Never Be Alone Again: Five Places That Should Offer Giant Stuffed Animals

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I have quite a few people in my life who don't like to eat out by themselves. I've never had this problem, so I can't pretend to understand it, especially in the age of cellphones, but they feel the way they feel and I'm not here to pass judgment.

With this in mind, you might understand my excitement when I read a story about Moomin Café. At last there's an adorable way for my friends not to feel all awkward when they want to eat out while they are flying solo. Admittedly, I'm not sure being the person at a table alone with a giant stuffed animal is less weird than being the person alone reading a romance novel, but at least the former is not a sad stereotype.

What I'm saying is that I think this idea has potential, and not just for restaurants either. There are plenty of situations where it would be nice to have a giant fluffy friend to make you feel less alone. Here are a few that come to mind.

5. Sporting Events

This may come as a shock to you, but not everyone cares about sports. That's right, some people just hate fun. As such, if you have a loved one who hates the sport you love they're probably not going to be inclined to join you for an afternoon of cheering and cheap stadium food. Let them stay home and do whatever less fun thing interests them while you and a furry buddy (decked out in the team colors naturally) get your cheer on.

4. Pools, Beaches, and Floating the River

Unless you're doing laps, going to the pool by yourself can be kind of weird, especially if everyone else is there with a buddy. Likewise, heading to the beach or hitting the river is a lot more fun when you've got company. Obviously you'd have to be super careful with your stuffed friends -- you wouldn't want them to get waterlogged. That would be gross. But at least you'd have someone to watch you while you splash about, and that's something. This story continues on the next page.

3. Rental Cars

Being alone in a strange new place in a vehicle that isn't yours sounds 27 kinds of awkward. You'll have to navigate your way around, find something to eating and probably crash in a strange hotel room, all without a familiar face. That's a lot to take on, but with a giant buddy riding shotgun it might be a little less imposing. You may not be able to jump in to the HOV lane, but at least you won't have to worry about them raiding the mini-bar when you get to your room.

2. The Park

It happens to the best of us: you look outside on a bright day and are overcome with the desire to have a picnic. Then you realize that all of your friends hate the sun, sitting on blankets and cold chicken. Also they have jobs that don't allow them to just go on random picnics. You know who doesn't have a job? That's right - your new stuffed best friend. Make up a nice lunch, check out your buddy and have a nice afternoon talking about how your real friends are the worst.

1. Theaters

Seeing as how you really shouldn't be talking in a movie theater anyway, the movie theater is one of those rare times when being alone is fairly socially acceptable. Still, some people just don't like the idea of sitting there by themselves, and that's OK too. If you need company to hold your popcorn or want a soft shoulder to lean on, a giant stuffed animal sounds like a pretty solid choice. With the right film, you could watch a movie with a character in the movie. And if you cry they'll never judge you. Just don't cry on them; waterlogging is bad, remember?

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