Imaginary Friends and Virtual Visitors

I don’t remember having imaginary friends when I was a kid. It’s fascinating to hear my daughter describe my grandson’s. The more she tells me about his little make-believe kingdom, the more I can see parallels to my own little cyber-world.

  • grandson has real friends
  • Grandmother has actual friends
  • grandson has invisible friends
  • Grandmother has virtual visitors
  • grandson spends too much time playing make-believe
  • Grandmother spends too much time on computer
  • grandson is the hero in his kingdom
  • Grandmother is the hero in her blogging stories
  • grandson controls the moves and actions of his armies
  • Grandmother controls which words go out and when

Now, my grandson would never substitute his real friends for his imaginary ones, and neither would I. Actual friends obviously have it all over the virtual ones. It’s good to share coffee, hugs, tears, meals, music, baseball cards, laughter and life with people who have “skin on”.

But our virtual friends have their good qualities too:

  • They visit, but never stay too long
  • They allow us to spill out the drama of our lives, and never interrupt
  • They check our like button *
  • They can be taken out and put away whenever we want
  • They believe all of our stories
  • They take us to their imaginary worlds
  • They are available 24/7
  • They don’t care if we stretch the truth
  • They encourage us to keep playing
  • They like us *
  • They let us be whomever we want

It’s a grand thing to understand this shared passion of fantasy with my brilliant, imaginative, inquisitive, creative, grandson.

I may not have understood the wonder of this kind of world when I was a child or when I was in my adult phase of life; “Ah, but I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now.” (Bob Dylan)

* Like box refers to grandmother’s virtual visitors, not grandson’s imaginary friends. Button Located Below.

Opps I did it again

Did I say that?

Blame it on a slip of the tongue, a brain lapse, blunder, blooper, or some other clever term, but it never really seems to help when you find yourself wondering, “Did I really just say that?”

It happened to me just the other day when I ran into an old co-worker whom  I hadn’t seen in a couple of years. I had heard that she was recently retired so my brain wanted to say,  “So, I hear you are footloose and fancy free.”

But my mouth blurted out, “So, I hear you are “FAT-loose and fancy free.”  I immediately switched to damage control, convincing myself that she didn’t hear what I’d just said, and kept on talking nonsense until I could break away, get in my car, and bang my head against the steering wheel.

The last time I’d done something like that was when I was in a gallery explaining to an interested bystander why I thought a particular piece was overpriced and  under-whelming.  The person I was addressing turned out to be (you guessed it) the artist.

I try to give myself a little break here because I have learned from some of my past verbal malfunctions.  If a woman in her 8th month of pregnancy met me in the grocery store, sporting the latest in maternity clothes, and holding on to her bump, I would never, ever mention the b word unless I knew for sure, beforehand that she was in fact, expecting.  I NEVER, EVER ask, “when’s your baby due.  Been there, done that, been burned before, haven’t you?

I also try to ease my conscience by recalling other people who have a similar tragic character flaw.  I was at a wedding once when the best man was toasting the groom and his new bride, Amy.  He spoke of how Amy was just like a sister to him and how happy he was that his best friend had found Amy. Problem was, Amy was the name of the grooms ex-wife.  The bride’s name was Carolyn.

The all-time humdinger of a screw-up occurred at a business dinner a few years back.  A fellow fool was addressing the entire dinner party, going on and on about the last time he had seen one the couples at the table.  He described seeing them from a distance and thinking how great the wife looked.  He said he remembered wondering how much weight she had lost and thinking how much younger she looked until they came closer and he realized it wasn’t her.

Next time, “Lord, help him think twice before he speaks once”.

The Incredible EGG (carton)

White Eggs in Carton
Image via Wikipedia

It’s morning and the grandkids are hungry. After going over what’s in the cupboard for the umpteenth time, we all decide on scrambled eggs. I take out the frying pan and whipping bowl, go to the refrigerator to retrieve the eggs, and for the I-don’t-know-how-manyith time, marvel not at the incredible, edible egg, but at the incredible, functional perfection of the egg carton.

Much has been written and discussed about the chicken and the egg. Many beginning art students struggle with the challenge of putting the egg on paper, but have you ever wondered why we have never heard anything about the person responsible for inventing the perfect storage cradle for this delectable, delicate orb?

Due to the eggstrordinary, age in which we live, I have the eggsceptional ability of locating answers to every hair brained question or random thought in eggsactly 2 minutes. Being no eggspert, but eggspecting to find eggsactly what I need, I google “egg carton” so that if, like me, you’ve been wondering how the egg carton came into being, I can eggsplain.

A pretty savvy newspaper editor named Joseph Coyle is said to have come up with the humble carton or “egg box” as it was called back in 1911, to solve a dispute between a local farmer and a hotel owner (names eggscape us here). Seems the hotel owner complained about the number of broken eggs that the farmer delivered. Baskets were the means for carting eggs back then. Coyle’s design provided safer transport and fewer egg fatalities, but cartons, as we know them, did not become the common tote until the 1950’s.

Personally, I am quite grateful to old Joseph Coyle. Because of him, I am spared the yucky task of having to clean up great quantities of broken shell, yolk and slimy, sticky, clear goop. I break my fair share of eggs after I take them out of their safe little nests.

I hope that Coyle got a patent for his eggceptional discovery and made lots of eggstra cash. He probably just got a little peace and quiet from his feuding friends and his eggsasperated neighbors.

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For those craft junkies out there – 10 Smart Uses For Egg Cartons (huffingtonpost.com)