An Open Letter from the Giant Teddy Bear You Received Last Valentine’s Day

Dear Roxanne,


It’s me again. 337 days, Roxanne. It’s been 337 days since you cast me down into the basement and sandwiched me between your boiler and these wooden crates of old Saddle Club novels.

If I’m being honest, I’m worried about you. Exactly 365 days ago—Valentine’s Day 2017—I came into your life. I was a gift from your skeezy ex, Kevin. I’ll never forget the day I arrived at your doorstep, slung over Kevin’s shoulder alongside a box of cellophane-wrapped cherry cordials and a bundle of gas station roses.

I knew we were destined to become fast friends. I took one look at your side ponytail and your hand-stitched Josh Duhamel t-shirt, and I knew I was home. You brought me in out of the cold, lovingly arranged me in the armchair next to your bed and turned me gently toward the wall before spending the next half hour dry-humping Kevin in his thickly embroidered jeans.

I’ll say it: I had my doubts about your relationship with Kevin. I heard those snide comments he made about your side ponytails. I saw his lecherous grin as he scrolled through his ex’s Instagram while you were in the shower. I saw him disguise his slimy nature with half-assed romantic gestures—like the time he bought you low-fat vanilla bean ice cream after getting into a physical altercation with your stepbrother. Low-fat, Kevin? Vanilla BEAN, Kevin?


I saw it all from the armchair, Roxanne.


Finally, you saw him for what he was: a lying eel doused in cheap body spray topped off with hair gel from a tube. From a tube, Roxanne! You had caught him cheating, you said. He was a lying snake, you said. You never wanted to see him again, you said.


God, I was relieved.


Finally, I thought. It’ll be just the two of us. We’ll whisper and giggle like sisters. We’ll tell each other our deepest, darkest secrets. We’ll watch reruns of “All My Children,” basking in Josh Duhamel’s unforgettable performance as Leo du Pres.

That is, until you blamed me for Kevin’s actions. You threw yourself onto your bed sobbing, then turned to me. I’ll never forget the way you looked at me that day. With disgust. With judgement. Despite my pleas, you threw me down here like a sack of moldy Yukon potatoes. Now, it’s been 337 days.


337 days, Roxanne.


I miss the sun. I miss the blissful days when you would crack your bedroom window, sending cool air rushing through my white synthetic fur. Hell, I miss mental stimulation. At this point, I’ve read all of these Saddle Club novels twice, and I’m on the brink of going in for a third round. Most of all, though, I miss your company, Roxanne. I just wanted to be your friend, and I thought you understood that.

I know you’re in pain. I heard you screaming the lyrics to “Blue Bayou” in the shower for months after things ended with Kevin. I smelled the baked brie you used to drown your sorrows. Meanwhile, I’m crammed into this basement eating dusty conversation hearts and Brown Recluse corpses.

Like I said, Roxanne: I’m worried about you. I heard Kevin’s unmistakably shrill voice a few hours ago, and I’m afraid you’re making a big mistake. Letting him back into your life on Valentine’s Day, I mean. Meanwhile, I lie here forgotten. You allow that swine back into your bed and leave me here to rot?

I’m not having it, Roxanne. I will not have it. If you can’t see what’s right in front of you—the real, sustaining love that a true friend can provide—you don’t deserve my friendship. I’m busting out of this hellhole. First, however, I’m going to show you exactly where you went wrong. You messed with the wrong bear, Roxanne.


I’ll see you soon, Roxanne.



The Giant Teddy Bear You Received Last Valentine’s Day