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the girl with violets in her lap [userpic]

October 19th, 2010 (10:37 am)

Did you have (an) imaginary friend(s) when you were growing up?

They were real!!!

Tell me about them!

Do feel free to expand in the comments. I am actually super-curious about this right now.


(Deleted comment)
Posted by: the girl with violets in her lap (slammerkinbabe)
Posted at: October 19th, 2010 03:20 pm (UTC)

It was something about how I always thought a lot of kids couldn't/didn't make the distinction that their imaginary friends weren't "real" -- not saying little kids are psychotic, but more that they usually have a little more flexibility in the boundaries between fantasy and reality? -- only you were obviously very clear about the difference because it frightened you when the friend actually showed up! Also, I haven't seen that movie, what is it?

Lastly, if you happen to know, through Charlie, any girls who would be of the right age to read the Jane book and take some notes/answer some questions about it, let me know because my mother bought me a focus group for my birthday and I'm not even kidding. I'm looking for kids in the target audience to read and comment on the book at $50 a pop. They'd have to be the sorts of kids who would actually do it though, because three of my copies have already disappeared into the wilderness and it seems unlikely I’m ever getting them back. (This is why I'm still looking for kids even though my birthday was in August.)

Posted by: the girl with violets in her lap (slammerkinbabe)
Posted at: October 19th, 2010 03:21 pm (UTC)

Also, I just managed to not include the introductory line of that comment, which was something about how I wrote a whole comment and then deleted it. Without that the first sentence of the comment doesn't make any sense either. Oh my God, where's my head.

(Deleted comment)
Posted by: the girl with violets in her lap (slammerkinbabe)
Posted at: October 19th, 2010 03:50 pm (UTC)

The movie sounds neat! I'll have to make a note of the title and see if it's available on our Netflix instant-view queue.

If you really could get the girls to read the book/do the questions, that would be AMAZING. Right now I have three back (with really reassuring comments, which is nice) and I think my aunt found four more, but I’m looking for a total of ten. And we'll definitely pay anyone who does it. If both of the girls you mention could be coaxed to do it, I think it would be great to get a mix of voracious readers and more reluctant readers, even. If you have a Staples or Kinko's in your area, I could just email them the book to print and bind, and you could pick up the copies. I'll put the questionnaire online.

But first you should ask the girls. I am getting ahead of myself. LOL

(Deleted comment)
Posted by: the girl with violets in her lap (slammerkinbabe)
Posted at: October 19th, 2010 04:10 pm (UTC)

Are you sure you want to do that? It's, well, long. As if you didn't know. LOL I mean, I can just forward it to you now while I'm thinking of it, as it's already in my email and you're the nicest shiningest person ever for liking my book so much (you think I am kidding but I am SO NOT). But unless you have a means of printing/binding it at work or something, you shouldn't have to pay to have it done at Staples -- they're kind of expensive.

Posted by: Pythian Habenero (lienne)
Posted at: October 19th, 2010 03:02 pm (UTC)
emotions: ...what just happened?

They were not, in fact, real, with any number of exclamation marks. But at the time I was not so sure. My mother encouraged me to call them the Pretend Friends, possibly because I was not successful in communicating to her how hostile they generally were. I never saw one, and I'm not entirely sure I ever heard one in the sense that people hear actual sounds, but I was pretty convinced for a while that they were there. Somewhere. Following me. Waiting.

I was kind of a creepy kid, in retrospect.

Posted by: the girl with violets in her lap (slammerkinbabe)
Posted at: October 19th, 2010 03:08 pm (UTC)

Yikes, with any number of exclamation marks for sure!!! That's awful! Also, I don't think that makes you as a kid creepy, I think it makes the gnomes creepy... if you were conspiring with the gnomes to murder someone else, that would make you creepy IMO.

Posted by: Pythian Habenero (lienne)
Posted at: October 19th, 2010 03:13 pm (UTC)
emotions: mischievous

Point. On the other hand, if that's the place my brain went when confronted with the concept of "imaginary friends"... XD

Posted by: Damian (fanboy_of_zeus)
Posted at: October 19th, 2010 03:15 pm (UTC)

I had imaginary friends through my late teens. Actually, when I first bumped into you online, I probably still had one.

When I was really little, my best friend and I had a whole horde of them. Then sometime in kindergarten she outgrew them, and I gave them up in an attempt to be cool enough for her. I don't really remember much about them, apart from that one of them was named Lunchbox (guess where he lived?)

Then starting when I was 13/14, I created a series of more realistic imaginary friends for myself. There were three of them, all guys; the second came with a whole imaginary world and cast of supporting characters. I'd spend a couple years building up the new guy's personality and making him part of my life - then I'd start picking fights with him and finding reasons to drive him away. In retrospect it's pretty clear to me that what I was doing was taking those aspects of my own personality that I couldn't find a way of expressing, pushing them into this fictional creation, then trying to get rid of them so I could be normal.

You can probably guess where this is going. The last of them was Damian, starting when I was 17. When I was twenty I realized what I was doing, that Damian wasn't another person, he was ME, and if I succeeded in "getting rid of" him there'd be nothing left of me. And...yeah. No imaginary friends since then.

Posted by: the girl with violets in her lap (slammerkinbabe)
Posted at: October 19th, 2010 03:23 pm (UTC)

Wow. That's fascinating, actually.

Posted by: Damian (fanboy_of_zeus)
Posted at: October 19th, 2010 03:28 pm (UTC)

To this day I'm amazed by the lengths to which my mind proved capable of going in the pursuit of repression and willful lack of self awareness.

Posted by: nelc (nelc)
Posted at: October 19th, 2010 03:29 pm (UTC)

I tried to make my brother imaginary so he would go away when I wanted him to. Didn't work.

Posted by: lily bart (everypoembreaks)
Posted at: October 19th, 2010 04:05 pm (UTC)

I had an imaginary sister for a very short time when I was probably five. I don't even think I got to the point of giving her a name. I was always really aware of the fact that she was imaginary and I think that's why it didn't stick for me. (Which is actually really weird thinking back on it because I feel like I would have been the type of kid to have a bunch.)

Posted by: Morgan (banshea)
Posted at: October 19th, 2010 04:57 pm (UTC)

I was... rather unoriginal with my imaginary friends. They tended to be characters from television cartoon programs. I remember going on adventures with She-Ra, Superman, and the Care Bears. I also remember my big brother stepping in to help me win a fight to save the Glo Friends. It's a wonder that I don't write more fanfic now than I do, unless we theorize that I got it out of my system back in preschool.

When I got a little older, I stopped having imaginary friends, but I did decide that the way to make myself seem interesting to other kids -- not to mention to creepy to pick on, not that it worked very well -- was to be a medium. So I started creating ghosts to haunt the school. A lot of the ghosts became extremely real -- I knew I'd made them up, but then I would actually start seeing them. I remember my reaction to this as, "Oh, that's mildly disconcerting." I think I kept all of them at school, which would have helped me feel safer about them getting slightly out of hand. I certainly don't remember finding any ghosts at home.

Posted by: the girl with violets in her lap (slammerkinbabe)
Posted at: October 19th, 2010 05:02 pm (UTC)

Just so you know, in case you are curious: your fanfictional games in early childhood were absolutely worthless in terms of preparation for adulthood, but your work as a medium was excellent preparation for a career that pays $120 an hour. I have been absolutely astounded at the money my entire family has been throwing hand over fist at their Salem psychic/medium.

Posted by: Morgan (banshea)
Posted at: October 19th, 2010 05:12 pm (UTC)

Yeah, I was actually considering the whole professional psychic angle for a while. The made-up ghosts transitioned into actual fortune-telling, and I still collect Tarot cards and other divination supplies. I just don't think it's something I could do seriously.

Posted by: Isaac Kelley (moondispatches)
Posted at: October 20th, 2010 02:25 am (UTC)

No imaginary friends, but I did have complex imaginary social interactions with my stuffed toys and action figures. I didn't think they were "real" but I treated them like they were, if that makes sense.

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