Winning Embarrassing Back To School Story: The Case Of The Missing ‘Lovie’
This story is perhaps most embarrassing because it took place not on my first day of grade school or even of high school, but of college. I went to college about two hours from my hometown, not so very far but far enough that it was necessary to sleep in the dorms. I was always a bit nervous when away from home and had not in fact been able to make it through the night during a sleepover until I was about 13. So coupled with the usual stress of a new school was the fact that I would be living on my own for the very first time. Though my mother did her best to persuade me not to do so, I just had to bring my lovie.
My lovie, which still sits on the bed I share with my husband is a full sized pillow with Winnie-the-Pooh and his friends merrily playing all over it. It was once navy, but has long since settled into a pathetic gray-blue. Winnie himself is a pathetic shade of light yellow and some of poor Piglet looks nearly white. As a nod to my mother’s very well meaning advice, I consented to encase my pillow in a pillowcase so as to hide it from my potentially judgmental classmates. Move in was very hectic, as move ins always are and it must have been over an hour before I realized that anything was wrong. My mother had already left to start her drive home and I called her cellphone in tears. My pillow was missing!
The case was there, sitting on top of one of the many boxes I still had left to unpack, but it was most definitely empty.
Both of my roommates had gone to lunch with their families and I sat on my new bed alone sobbing. A cute boy from down the hall stopped in to say hi, but before he could even get the greeting out he was slowly backing out of the room, aghast at my hysteria. After a few minutes of envisioning a cunning pillow thief craftily extricating my pillow so she could complete her collection of faded, dirty old cartoon character themed pillows I finally came to my senses. Clearly I had dropped my pillow somewhere between the front door and my room and there was nothing left but to retrace my steps.
I lived on the third floor and on the second I encountered a table staffed by ridiculously cute upperclassmen who had volunteered to help with move in. I hadn’t been in a school with boys (much less *cute* boys) since grade school and I suddenly realized how ridiculous I was going to sound. Just as I was gathering the courage to open my mouth and ask these adorable college men if they had seen my ratty stuffed pillow, one of the three stood up and grabbed my pillow from a box behind the table.
“Is this yours?” he said, only laughing a tiny bit. I nodded and grabbed for it. I was just about to turn away, but I had to ask. “How did you know?”
“Your face is puffy and your eyes are bloodshot, how else would the person looking for that thing look?”
His name was Pedro and he was our dorm president. Every time I saw him for the next two years he asked after my pillow.