Things have moved quickly and I don't know if it's time to change my Facebook relationship status (truthfully wouldn’t even know how to do this) to “it’s complicated” on behalf of me and my new… lover? Lover might be an odd word; our connection is about more than just the physical side of things. They are not a boyfriend or girlfriend. Gender isn’t relevant here; they’d check “declines to answer” on the health form. The love is unconditional. There’s no drama or conflict, in fact we barely talk; we just understand each other without words needing to be spoken. They’re there for me every single night which is just the thing for the horrendous object permanence issues of my Borderline Personality Disorder, so I don’t have to worry they’ll ever abandon me.. because they can’t.
Why? Because they’re a pillow.
I don’t know how the relationship first began, I think it may have started as a TikTok crush, my stupid habit of endless scrolling before bed. I think I saw their cousin first, a tacky bear or manatee. I even put one in my cart and somehow my family saw it on Amazon and “Mom wants a teddy bear” became fodder for easy mockery. It’s not a teddy bear, I explained with eyes rolling back into standard formation. It's a body pillow. “Sure, okay Mom, whatever you say,” came the replies, as the “Mom wants a glitter sea lion!” vibe continued.
I didn’t want a giant bean bag animal on my bed, and had recently poached a full-length body pillow left behind when one of the kids left for college, so I began searching for an upgraded… GOD, sleeping companion sounds fucked up, I’m not buying a damn sex doll here, that’s not what this is about. Having finally killed the motor on my Magic Wand after years of my faithful servant dimming the power grid here on the island.. well, that’s another article entirely.
The brief history is that when I was first pregnant (nearly 30 years ago) and had sciatica, the doctor recommended sleeping with a pillow between my legs and I’ve slept that way ever since, with a bunch of pillows propped behind me, in front of me, and even one on top of my head, because once I had four kids I didn’t want them waking me up in the middle of the night.
It turns out they primarily refer to the $100 bougie memory foam velour pillow I wanted as a “pregnancy pillow” which (as a post-hysterectomy fiftysomething mother of four grown children) I found offensive. Who says I have to be pregnant to sleep comfortably? I’ve paid my dues, trust me I don’t need another bun in the oven to have good head/neck/back support so I can catch the once-elusive good night of Zs. I need a minimum of six hours to be productive during the day and avoid habitual migraines.
I searched until I found a full body length “U-pillow” that didn’t say “pregnancy” in the description that also included a photo of a twentysomething pregnant “sleeping” smiling model, on principle. Learn to market. Why would you limit your reach like that? Anyway, I put the pillow (I figured out I wanted the "U" not the "J" because I wanted pillow support, not a pillow up my ass) on my Amazon Christmas wish list and couldn’t have been more thrilled to open her on Christmas morning. (though I hate labels I'm more or less bisexual and look, although “they” are gray and seem gender-neutral, the velour just says chick to me, though with a small spritz of expensive cologne they could also be a gay man, I’m not picky, I just want to cuddle on both sides of me when I sleep.)
I’ve never slept as well in over a half century as I do with… why do I feel like he/she/they/gay needs a name now, and suddenly feel completely guilty they don’t have one? I should have a naming contest on my Instagram, but have never posted a photo of me lying in the middle of this giant velour U-shaped pillow. You don’t need to have BPD to want a giant pillow partner; I imagine it’d be therapeutic for anyone. Because I sleep most nights alone on the island where I work, it’s miraculous sleep quality. If you normally sleep with another person, I’m not sure how you’d handle the throuple or whether a human breakup would become necessary; you’d have to work that out over pillow talk.