It’s happening again.
There used to be three, and then there were two. Those of us left, we called it the Shiny New Toy Syndrome, the need for the newest model, the flashiest toy, with the brightest lasers and the glow-in-the dark plastic. No one ever lasted more than a few months, because he was always looking for that shiny new toy to play with. Being forgotten at a hotel just meant a new friend to play with, all for the price listed on the TV below. And those of us who were older models, we learned what the bottom of a toy box looked like all too well.
And it’s not like this was the first time this happened to me. I’m not exactly built to be limited edition, or the season’s must-have shelf stocker. I’m the teddy bear you curl up with at night because the fold-out wings hurt your ribs when you hug the plastics too tightly. I’m the ratty puppy you brought to your first apartment because the thought of leaving college without it was too much to handle.
I may not be the newest, but I’m definitely what you’d call a classic. If you accidentally leave me on the hotel floor, you better believe that car is turning around to bring me back. And I thought you understood that, thought you saw my value for more than just a toy on a shelf. But now I just feel like a security blanket, folded neatly along the wall for your convenience.
There used to be two, and now there’s just one. I’m stuck up on a shelf watching you play with your shiny new toy, with the painted-on dimples and the babydoll smile I can’t compete with. You’re a slave to the syndrome and you don’t even realize it. Or maybe you do, and you’re just too guilty to donate me with the rest of the toys you’ve outgrown. Call it jealousy, call it crazy, call me out of my mind. But I know shiny new toys when I see them and I can never stitch myself up well enough to compare to this year’s new models.
So if you need me, I’ll be between the bed and the wall, forgotten once more until you reach down and find me covered in dust bunnies and dead bugs. Maybe then you’ll take a minute to dust me off, and I’ll get a night cuddled in your arms, before back on the shelf I go.