Honey Jo, my favorite childhood toy
Honey Jo came into my possession when I was around 8 years old. My memory of it is pretty foggy but I recall being in the parsonage basement for a church auction. There were a bunch of items displayed on tables and everyone had fake money and they were raising their hands and calling out numbers. Quite frankly, I was bored to tears.
But then I saw a big teddy-bear on one of the tables and decided that I wanted it. When the time came I kept raising my hand and shouting numbers…I had no idea what was going on. There was at least one jerk that kept bidding against me, a small child, but others were frantically shoving their fake money at me as I kept raising my bid. In the end, the bear was mine, although I’m not certain how legitimate it was. Someone probably told that other loser to knock it off and let the poor little girl have the bear. Jesus loves you. Hallelujah and Amen.
The bear’s name was Honey Jo. I’m assuming that was the name on the tag because I know that I didn’t name him that myself. I was happy with my bear. He was a cuddly, snugly, armful of goodness…perfect for hugs.
But shortly after bringing him home, something just wasn’t right. Honey Jo just didn’t seem like a boy to me. He just didn’t. So after much contemplation, I did what any good teddy-bear mommy would do…
I had his bowtie removed.
The bowtie removal surgery left a few small scars. Then the bow was reattached to the ear as a lovely “hair”/ear bow. And Honey Jo became Honey Joanna.
…except he didn’t really. I never could bring myself to call him “Joanna”, and I was always confusing my pronouns. To this day I refer to Honey Jo as “him” more often than not. This upsets my daughter who now shares a room with Honey Jo but doesn’t know anything about his/her past. To her, Honey Jo is clearly a girl.
Whether I mix up my pronouns or not, Honey Jo loves me no matter what and is a beloved toy and trusted stuffed friend.
And he still gives the best hugs.
This post is linked to…
Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop 4.) A childhood toy you once loved.
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Posted on January 9, 2014, in About Me, Childhood, True Stories, Writer's Workshop and tagged childhood, writer's workshop. Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.
Wow! That bear is in great condition! It looks like you just got him yesterday. What a sweet story!
Thanks, Tina! I took really good care of my toys. It’s a wonder any of them made it out alive. I had a sister that liked to destroy my things 😦
In any case, looks like he/she has been well taken cares of 🙂
He/she certainly has been. He’s always been displayed in the safest of places and was never shoved in a toy box! 🙂
Such a cute post and I love your bio! This has me thinking about my favorite toy as a kid…great writing prompt (I’ll have to check out Mama Kat’s meme). Happy SITS Saturday.
It really is a great prompt! I actually have a bunch of other great toys I could’ve written about, but I thought I’d write about Honey Jo first. His/her story may help other teddybear mommies with their decision about bowtie removal 😉
Honey Jo is one good-looking androgynous bear!! Good for you for being so open minded!!!
I agree! I just love him/her. Doesn’t matter where the bow is 😉
I love that you took it on yourself to doctor your bear. he/she looks adorable–and seems to have lived quite happily all these years despite his/her gender confusion! 🙂
I just make the tough decisions here, Christine. My grandmother performed the surgery for me.
He/she is very happy and loved. Very few of my toys maintained such a high status of respect and honor all these years.
Who on Earth is bidding against a child? Sounds like something my brother would do actually. I think Honey JoeAnna looks FABULOUS with the bow as a head piece. You were wise beyond your years to have the foresight to change that!
That’s what I was thinking, why would some adult want the teddy bear so bad?! I know they didn’t have a child with them otherwise the church ladies wouldn’t have all ganged up on my side. My memory of it is foggy.
I always thought the ear bow looked amazing even if I did continue to call her “him” 😉
We have so many gender confused toys around here, it’s ridiculous. I think the cat is even confused about whether it’s a he or a she. Too many times playing dress up, I think.