Friday, August 12, 2011

Fiction Friday: Just How Many Psychological Disorders Can One Fit Into a Children's Book?

I've got a modest collection of Eeyore beanie babies.  You know--that depressed donkey from Winnie the Pooh.  Some of them are the Disneyfied versions.  Some of them are "classic Eeyores."  Some of them are dressed up like butterflies for no apparent reason.  One of them is even dressed up like Ringo Starr, because I like Eeyore AND the Beatles.  And my dad thought I needed the whole "Bee-tles" collection of Winnie-the-Pooh beanies, complete with Paul McCartney Tigger, George Harrison Piglet, and John Lennon Winnie-the-Pooh.  Thanks, dad!  I still think they're amazing.

I still like Eeyore a lot.  People still make fun of me for it, but at least the obsession has calmed down over the years.  For one thing, I've stopped spending money on beanie baby likenesses of my favorite old gray donkey.  But I still get sort of defensive when people off-handedly say something derogatory about Eeyore.  The poor guy can't help being gloomy.  He's stuffed with sawdust (itchy).  His tail keeps falling off, and it has to be reattached with a hammer and nail (ouch).  And, let's face it, the dude is just being honest when he says that no one notices him.  If you pay attention to the original Milne, Eeyore's "friends" did overlook him quite a bit.  One of my favorite Eeyore quotes is from Milne's Winnie-the-Pooh: "One can't complain.  I have my friends.  Somebody spoke to me only yesterday."  Eeyore is also sarcastic.  I like that.

Eeyore has a right to be depressed.  I'll say this for him, though.  On Eeyore's birthday, he was bounced into the river by a very unrepentant Tigger.  His friends all forgot about his birthday.  When Pooh and Piglet finally figured out it was his birthday, Pooh went to get a pot of honey for Eeyore, while Piglet went to get him a balloon.  Well, Pooh accidentally ate all the honey (poor bear of little brain, but I'm getting ahead of myself), and Piglet accidentally broke the balloon.  You know what?  Eeyore was still thrilled with the gifts because his friends thought of him.  That's what kind of guy Eeyore is--so get off his tail.  Poor gloomy donkey has enough tail problems, doncha know.

I think Piglet is my second favorite Winnie the Pooh character, but he's not without his issues.  Piglet is severely shy and has so many phobias it's amazing that he ever leaves his house in the haycorn tree.  Then there's Tigger, the mania to Eeyore's depression.  Rabbit has control-issues and is probably obsessive compulsive.  Owl is narcissistic.  Kanga is overprotective.  Roo is just a kid, but I have my suspicions that his development has been stunted.

Then there's Pooh.  Pooh doesn't have any personality disorders.  There's a reason for this.

His head is stuffed with fluff.

We should all be so lucky.

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