Tuesday, May 15, 2012

My imaginary house-guests

     We don't have any imaginary house-guests currently, but there were times in our lives that the house seemed chock full of them. All of my children created imaginary playmates when they were younger and these guests varied in age, occupations, and their lengths of stay on our premises.  

     I never had imaginary friends when I was a kid (except for imaginary girlfriends in high school, but those don't count), but my daughter Molly had 3; Iggy, Map and Sally.  They appeared when she was 3 or 4 and a lot of the details on them have been lost to the ages, but some things I do remember, like with Map.  He had a map for a face.  You remember that kind of thing about people, even imaginary ones.  I never did know what
the map was of, and it seemed rude to ask, cuz when your kids have imaginary friends you just have to play along.  Be warned, this leads to a loss of space in your house when, inevitably, the imaginary friends sit in your favorite spot at the table, or in front of the TV or on the front porch.  By the way, that's where Iggy, Map and Sally lived, on our front porch.  As house-guests go, imaginary or not, that's a great place for them to stay.  I've had family stay here a few times over the years and never once did any of them offer to stay on the front porch.  I miss Iggy, Map and Sally.  I don't remember any of their adventures, but I do remember Molly going out to the front porch to talk with them. They were allowed into the house, but they preferred to stay on the porch a lot.  When Molly got real friends, this never happened, nor did it with Danny or Nolan's friends either.  I miss Iggy, Map and Sally.  They didn't eat much, especially Map.  They would be satisfied with the fallen
Map, is that you?
berries from a weeping cherry in our backyard, sometimes soaked in water like a good herbal tea.  It was during one of those backyard outings that Molly likely met the neighbor girl looking through our hedge in the yard and quickly thereafter the appearances by Iggy, Map or Sally got less frequent and were replaced by the appearances of Stacy, the neighbor girl.  I think they disappeared one at a time with Sally going last, and Stacy was probably introduced to Sally at one point or another.  As said previously, as imaginary friends go, Iggy, Map and Sally were the best.  I think of them often, especially Map, especially while driving.

     It was a few years later before we got our next imaginary house-guest when Danny mentioned his friend Sam, from Alabama.  We had never been to Alabama, so that's how we knew Danny's friend was imaginary.  The first time that he was mentioned we were driving somewhere and I was asked to slow down so that Sam (from Alabama) could catch up. I complied for a little while but eventually we had to teach Sam to keep up.   That might have been when Sam (from Alabama) got a zebra to ride on.  He kept pace after that.  If you wondered why he rode a zebra instead of a horse, I never asked.  I just figured it was what you did,
when you were from Alabama.  I'll never know where Danny got the inspiration for Sam (from Alabama) from, but for the Alabama part, I blame Map.  Sam appeared almost every time that we were driving but I don't actually remember seeing him around the house that much (Well, of course I didn't see him, he was IMAGINARY).  I suspect that because Danny had an older sister at home, he had less of a need for imaginary friends there,as was the case when I grew up.  I never remember having imaginary friends.  I had 11 siblings and a dog, and that seemed to be enough. Dan had Molly except when we were in the car.  The specific details on Sam were sparse. To this day I don't know whether Sam was a boy or girl.  I only know that her/his state of origin, and the fact that he/she owned or leased a zebra. 
     It was 6 years or so before our next visit by an imaginary friend, and coincidentally Nolan's friend was named Sam.  He wasn't from Alabama, we know because we asked.  Even though he was the most recent imaginary friend I don't remember a lot about this Sam (not from Alabama) except for the fire.  I could never forget the fire.  Sam had been visiting with us for a few months by then, and I had started traveling for work.  I came home one day, from a trip, to hear of the tragedy.  Sam's family had lost their house in a fire and had come to live with us.  No imaginary friends had perished in the blaze but there was simply no saving the imaginary house.   I don't blame the imaginary firemen, some times they do
Sam's new home, we couldn't compete with this
their best, but their best isn't enough.  I'll leave it to the imaginary lawyers and imaginary judges to sort it out.  I will frankly admit that imaginary insurance companies are no faster at compensating for home loss than the real ones, because that family was with us for months.  They ate at our crowded table, they slept in our crowded house, and we had to fill extra imaginary grocery carts up just for them.  The imaginary Red Cross could do nothing for us, so one day while traveling, I took matters into my own hands.  I was traveling with my boss and told him of my predicament.  He, coincidentally, knew an imaginary real estate agent who had just gotten an imaginary listing on a beautiful new imaginary house.  He was kind enough to call and talk with Nolan a few days later and share the good news with him.  After the imaginary closing date, Sam's family moved out and shortly thereafter Sam stopped appearing at the house too.  To my knowledge, that Sam (not from Alabama) was the last imaginary house-guest that we had.  As said previously, I miss them all, especially Map, especially while driving. 

1 comment:

cdyarger said...

I miss Iggy, Map and Sally too. Also both Sam from Alabama, the zebra and the other Sam, who survived the devastating fire!! Ah, those were the days - imaginary friends are so easy! I note you did not put anything in this blog about Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends - a show we watched faithfully for a couple of years! Who could forget Bloo?? LOVE this blog!!!