Preschool Marriage

September 20, 2007
When I was about three or four, I decided I wanted to get married—get married as soon as I could. I did not want to marry a fellow preschooler; I did not want to marry any fictional guy. (Though Arthur looked cool.) No; instead, I chose to marry one of my most prized possessions at the time: a stuffed animal.
Chip the Chipmunk was his name, and he seemed to me to be the perfect “husband.” I did not have to worry about him talking too much, he was soft and comfortable enough to cuddle with, and I knew him well enough. So I chose to wed the chipmunk after the idea was planted in my mind by my mom.
Dad was our “pastor” and pronounced us “man” and wife. At the time, I had truly believed Dad was ordained and I would spend the rest of my life with Chip. Dad also played guitar for the “reception” music, and as I wore a white dress-up item for a “veil,” I danced with him, and then with Chip. I did not realize how silly I would think the whole “marriage” to be in later years and I did not care about the fact that I was “committing” myself to an inanimate object. Perhaps I did not know—perhaps I believed Chip to be living and breathing. Maybe I even pictured him as my very own “knight in shining armor” and “Prince Charming”—him in his gleaming brown coat and puppet smile.
Now, as I look at him, he is no longer the same stuffed animal I was once naïve enough to “marry.” His body parts are starting to come off in some places (mainly around the arms,) and eventually his stuffing will fall out in clumps. He is missing one eye, lost ages ago from who knows what. He still has that same immobile puppet look, but I now know that Chip is the soft Pinocchio. He is nothing but a stuffed animal that only comes true in the delightful, yet sometimes scary, world of Dream. The only way he moves or talks is if he is held like a puppet, not of his own accord.
I vaguely recall “divorcing” Chip around age six as soon as I realized he was not human. He now sits on my beanbag chair, isolated and single, surrounded by a multitude of teenage clothing items, high school textbooks, CDs, and papers. Chip is no longer that youthful, though stationary, chipmunk; I am no longer that four-year-old girl who felt she had found her true love at an early age. My ideas have changed as my life has progressed, and will keep changing while Chip remains a statue in the night.

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sondheimfreak This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Apr. 30, 2009 at 9:10 pm
Haha! I did that same thing! I had this giant stuffed bear and my friends married us when I wa maybe three or four. But then my brother told me I couldn't marry a stuffed animal. I never divorced him though. I wonder If I'm still married...:)
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