02 February 2011

Post 312: First Contact

First Contact, or, It's Later than You Think by Evan Mandery. ISBN: 9780061966187 (eBook).

One of my favorite things about this book is the courtship between Jessica Love and Ralph Bailey. They are absolutely adorable in an adult-awkward young love sort of way. At one point they are sitting in the middle of the oval office (Ralph is a White House aide) having an indoor Chinese food picnic. They get on the subject of what they would do if they were President, and Jessica's answer involves giving every child a stuffed animal because it would teach them empathy. Then Ralph asks her what kind of stuffed animal she had as a kid.

I think this is my favorite question every to ask someone you're dating. What's more, I actually think highly of people who still sleep with stuffed animals and would find it quite endearing if I found out my date did so. Much of this stems from my love of stuffed animals in general, particularly unusual ones. My first stuffed animal was a mouse about the size of a standard teddy bear. I'm not sure what color it was originally, but the last time I saw it, it was a washed out dirty-ish tan color. Later I moved on to Raggedy Ann dolls, a variety of stuffed cats, and a platypus; I currently sleep with a stuffed mammoth.

I am not reliant on sleeping with stuffed animals and I treat them more or less as neck pillows or cushions, to help position my limbs more conveniently, but I do find something comforting about holding something while I sleep. I imagine it also says quite a lot about a person based on what kind of stuffed animal(s) they choose to have around them and how close they keep them.

The reason I currently have a stuffed mammoth is because it was given to me by my college roommate's parents. When he passed away they decided to give away some of his possessions to his close friends. So that year for Christmas I received a package from them with the mammoth and two small dinosaurs. Matthew and I had bonded previously over our stuffed animals, so this was probably the best thing they could have given me. During college Matthew slept with a stuffed squid and I had my aforementioned platypus. There were times when we tossed the stuffed animals back and forth or threw them at each other when one of us made a particularly bad joke or pun. I'm not sure what all this says about me, or anyone else who keeps them around, but personally I can't help but attach mostly positive experiences to people I've met who still keep them around.

My review can be found on Goodreads.
LibsNote: eBook downloaded from my local public library.


  1. Omygosh, a stuffed mammoth! that might be the best stuffed animal ever.

    i can't remember my first stuffed animal, but the two i liked best as a kid were my little dog Peanut and a squishy bear called Buddy Bear (his bff was a black bear called Big Black Bear. me as a child = wildly inventive). i also had a small stuffed french bulldog named Bacon.

    Now I have: a large dragon, two beanie baby walruses (they are a gay male couple), a spider, a boar, an opossum, a buffalo, that red bulldog from some beer my dad used to drink, and a giant rottweiler about as big as myself.

    stuffed animals rule!

  2. I like how most of your stuffed animals start with a B. Is that just a coincidence? I like the idea of a stuffed spider. Where might I get one?

  3. I've still got all my stuffed animals. Most of them are packed away somewhere and will likely be donated one day. The rest, most of them fairly recent purchases, reside on my dresser. I can't remember the last time I actually slept with one, but I was big into making up stories with them. My friend and I had big roleplayed dramas with our stuffed animals when we were kids.

    I think I mostly just liked having a wide variety, and giving them all names. Let's see what I can recall off the top of my head... Sitting on my dresser now are my prized possession, a huge dragon puppet named Castor; a Ramphorhynchus (not a pterodactyl!) named Smokey and an emperor penguin puppet named Rose, who were favorites as a kid; Raz the howling coyote and Stogie the jackalope, who I acquired the last time my family went out West, a couple years ago; and of course the amoeba named Brutus.


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