There’s something weird going on at my house. My daughter has become obsessed with fur people. For those of you who aren’t in the know (I sure wasn’t), fur people are people who dress up in fur costumes. Fur costumes are like those footie pajamas we all know from our childhoods. Except more extreme. They are costumes with bodies, feet, hands and head. And tails. Think Disneyland. Those people who walk around dressed as Mickey, Minnie, Goofy… Or your school mascot. Now imagine a person (usually a twenty something year old person) dressed as a dog or a coyote or any number of furry animals. And they don’t talk. They squeak, beep and bark, but they don’t talk. They also hug each other a lot.
These people spend thousands of dollars to have a costume made. Or, if they’re poor (or their mother refuses to hand over the dough) they make it themselves.
Now I know what you’re thinking. It’s the same question I had. So, they put on the costume, then what do they do?
I’ll tell you what they do. They have parties. They congregate at somebody’s house and hug each other. They also go to conventions. Yes, there are fur conventions held all over the country. Kind of like a Star Trek convention except they’re all wearing fur suits. A FurCon.
Now for the bigger question: Why? Why do these people want to put on a costume and walk around like a cartoon character?
Saxon told me it’s because they feel free when they wear the costume. Inside the costume they are gender neutral and there is no racism, ageism or discrimination of any kind. They can adopt a personality of their own – kind of like being a living, breathing avatar. They also feel a sense of community with other like-minded individuals.
That’s what Saxon says. I don’t know. I think they’re just plain weird.
Emma tried to school me on some of the Fur Rules. This is what I learned.
No tail pulling.
No punching in the nose.
Don’t hug too hard.
And because of their ginormous heads, they have poor peripheral vision, so another rule is not to approach a fur person from the side or you’ll scare them.
this is a no-no
My daughter is spending hours holed up in her room designing her fur costume. It seems there is a lot that goes into the designing decisions. Do you want a ‘Toonie’ design or a ‘real’ design? Do you want a partial suit or a full suit? Do you want padding or no padding? Do you want ‘diggi’ legs or not? Can you install a fan in the nose of the head so you don’t faint when the temps inside the suit rise to over 100 degrees?
Her mind changes daily on what costume she wants. But as of last night, she wanted to be a chubby puppy.
You may think I’m kidding.
I blame myself for this obsession of Emma’s. See when she was two years old, I dressed her up as Spirit. Remember Spirit the Horse from the Disney movie? She loved that costume. It was a mini fur horse costume and she was cute as hell in it.
I took her trick or treating on Halloween night. I led her up to my neighbor’s door and rang the bell. My neighbor answered and stared at Emma. “What’re you supposed to be?” she asked.
Now, Emma was only two and had a little speech problem, see. She couldn’t pronounce ‘s.’ So when the neighbor asked what she was dressed up as, Emma tried to say, “I am a horse,” but it came out sounding like, “I am a hor.”
The neighbor didn’t laugh.
Of course, you know me… I laughed my butt off. I proceeded to march Emma around town and made her tell everybody, “I’m a hor.”
She got a lot of attention from that. And I think maybe that’s why she has become so obsessed with these fur people.
Saxon is encouraging this obsession. She said that Emma is learning a lot from this experience. She’s learning how to design, how to research, how to measure, even her spelling is improving. Saxon has a point. But then again, Saxon won’t be the one who has to help make a paper-mache ‘chubby puppy head’ this summer.
For some reason, Emma and Saxon have appointed me as the seamstress for the fur suit. I mistakenly told them I was in 4-H and won a blue ribbon for sewing. What I didn’t mention was that I was in third grade and I sewed a poncho and I was the only one in my category and that’s why I won the blue ribbon.
I wonder if Emma will get mad if her chubby puppy wears a poncho?
I’m almost at the wrist-slitting stage over this whole ordeal. If there’s anybody out there who would like to donate a fur suit for a twelve year-old, please leave a comment. ‘Cause this promises to get real ugly, real soon.
Oh, BTW, these fur people have nothing to do with ‘Furries.’ It seems there’s a sect of people who dress in fur costumes and have sex with each other while wearing them. These are mainly men in their forties. They are called Furries and are not the same as the Fur People my daughter is obsessed with.
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