Saturday, March 02, 2013

Wubby Ramblings

Do you have a wubby?

Do you even know what a wubby is?

*sigh* Do I have to explain everything?

OK a wubby, for you uninitiated, is basically a security blanket, but it doesn't necessarily have to be a blanket, it can be anything.  I know a lot of people, full grown "normal" adults, who have wubbies.  These range from their childhood security blanket to stuffed animals to clothing to lucky charms.  A wubby is your go-to comfort item when you're feeling insecure.

Many moons ago (and by many moons I mean about 3 decades) one of my brothers had a wubby.  He LOVED his wubby, he carried it everywhere.  After a while the wubby began the sad entropic disintegration into a grody (that's right, laugh it up, I'm a child of the 80s) and holey rag.  Some how the wubby ended up lost and he was pretty upset about it.

But that's not the end of the story.

Round about that time my oldest sibling, Deathy Mcdaredevil, was at a sleepover at her friend's house.  When Deathy unrolled her sleeping bag the wubby fell out.  She was a young teenager and thus prone to be mortally embarrassed by her family in all our glorious weirdness.  One of the other girls at the party noticed the wubby but didn't know who it belonged to and she said something along the lines of "ew gross, like gag me with a silver spoon, where did that come from?" (It was the 80s, they said things like that) and then she threw it away.

Deathy kept silent and didn't claim the wubby out of fear of exile or full on social death.  Later she felt guilty about it and admitted what happened to our mother...aaaaaaaand we have never let her live it down, partly because we're jerks like that, but mostly because she is practically perfect in every other way and so we feel better when we remember one of her few flaws.  What can I say?  I'm a sucker for a harmless and charming character flaw like that.

I am not ashamed to admit that I have a couple wubbies, my #1 wubby is this sad item.

It's worn, faded, torn, stained, and missing buttons.
That my friends is my beloved All Blacks rugby shirt I got during the 1999 Ruby World Cup semifinals match in England (which we will never, EVER, discuss.  MmmmK?  OK.) about a million years ago (fine 14, don't get all judgy on my math).  I LOVE that shirt.  That shirt is my velveteen rabbit.  When I'm tired or nervous or upset I have a horrible habit of sliding my hands inside the sleeves of my shirts, clenching my fingers down over the cuffs and then pushing my thumbs up into the intersection where the seam of the sleeve and the seam of the cuff meet and then I wring the fabric.  I don't even realize I'm doing it.  Hence the ratty monkey paw cuffs on this particular wubby.

The right monkey paw of death
The left monkey paw of death
If you know me, you know I have a really difficult time throwing anything away.  I have an almost pathological love of all things forlorn, abandoned, ugly, misshapen, beaten up, picked on, and basically lovably unlovable...I don't know exactly how to describe this compulsion but if you think Charlie Brown Christmas tree then you're on the right track.  The same goes for movies, books, and plays, I want my heroes and heroines flawed (sometimes deeply), it makes them more interesting.

All of this probably explains a lot about my romantic history, but that's another story (one that we will never, EVER, discuss, MmmmK? OK).

 Also, the mantra "Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without" is firmly entrenched in my psyche, my father grew up during the depression and my maternal grandmother was an immigrant.

Growing up in our house:
  • my mom made a lot of our clothes 
  • we wore hand me downs 
  • we patched/took up/let out clothes instead of throwing them away and getting new ones
  • we cleaned our plates at meals or we stayed at the table until we did (it could be a battle of wills and I always lost, choking down beets is a lot easier when they are still hot than when they've gone cold and rubbery after a couple hours.  Lesson learned.)
  • we had a garden and a fruit orchard and we bottled or froze the produce that we didn't eat fresh
  • we got in big trouble if we wasted anything
  • if something needed fixing you asked mom, if she couldn't fix it you took it to dad and if he couldn't fix it them it was scrapped for parts (quilts made out of old jeans, anyone?)
So you know when my mother tells me I should throw something away, it is probably not salvageable.  My mother (as well as a few other people) have told me to throw this away several times, but I just can't.  It has gotten to the point where my seamstress (aka Mom) is refusing to mend it any more, and it is on its last legs.  I'm in mourning for the imminent demise of my chief wubby.

I have a few other items of clothing that are heading in this direction as well.  The worst of these are my Young Dubs Bollox hoodie, long sleeved Preservation Hall Jazz Band tshirt from N'awlins and my Gaelic Storm hoodie.  Generally the wubbies just get worn around the house but occasionally I go out in public and get looks from nice people who are probably trying very hard not to label me as a hobo.  Then I begin to think "Maybe it's time to put this rag out of its misery", but then I get all sentimental and it gets washed on the delicate cycle (lest it fall apart) and lovingly hung back up in the closet.

So, what is your wubby?

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