“He could be your friend, Herbie,” I misspoke.
“I knew it! I knew it! I knew it!” spewed my boyfriend, whose name is not Herbie.
“I meant, you could like Herbie if you tried,” I stammered, digging myself deeper into a hole.
Herbie keeps me warm, I explained.
“That’s my job,” he snapped.
“He could keep you warm, too.”
“I’m not sharing him with you.”
Dilemma: Give up Herbie? Or not?
When I first encountered Herbie at a Southern Women’s Show more than a decade ago, I’ll admit, I couldn’t resist his come on. Had to take him home with me. Since then, I hadn’t slept without him on chilly nights … until this year.
I’ve been known to reply “all I need is Herbie,” when asked about my love life. With my hands I shaped the air into a meatloaf, explaining that “Herbie is about this big.”
Meet Herbie. He’s the purple one.
OK, so Herbie is a bean bag. Actually, he—all right, it—is an herb pac, stuffed with such intoxicating ingredients as palmetto berry, white willow, chamomile, peppermint and lemongrass, which smells heavenly when heated in the microwave. Touted as hot or cold herbal therapy, Herbie seldom ends up in my freezer. My passion for Herbie is wildest when he is steaming hot and tucked under the small of my back when I get into bed. Immediately I’m toasty from head to toe, despite the cold sheets. When I roll over and move him between my legs, I couldn’t feel more cozy and content. Honestly, I’ve rarely wanted more. Admittedly, Herbie is lacking in affection, but who cares if your feet and butt are warm.
Never did I dream I could betray Herbie, after all the pleasure he has given me.
Enter BF (boyfriend,) who I truly believe is jealous of Herbie. Frosty, too. Oh, especially Frosty.
Frosty is the adorable lamb in the photo. Really, he is Woolly the Sheep, a Cozy Plush microwavable animal stuffed with lavender. Ahhhhhh! He got the unlikely name Frosty last Christmas from my then 3-year-old grandson in California. “What should I name him?” I asked via Skype, thanking him and his parents for the thoughtful gift. “Frosty!” blurted the tot, consumed by the holidays. Beginning then, I slept with Frosty, too, smiling as I dozed about his ironic sweet name as much as his delirious warmth and scent.
So I wonder: How could a grown man secure in a relationship be envious of two bundles of fabric, even if they do get very close to me?
BF acts particularly gruff with Frosty. I believe that’s because Frosty has a face, which makes him appear more real and more of a threat.
Frankly, I’m more concerned about threats to my cuddly bedmates. Wish I hadn’t told BF about the time I nuked a Herbie too long and had to use tongs to toss the smoking bag out my front door into the cold night air. I’m pretty careful not to let him get his hands on them. He’s threatened to spill their beans. Literally.
Seriously, I wish more older women, like me, knew about Herbie. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Profile of Older American 2011, nearly 80 percent of the 11.3 million persons older than 65 living alone are women. With little effort and lots of satisfaction, they could at least be warm at night. Just in time to make Santa’s list, too.