Imagination Could Not Have Created a Better Friend

For this week’s Remember the Time Blog Hop, we are writing about imaginary friends. A big thanks to That Cynking Feeling for the suggestion! Seriously. Last week, Emily and I stared at each other over Skype and pulled one of these: What do you want to write about?…I don’t know, what do you want to write about?…I can’t think of anything. I’ll write about whatever you want to write about…I don’t care either…Do you see where I’m going with this? We’re not idea machines, people. So we welcome your suggestions.

With that said, I did not have an imaginary friend growing up. Wah…wah…wahhhhhh:

R.I.P. Edgar. Jack Bauer don't know Jack without you. And Chloe can't override those nuclear missles without you. Her frowny eyebrows make it so hard for her to see.
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! R.I.P. Edgar. Jack Bauer don’t know Jack without you. And Chloe can’t override those nuclear missiles without you. Her frowney eyebrows make it so hard for her to see.

I’m not really sure why I never had one, given my historical propensity for delusion. (Like, hoping I might one day marry the Scarecrow from “Wizard of Oz,” then Micky Dolenz. Or considering FroYo “healthy,” even when I top it with brownie bites and waffle cone pieces. Or assuming my kids will actually turn off the bathroom light “this time.” Or thinking the producers of “24” would find a way to bring back Edgar Stiles after he died from deadly Sentox gas released inside CTU headquarters because he couldn’t get into the sealed Situation Room with Chloe in time…damn, that still stings).

I think one of the possible reasons I didn’t have an imaginary friend growing up was because I lived in a neighborhood full of real live kids whom I could play with just about whenever I wanted. And of those friends, my best one was named Brian. So in lieu of an imaginary friend, I’m going to write about my first best friend. And I can break the rules like that because I own half of the RTT Blog Hop. And I said so. (Actually, you all have permission to treat the prompts as non-literal inspiration. This ain’t no dictatorship. Jack Bauer would never stand for it.)

Brian and I were the Kevin Arnold and Winnie Cooper of the early 1980’s (cue Joe Cocker’s version of “I Get By With a Little Help From My Friends”)…minus the love story. True, we were known to play house; and I recall he once pretended that one of those flower-shaped butter cookies with the hole in the middle was a ring and put it on my finger. But Brian and I were buds. The kind of buds who didn’t really notice that I was a girl and he was a boy, evident by our habit of going into the bathroom with one another.

backyard swingset
This picture pretty much sums up the years 1979-1982.

Our backyards were catty-corner from each other, which meant there was a lot of back and forth between our houses. Over thirty years and one house move later, my mom still has evidence of Brian’s frequent visits in the form of primary-colored Tupperware cups with rims bearing the marks of tiny teeth. The boy sure loved to gnaw on his drinkware.

But Brian’s biggest impression, and lasting legacy, was made around the age of three or four, in the wee small hours of the morning. It is a story that has been told so many times I feel as if I was actually there to witness it. But I wasn’t, because I was asleep. And so was everyone else in the neighborhood. Everyone except Brian. He was ready to play, but he needed his partner in crime. So he simply got up and walked over to our house, still in his footy pajamas, while his parents snoozed in their bed. My parents were soon awakened by a tapping on their bedroom window. “Kelly! Kelly! Kelly!” It was the first and only time I was serenaded at my window…except he got the wrong bedroom.

Our endless days of play eventually came to an end when both of our families moved to bigger houses in different neighborhoods. But Brian and I didn’t leave behind our friendship. We would see each other now and again, sometimes having sleepovers at each other’s new digs. As we got older, the sleepovers obviously stopped, because by then everyone was acutely aware that I was a girl and he was a boy…especially my dad. And our interactions grew fewer and farther between. Yet the friendship never faded.

Just two asexual kids having a slumber party. That’s all. (I believe my Crayola sleeping bag made an appearance in an earlier slumber party post.)

When my Senior Prom rolled around, I decided that I didn’t want to mess with asking some guy I was crushing on who would likely ignore me, leaving me with red eyes from crying in the bathroom all night and a prom picture I wanted to burn in effigy. (I had unfortunately ruined my Junior Ring Dance with that plan, and it resulted in the only photographic evidence of me flipping the bird.) So I asked the only possible male at that time who was guaranteed to show me a good time: Brian. And it was absolutely the right move. Not only did I not have to worry about him breaking my heart, I also didn’t have to worry about him not getting along with my friends. Because Brian, like his father, has always had the personality of a charismatic car salesman…one you actually WANT to buy a car from. What? Those don’t exist? Well, I guess that’s why Brian never actually became a car salesman. He had the talk down, just not the lack of scruples.

senior prom
I’m hoping my sparkly dress is detracting you all from staring at my fortress of bangs.

Brian and I have only seen each other a handful of times in our adult lives. But whenever we do, he’s easy to be with. For me he will always be one of those very few people with whom I can simply pick up wherever we left off. Because he was my very first friend. And, dude…I used to watch him pee. rubiks cube

This post is part of the Remember the Time Blog Hop. You can join in, too!

1. Write your post. Remember, it can be ANYTHING about Imaginary Friends! Just try to stick with the whole “back in the day” vibe ;D

2. Grab this badge and place it at the bottom of your post.

You can steal me and use me as your own

3. Add your link below and come back to see all the other great posts your blogging pals have written! Comment on them and tweet and share your favorites!  You can also follow the Remember the Time Twitter account @RTTBlogHop. The link-up closes at 11:59pm EST on WEDNESDAY, so get those links in before then.

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23 thoughts on “Imagination Could Not Have Created a Better Friend

  1. I love this! I didn’t have a Brian, but I did have some “proposals” with the flower butter cookie….. this is a beautiful tribute to your friendship and it also had me cracking up with the Junior prom bird-flipping! You paint such a clear picture with your writing, I almost felt like I was watching an episode of The Wonder Years!


  2. Someone like Brian is a gem in life. I have one of those in my adult life…we all get excited when he comes for a visit and we just pick it up from right there. I wondered how you come up with ideas…


    1. I don’t know why it never occurred to me to ask people for suggestions earlier. So if you have one for RTT, you can always leave it here in the comment section, my FB page or tweet me or @RTTBlogHop.

      Brians are pretty awesome to have around, aren’t they?


  3. I just snorted over: Like, hoping I might one day marry the Scarecrow from “Wizard of Oz” … is this real?! I’m shake-laughing! I loves this post and I now have feelings for Sweet Brian (asexual ones) … but feelings none-the-less. LOVE THIS!


  4. Cute story and I am SOOO glad that you broke the rule. When I saw Emily’s email this morning I thought to myself – aw shucks, (substitute another S-word), they finally found one I can’t participate in. Who creates imaginary friends unless you live on a farm or an oil field? jk – when you grow up in a house of 9 kids and 60 in the neighborhood, you’re usually trying to escape from the friends!


    1. Well, yeah…that makes total sense. You were probably looking for some quiet…not trying to create NEW voices in your head 🙂

      Em and I want these prompts to ultimately be sources of inspiration to get those writing juices flowing!


  5. I never had a specific imaginary “friend,” either. I spent most of my time giving my stuffed animals names and personalities and complex relationships whose implications I was too young to fully understand. …An imaginary friend would’ve probably been easier to manage.


  6. This was so awesome. When you are a kid and especially a teenager, it is wonderful to have a friend of the opposite sex that you never have to worry about weirdness happening with. I went to the senior prom too with a guy who was just a friend (I had just undergone my first horrible breakup), and having him around made me enjoy the experience so much more. Three cheers for the Brians of the world!


    1. Don’t I know it. I still remember when it happened so clearly. My husband and I were sitting there watching the episode unfold. And when I saw Edgar come around the corner and realized he was going to die, I literally, LITERALLY, screamed at the top of my lungs: NOOOOOO! And then I sat, mouth gaping open for appoximately 3 and a half minutes. Then I think I said, “What the f*ck? I hate this show.” It was like the worst thing that ever happened in my television life.


  7. This was absolutely fantastic and completely made my day. Thank you for reminding me how good of fashion sense I had going for me in the early 80s

    Your first friend and always a friend



    1. Um, first…I love that you typed your name as “Brian (from the story)”. Second, I’m so glad you got the chance to read this. Third, we were clearly the the high fashion “it” couple of West County. I mean, look at all that leg I was showing. So daring for a three-year-old. Fourth, hope you are doing well, my friend. We need to catch up soon 🙂


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