The Teenager, had three very elaborately concocted imaginary friends when she was little. “Salad” was the first to enter her world. She (Salad) was very particular about what she consumed, opting most often while dining for “just salads.” “Black eyed Susan” didn’t actually have a “black eye” but was always referred to by her full name and really loved black beans. “German” was a bit more elusive and was always traveling. When questioned about his whereabouts, The small Teenager would be ready with an extensive list of destinations that “German” was currently visiting. It has been to revealed to us just last week that “German” was her imaginary boyfriend. We have yet to delve into the reasons why he was never around, but I feel we will be informed in time.
Around the same time The Niece was very vocal about her Imaginary friend whose name was “Matthew Bloopbloop” sex, female. “Matthew” was also an avid traveler and was known to visit her grandma who lived in Manchester, New Hampshire, but was originally from Managua, Nicaragua. “Matthew” has vacationed in many real places that I didn’t even know existed, but such is the crazy smart brain of The Niece. When I have the pleasure of her company I learn more from her than she does from me.
This cast of characters are a distant warm memory now that both girls are Teenagers, but The Associate did not disappoint. Approximately 5 years ago she appointed her very literal imaginary friends. “Mirror” was the first to arrive, and being eager to hear her explanation, I questioned her immediately. Her answer was very rational “I can see her in the mirror” – “so she is your reflection?” -“yep.” Whenever we happened upon a reflective surface she would happily converse with it. Next, “Shadow” appeared, and The Associate explained that she is always with her, and you can’t argue with that. Mirror and Shadow’s presence dwindled over the years until we went on a recent vacation, and they came back and multiplied. Being the youngest by 7.5 years can be tough, especially because The Teenager is very mature for her age, and laughs at all the adult jokes. The Associate’s wit is quick and when the topic goes over head she kind of just wanders away to text her imaginary friends whose names have been changed to “Miranda and Shada.” Yes, that is correct in the span of 8 years technology has come so far that you can imagine you have a smart phone and on it you can reach anybody you can conjure up.
We chatted about this quite a bit while we were away, and it came in quite handy when I was questioned while muttering angrily to myself about “Religious Freedom.” When The Associate asked me why I was upset I could easily keep the conversation age appropriate without spewing my anger onto her.
me- “Well honey, Some adults have imaginary friends too. The difference is that they feel like their imaginary friend can tell other people what to believe and how to live their lives.”
TA- “Why would you want your imaginary friend to be a bully?”
me- “good question.”