Winning Embarrassing Back To School Story: The Case Of The Missing ‘Lovie’

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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.


  1. Lindsay Cross

    August 26, 2011 at 9:09 pm

    Oh my goodness. I adore you for this story. My lovie wasn’t a pillow, but it was a quilt that my mother made when I was born. As the edges would get ratty and the stuffing would start to come out, she would have to re-stitch a new barrier to stop the whole thing from falling apart. I still have my lovie. It went from a 4 ft. long to 1.

    What I’m trying to say is that lovies are important. And I’m sorry that it was embarassing, but I’m happy that your’s is safe.

    • Jen

      August 27, 2011 at 2:56 pm

      Thanks, Lindsay. I’m also happy it was safe, but those boys were really cute! My 3 year old actually has her own special lovie too (it’s a stuffed cat) and I can’t wait for the day she takes it to college. She also likes to sleep with my lovie when I go out for the night, since she knows Mommy would never go away for a long time without her lovie!

    • Lindsay Cross

      August 27, 2011 at 9:13 pm

      Oh yea. My daughter has a small pink security blanket. Its the most basic blanket we got when she was born but that’s the one she stuck with. It never leaves her side.

  2. Somnilee

    August 27, 2011 at 4:47 am

    Bless you. I take a crocheted blanket (it’s hexagonal, we call it the shawl) to University with me that my godmother made for when I was born – a bit less noticeable than a character pillow, but it’s become a bit of a talking point. Whenever I have new friends over, and someone comments on the blanket, one of my housemates goes “She’s had that since she was born, it’s amazing, isn’t it?”
    I’ve never had a “lovie” as such, but there’s no shame in holding on to something from your childhood.

  3. Shae

    August 28, 2011 at 7:15 pm

    SO glad I’m not the only one. I still sleep with my blankie and quiltie that my mom sewed for me when I was an infant. When I got to London this summer for a trip I’d planned ages ago, I realized I forgot them. What I didn’t realize was that my fiance had remembered them and tucked them into my suitcase when I wasn’t looking. I still just melt when I think about it.

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