Perhaps it’s because I watched Toy Story too many times. But then, Toy Story made total sense to me. It was long before Woody and Buzz that I held the belief that my animals had the ability to do things, understand things and get up to mischief. It is not uncommon for me to go into some ramble about objects that are not animals (human or otherwise) as if they are alive and have personalities and I think at this point my friends have accepted this little ‘quirk’ of mine.
And so, even as a 31 year old, I still name things. To the point where even the more cynical friends and family call things by their names without thinking about it too much.
My car was always called Cassie from the very first weekend I picked her up from the used car dealer and drove her to Aberdeen. In fact, after months of radio silence a couple of years ago, the thing that made my youngest brother PM me on facebook? Seeing a picture of Cassie with the news that she had been towed away to the scrapyard. His message began not with ‘Hello, How are you?’ but something along the lines of “WHAT HAPPENED TO CASSIE?!!” My blue corsa stank (her last two years she leaked rainwater that would pour from somewhere behind the glove compartment onto the passenger seat floor, and I still have no idea how or why), we never managed to get the chocolate stain off the passenger seat (10 hours, a gigantic bar of dairy milk and my friend who was navigating us back from Soul Survivor sitting on said chocolate…) and she never made it out a garage without a massive bill. Ok. One time she made it out only need a registration plate renewed. But she made it out a ditch on a snowy A96 without a scratch on her. She never once broke down on the seriously long road trips. And I’m still amazed the amount of musical equipment Rob Moles managed to squeeze into Cassie for the Powerpoint Edinburgh events. An online friend once told me he liked to imagine me and Cassie as some kind of Human/Car Superhero team that went around the UK defeating evil. Like the Potts family loved Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, we kinda all had a soft spot for Cassie the Corsa.
Equally there are the Elmo Slippers that someone donated to my old work amongst a large bag of baby clothes and no one ever wanted them. So we kinda claimed them as our centre mascots and we would have them adorn the £2 Christmas Tree we had in the centre office. Last year when one of my Guides found out about me losing my job she asked if I still had the Elmo Slippers. Yes I do.
And then there are my Christmas buddies. Years ago I was shopping when I spotted a reindeer Christmas tree decoration. He kept staring at me every time I went into this shop, and eventually I could take it no more. I named him Ruairidh (which is the Scottish Gaelic form of ‘Rory’). I always imagined him as being from the Gaelic speaking part of the Highlands. And then soon, I saw another reindeer. But she looked like she was Scandinavian. My friends helped me name her, and someone suggested Sally (a form of ‘Sarah’) and I looked up to see if there was a Scandinavian form of the name. Saija it was.
Ruairidh and Saija have in the past stood at the little TV in my bedroom, guarding my tickets to the Glasgow World Cup event. Sometimes the ended up wearing the little woollen hats that adorn my Christmas tree, and I imagined them sneaking out at night to get into the great outdoors. There’s a whole back story that Ruairidh and Saija have in my head, about how they met at a reindeer sanctuary in the Scottish Highlands when they were both little reindeer.
And then there is Eliza. There are several cuddly toy elves that weren’t sold last Christmas at the shop I’m working in, and again, they stared me down until one day a couple of weeks ago I couldn’t take it anymore and when I got paid I got an elf and a little snowman onesie (since there are no elf costumes for the elves). I couldn’t think of a name, and for some reason just knew that this little elf was female and a distant relative of Bryony. I turned to my friends to help again, and it was my sister who suggested either Elsa or Eliza. I’m not the biggest Elsa fan (sorry Idina Menzel, I do love you though!) but Eliza seemed right. She’s definitely musical and got a lot of spunk! I am however worried that she might run back to the North Pole on Christmas Eve.