Care Bear Crisis

I interrupt what has been mostly self-promotional posts of late, to bring you something completely unrelated to books or writing, but something I feel a desire to share… my Care Bear Crisis.

You see those pictures there? Those are some of the stuffed animals that make up my Care Bear collection (I also have an Eeyore collection. These are things that sometimes surprise people. They are like “So… you collect Care Bears and Eeyores and you write about acid-tongued rats, giant ants and zombies?”). Jo, Dani and I live in a relatively small house and a couple years ago, in order to make more room for books, I boxed up my Care Bears and put them in storage. I wasn’t ready to sell or give them away, but at the same time I needed shelf space, so it seemed like a good compromise. Last month I decide to unbox them and find new homes for them. Well, most of them. I pulled Bedtime Bear and Swift Heart Rabbit out of the collection and tucked them in between Eeyores on that shelf. I couldn’t part with them.

Bedtime Bear is special to me because I have a complicated relationship with sleep. I love it, but for various reasons I tend to do too little or too much of it, and often at the times I’m not supposed to. Some of my worst recurring nightmares have involved falling asleep at work or struggling to stay awake and alert while doing things. Those probably sound like stupid things to have nightmares about but trust me, they suck. So Bedtime Bear had to stay.

So did Swift Heart. When I was a kid in the 80s and Care Bears were all the rage I really, really wanted one. Really. For one birthday my cousin and best friend Clinton gave me a knock-off Swift Heart Rabbit. He was so pleased to be able to give me that bunny and I loved it fiercely. My younger siblings and I shared a toy box and they didn’t love it in the same way I did. Eventually my bunny lost his ears, but I still loved him. Clinton killed himself when we were both sixteen, and that was as crushing as you can imagine and made the bunny even more precious. Unfortunately when I was about nineteen my dog destroyed that poor stuffy. So when I got myself a real Swift Heart Rabbit… well, you can imagine why I can’t bring myself to part with it.

Still, that left a lot of other stuffed animals that I was looking to re-home. The emails poured in. Care Bears from the 80s are pretty highly collectable (not as much as they used to be before they were all re-released, but still). The first one said “I want Tenderheart and Grumpy” and I looked at Tenderheart and I looked at Grumpy and I thought, “I can’t get rid of Grumpy!” so I emailed that person back and said “Grumpy’s not available, but Tenderheart is.” and he was like “No, I need both.” So they stayed.

Then the next email came in, “I’ll take Birthday Bear and Grumpy.” and I was like “Um…”

Long story made short(er) I couldn’t do it. I think I could have sold my collection as a whole but I couldn’t cannibalize it like that. I did sell a couple bears to a girl who wanted to give them to her collector little sister because, well, she didn’t want Grumpy for one thing LOL And for another, she was giving them to someone who would love them, but mostly I ended up putting Grumpy, Bedtime Bear and Swift Heart Rabbit up on the shelf with my Eeyores and tucking the rest back into storage.

My name is Rhonda, and I’m not a hoarder I swear. I just have a bit of a Care Bear problem…

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9 thoughts on “Care Bear Crisis”

  1. I LOVE this post. When my mother remarried most of my childhood toys were thrown away. I didn’t have many toys growing up so those I had were VERY special to me. As an adult I ended up buying duplicates on eBay. (Along with a few other toys I really wanted when I was a kid, but couldn’t afford.) I can’t part with any of them. ♥ So, my name is Von and I bought back my childhood on eBay. 🙂 P.S. Keep the Care Bears.

  2. I AM a hoarder. Well, I used to be. I don’t collect things anymore, but I can’t get rid of what I have, either. But you better believe that I will forever keep my Birthday Bear, Starlite, and Pound Purry!

    1. I’m a proto-hoarder I think… or, maybe more like a bulimic hoarder. I tend to go through binge/purge cycles with stuff. These days I spend a great deal more time in the purge end of the spectrum though and I’m hoping to stay there LoL

    1. It’s been eye opening for me to see how many people have fond memories of their Care Bears. I shouldn’t be surprised by our number, but I kinda am lol

  3. Hi Rhonda! I found your page while Care Bear hunting for an interactive art project I’m creating to help heal broken spirits using Care Bears. The stories you’ve shared here are part of the reason why I’m creating the Bear With Me project.

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