Skip To Content

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Israel News

Sometimes a Gift Is Just a Gift

Judaism. “I’m kind of obsessed with Freud,” she said.

Her Freud doll has become one of her favorite distractions; she dances with Freud to Destiny’s Child and treats Freud like a teddy bear — sleeping with it every night.

“This sounds really insane,” Hernandez said. Yes, go on. “Freud has these felt pants…. Whenever I went to bed they’d come off. I swear to God, and you can ask my boyfriend. It’s just so weird to wake up every morning, and [see them off]. I’d say, ‘Freud, where are your pants?’”

Freudiana, Shaw says, “appeals to a real wide audience…. Most have gone to college; they don’t have a deep association with Freud, but they recognize” the icon.

One has to stop to wonder why Freud is different from all other eggheads. Apart perhaps from Albert Einstein, does any other intellectual giant — Charles Darwin or Sir Isaac Newton, say — appear on as many posters, cards and T-shirts?

Orna Rawls, a licensed marriage and family therapist — who keeps Shaw’s Freudian Slips note pads in her office — suggests it has something to do with subject matter. “The things that Freud investigated were relevant to everyone,” Rawls said. The subjects that Darwin and Newton tackled were more esoteric.

“I think Freud has always been a magnet for curiosity,” said Saltz. “He was dealing with issues of not just pure science but the mind, sex, aggression.”

Shaw has a different explanation.

“Freud is just funny,” Shaw said. “He’s funny-looking. He’s cute. He’s really easy to make cute… even though he’s not cute in his theories.”

Shaw encountered one customer who had never heard of Freud. In a thick Southern drawl, the customer called to order a “Frood doll.

Unable to believe that the customer had mispronounced the great master’s name, Shaw said, “Let me ask you this: Why do you want a ‘Frood’ doll?”

The customer replied: “He looks like my father.”


Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.