The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

Tones of home: sleeping with old friends

By Andrew Mirzayi

On the north door to Dupre Hall a sign declares in large boldface “NO PETS.” Luckily, I’ve already found a way around that rule. The secret is stuffed animals. I realize that they make an ill substitute for a real pet. But on a cold, rainy night when my roommates are both asleep and I feel homesick, anxious or doubtful, nothing cheers me up more than looking over to see Scampie, my seal, smiling back at me.

When I was six, my father brought Scampie back from one of his long business trips. While the rest of my friends desired slightly more conventional careers, I had an obsession with sea animals and I dreamed of being a marine biologist. My dad would always bring me a seal or dolphin stuffed animal from somewhere exotic, like Detroit or Seattle, and I would give them names ending with “-ie.”

I was ashamed to tell people I brought Scampie to college. My parents didn’t know that I had packed him in a dark corner of one of my boxes. I tried to hide him from my roommates until I realized they didn’t mind what or who I slept with, as long as we were quiet. One of them, Collin Cousins ’10, said, “If I hadn’t lost my stuffed animal when I was in eighth grade, I would have brought it with me.”

And as I met new people at Mac, I learned I was not alone or a freak for bringing my stuffed animals with me, and that many other people, guys and girls, bring theirs as well. I have seen rhinos, gorillas, puppies, and countless other species. They represent our nostalgia for homes and childhoods. Julia Marder ’10, said, “I had my mom bring them after I came because I realized I wanted a touch of home.”

Don’t call it an obsession, insanity, or some weird fetish because it really isn’t. I just love Scampie and the memories he represents and I’m not ashamed to say it. So if someone asks me if I had someone in my room last night or if I’ve slept with anyone lately, I will answer with no shame in my voice, “Scampie!”

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    Nathan RutherfordSep 6, 2019 at 5:47 pm

    Good article. I am facing some of these issues as well..