Until today, I was under the impression that I was a reasonably mature adult. Since coming to college, I’ve learned to do a lot of things on my own, and I’m relatively responsible. I mean, I don’t eat french fries and M&M’s for all my meals, so that’s something, right?
Today, I realized I was completely wrong about all that.
You see, there are these stuffed animals called Squishmallows.
Let me stop you right there. You’re probably going “oh, whatever, I’ve seen stuffed animals before. They’re fine.” No. Just wait.
Squishmallows are the softest and squishiest stuffed animals ever. If you haven’t actually felt them for yourself, you can’t even imagine what they feel like. You think you can, but you can’t. It’s a whole other kind of softness and squishiness.
I’ve introduced these marvelous creatures to a lot of people since my own awakening, so I’ve had many chances to watch people experience a Squishmallow for the first time. Almost always, the first reaction is one of profound shock: “It’s so soft!” Truly, some variant of that sentiment almost every time. You really can’t be prepared for the softness and squishiness of a Squishmallow. It’s something you never know you’re missing until it’s there.
The only material I can even think to compare them to is fleece, but that isn’t really close enough. Maybe like fleece but a hundred times softer? Or, I had these socks once that were infused with aloe so they were fluffy-soft and silky-soft at the same time, if that makes any sense. Squishmallows are a little like those socks. Maybe fleece infused with aloe? This is by far the closest I’ve ever come to accurately articulating the texture of a Squishmallow and it still feels woefully inadequate.
And then there’s the squishiness. Entirely independent from their softness, Squishmallows are malleable in the absolute best way. When you squeeze most stuffed animals, they either have very little give and maintain their basic shape or they have a lot of give and remain a little deformed even after you let go. So imagine there’s a scale of squishiness from cheap, stiff carnival prizes probably filled with Styrofoam to very well-loved teddy bears with lumpy stuffing. Squishmallows are at the exact middle of this spectrum, the perfect mix of shape retention and huggable give. When you squeeze a Squishmallow, it flattens out, but it returns to its original shape almost as soon as you stop squeezing, with some slight individual variation. I was even able to pack mine into maybe a foot cubed of space in my duffel bag for an entire day of travel, and it was perfectly fine when I unpacked it. Perfect squishiness.
I’ve been more or less obsessed with Squishmallows since I went home for Thanksgiving and I saw the one my brother bought. He called it Squishy, a name I now apply indiscriminately to all Squishmallows. I may or may not have stolen Squishy for the week I was home. Actually, that seems to be a relatively common reaction to first discovering Squishmallows. More than one of the friends I’ve let hold my Squishmallows have walked off with them or threatened to do so before reluctantly returning them.
Once I got my own Squishmallows over winter break, I was fully committed to sharing their amazingness with as many people as possible. I left the store with three extra Squishies for family members and encouraged my brother to give them to all of his friends as presents (wise advice he chose to ignore).
In case there’s any doubt, Squishmallows are for people of all ages. The tag even says so, right under the patent number. That means everyone: children, adults, even teenagers trying to be cool. And especially college students. Ignoring the fact that college students are often remarkably similar to kindergarteners, squeezing a Squishmallow is a great way to deal with stress. I’m definitely not saying it will solve all your problems, but it’s hard to be upset holding something that soft and wonderful.
Knowing all this, you might find it a little odd that I still managed to view myself as a “mature” adult. I mean, I knew I was obsessed, but everyone’s obsessed with something, right? It’s fine. I’m fine. Well, today I came to the same realization you probably came to the second you read the phrase stuffed animals in this article: I am a child.
One of my friends informed me that the Squishmallow company released a new spring collection of Squishmallows; I was on the site in seconds. And someone looking at me in that moment probably would have thought I’d just won the lottery or something. I was ecstatic at the mere existence of new Squishies and spent the next several minutes ogling Bop the bunny, Chuck the chick, and the other new members of the Squishmallow squad (their words, not mine). There might have even been a small tear in my eye at one point; I was that excited. Which of course indicates I am indeed a child at heart. And that’s fine. If it means I get to have Squishies in my life, I’ll be childish for however long I need to be.
So if you haven’t yet, please, please, please look at the Squishmallow website. Squishmallows are so adorable and wonderful, and I cannot stress enough how soft and squishy they are. And if you don’t believe me, believe the thousands of other people who are already in love with Squishmallows. As a relatively young toy (less than a year old!), they’ve already received several toy awards. Clearly I’m not the only one who thinks they’re great.
But, I suppose the best way to convince you isn’t with words or accolades. Go to your local Walgreens and feel a Squishmallow for yourself. You’ll understand what I’m talking about.
Side note: as “research” for this piece, I had to spend a lot of time hugging my Squishy. Best. Research. Ever.