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Mind In The Gutter

January 21, 2010

The reader at my wedding sent me a selection of readings she was thinking about, one of which is something from The Velveteen Rabbit and all I can think about is

“Is she seriously thinking of reading this dirty piece of crap?”

“Is she kidding? My folks are going to be there!”

“What is REAL?” asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. “Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?”  

“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.”  

“Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit.  

“Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.”  

“Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,” he asked, “or bit by bit?”  

“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.” 

“Is ‘real’ a metaphor for popping the cherry?” (emphasis my own)

And then I realized, The Velveteen Rabbit is a real children‘s book.

Boy, do I feel like a loser.

Picture from Wiki and excerpt from The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams.

p/s – In case you are wondering, no, we are not reading that at the wedding.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. January 22, 2010 9:40 am

    hahaha – I’ve noticed that that specific reading is rather popular at weddings. It’s sweet…except the part about “the stick out handle” – that always make me blush.

  2. January 22, 2010 11:16 am

    I’ve seen this mentioned as wedding readings before too and I don’t really get it. What’s the message? That we aren’t really REAL until someone (our soon-to-be-spouse loves us? Or until we’re 80 years old and our eyes and hair fall out? Really?? This book is kinda sad and certainly not romantic.
    But hey I’m cynical I spose.

  3. Jesselyn permalink*
    January 22, 2010 2:06 pm

    Honestly, this is the first I heard of it being a reading. This is the first I have heard of the book. Shoestring Boy was like “that is a real book?”

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