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Once I was proper, but now I am not;
Often included, but I can be bought.
My cousin protects the foodstuffs that you keep,
And I might be quite close when you're going to sleep.

What Am I?

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You are a:

Zipper

Once I was proper, but now I am not;

"Zipper" was originally a trademark of B.F. Goodrich for zip fasteners used in rubber boots.

Often included, but I can be bought.

Zippers are included in a lot of items, mainly clothing and bags, but you can indeed buy them on their own.

My cousin protects the foodstuffs that you keep,

That cousin is another fastener, the ziplock on food storage bags (itself a genericized version of the Ziploc® brand).

And I might be quite close when you're going to sleep.

PJs, pillow cases, and sleeping bags likely include zippers to keep things closed.


This answer used to say Velcro but after no comment from OP, and upon further reflection, I realized what it must be.

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  • $\begingroup$ Nicely reasoned! $\endgroup$ – user41265 Oct 5 '17 at 3:01
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Are You

ac ?

Cousin is

a refrigerator he/she keeps food cold.

Once was proper,

could refer to Ac as it is sometimes referred to.

Often included, but I can be bought.

Most homes come with an ac unit but you can still buy one.

And I might be quite close when you're going to sleep.

ac window units are often in bedrooms near a bed which is where most people go to sleep.

Another interesting connection would be

AC current and DC current which would make you DC since Ac (your cousin) powers a Fridge and you Dc is used to power a stove.

Also

Dc current, before Tesla Invented Ac current, was the proper way to power things. It has since been shown to be more dangerous than AC the proper way to power things. Usually batteries ( batteries can be considered Direct current, i think...) are included but can be bought.

Another level of comparison could be made, but for now that is all I have time for !

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  • $\begingroup$ Was i Close or way off ? $\endgroup$ – People Call Me Adam Oct 4 '17 at 6:31
  • $\begingroup$ Oh, wow, but that is a very good answer. Not the one I meant when I constructed the riddle, though. Keyur taking part has put me thinking in terms of international law, though, which I hadn't before. So I'll come clean on "Once I was proper, but now I am not." Once this was a proper name, and should always have been capitalized. Now it is not, at least in the US. It has become genericized. I don't know about anywhere else in the world. $\endgroup$ – user41265 Oct 4 '17 at 12:53
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I'm going with

Kleenex

Once I was proper, but now I am not;

Kleenex (at least to me) refers to any type of tissue that I'm going to blow my nose in.

Often included, but I can be bought.

I could be wrong, but I feel like kleenex might be a common "get free kleenex when you buy Y" item?

My cousin protects the foodstuffs that you keep,

Kleenex is roughly related to like, waxed paper or something? Maybe?

And I might be quite close when you're going to sleep.

I keep kleenex close to my bed :P

EDIT:

Alright, I've got another answer.

Cellophane

Once I was proper, but now I am not;

According to the wikipedia article here, cellophane was once a trademarked name.

Often included, but I can be bought.

Cellophane wrapping on products, yo. But you can buy like cellophane bags and stuff, too.

My cousin protects the foodstuffs that you keep,

Saran wrap. EZ.

And I might be quite close when you're going to sleep.

This is the only one that I'm still not sure about. Googling "cellophane sleep" gave me results about doing body wraps to make yourself more skinny though, lol.

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  • $\begingroup$ Fair. I didn't see that you had marked him correct when I posted again. Good riddle! $\endgroup$ – phroureo Oct 5 '17 at 17:50
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It could be (a partial answer)

A Hydrocarbon based fossil fuel(such as gasoline).

As,

Once I was proper, but now I am not;

This could be referring to depleting fossil fuels day by day.

Often included, but I can be bought.

In residences, a cooking gas connection is being referred here - which can be included (In western countries) or it can be bought (either in Eastern countries / at gas stations)

My cousin protects the foodstuffs that you keep,

Vinegar (a kind of acid) is a relative of gasoline as both are hydrocarbons

And I might be quite close when you're going to sleep.

It could be a candle(made of paraffin wax, which is a by product of hydrocarbons) adjacent to bed / fire place being lit by fuel.

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