used to have 20, but then when my parents’ sold their house I had to pick which ones to keep, because I didn’t have space for all of them in my tiny apartment. Very Emotional!

      My two favorites I don’t have any more, I lost the bear that I slept with as a baby in Union Station in Chicago when I was around 6. And then my next favorite I literally loved to death, a stuffed flannel pig, I rubbed the flannel so much that eventually it just fell apart. So now I am down to my 3rd and 4th and 5th and 6th and 7th and 8th favorites.

      On Mon, Nov 13, 2017 at 10:20 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I named him Pretzel because I was eating a cinnamon pretzel when I got him. I brought him with me to college too 🙂

        My mom tried to convince me that my stuffed animals were taking up too much space and that I should give them away but I didn’t let it happen.

        I still have quite a few of my stuffed animals from when I was a baby. My favorite story is about how when I was six months old, I grabbed a beanie baby off of a shelf in Walgreens while sitting in the stroller. Since I didn’t let go, my mom ended up buying it for me. I later named him Chip and here’s how he looks:

        https://goo.gl/images/85g6NQ

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        • I think I brought the disintegrating pig with me to college, before he disintegrated. And also my black cat, but not any others, because I was trying to be adult and only have two stuffed animals. And then when I was actually an adult with a full apartment to myself, the animal count suddenly jumped up because I had so much more space to store them..

          And Chip is very cute. I was just slightly too old for beanie babies, which is too bad because they are very cuddly and when I was little, we just had big fluffy toys that seemed to big for babies and toddlers.

          On Mon, Nov 13, 2017 at 11:34 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Yeah, the only reason I brought Pretzel is because he’s tiny.

            I heard that people used to collect beanie babies. If I remember correctly, they stopped making them a while ago.

            Recently I was going to an old teacher’s house and she had a 1 year old granddaughter. So I went to walmart to get her a stuffed animal as a gift before visiting them. They had the softest teddy bears there! And they were only $5. It was so soft that I wanted to keep it for myself!

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          • The collecting, I think that is part of the reason I never got into beanie babies. When they first came out, it was the grown-ups who went crazy for them and started collecting and so on. I never felt like I could really play with them like my other toys because somehow I had it in my head that they were “special”.

            On Mon, Nov 13, 2017 at 11:54 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  7. I have a sad stuffed animal story. Our daughter’s favorite stuffed animal as a baby was named Jellycat (that was also the brand but it seemed to fit nicely as a name). Jellycat looked something like this:

    https://www.ebay.com/i/332427127630?chn=ps&dispctrl=1

    Jellycat was her constant companion from the time she was a few months old until she was 2 or so. She would snuggle him and chew on his tail. Then, one tragic day, we flew through Charlotte airport on the way to visit family in Ohio. There were storms, and our flight into Charlotte was delayed. We ended up running to catch the flight to Ohio, and somewhere between one gate and the next, poor Jellycat was lost. We called the airport, but no one turned Jellycat in.

    Our daughter, now 13, doesn’t remember Jellycat, but my husband and I still miss him. :,(

    Liked by 1 person

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