Years ago, I married Dave. He’s in the process of legally changing his name to Grayson Queen. He’s a writer, an artist, a blogger, and an all-around quiet guy. Dave’s a stoic and an introvert– the kind that smolders.
And I’m at least 95% sure that he really exists.
You see, it all started 6 years ago– after I introduced a friend of mine to another kind soul named Marley. My friend, a doctor, told me that children who did not establish “invisible friendships” in their youth were inclined to find them in their old age. (To this day, I can’t find the study he referenced and have no idea if he was just being silly.) I was sure I would have noticed if adults were running around with invisible friends, and he said that probably no one be so rude as to contradict a well-liked adult.
So I tested it.
I pretended to have a dog in my purse all day.
I’d pop my head in and ask if stores were dog-friendly before coming in. I’d whisper into my purse. I even threw food in my bag while pretending to feed Fletcher.
All day, no one said anything. Finally, around 9 in the evening, one little kid at a shopping mall took the time to stop me and point out the truth. His mom gave him a look of disapproval, but he was fearless and I was grateful.
After 12 hours of pretending, I had fallen into a pattern and honestly forgotten that I was still feeding an imaginary dog.
The truth is, I easily fall into patterns, and people are rarely surprised by the strange things I do and say.
Back to Dave.
You might think he obviously exists, but I can’t always be sure. Some days, I feel like it’s the imaginary dog day all over again.
Sure, I show people pictures, but what if it’s one of these situations:
I don’t struggle at all to believe that my friends, co-workers, and family would go along with my babblings about an invisible husband. It wouldn’t even be my strangest characteristic.
This situation is exasperated by the fact that sometimes people don’t see Dave. When clinging to the 95% probability of his reality, I can explain this away by his quiet nature and stealth-like abilities.
There was the time at the Natural History Museum when I decided I wanted a picture of the two of us by the T-Rex bones. I posed Dave exactly how I wanted him, and then went over to ask a nearby kid to take the picture. I said “Say cheese!” as the kid pressed down on the Polaroid button, and the kid muttered, “Who is she talking to?”. I assumed Dave ran away from the photo he didn’t want to take, but I didn’t want to break eye contact and ruin the picture just to see. As the picture faded in, I saw Dave in it. He says he was looking at the sign in the corner and jumped in just in time.
Then there’s all the times at front desks of hotels, hospitals, and retail establishments. He can wait for a long while and not be greeted, but when I make my presence known, we are immediately spoken to. It’s possible that he’s just too quiet.
And then there’s the fact that people can’t hear him. This one hits a particular nerve with me because my sister had an imaginary friend who was only barely audible. I would ask if the imaginary friend wanted the red bow or the blue bow, and my sister would whisper under her breath like a speech-impaired demon. Reeeaaaaahhhhhhhhd. It was often so unintelligible that we would wait for her to repeat it. Dave and I don’t even go through drive-thrus at fast food places because we know they won’t be able to hear him. He can shout Diet Coke two or three times before I lose patience and say it for him. Even from the other side of the car, they always hear me. It’s possible his voice doesn’t carry.
I explained this theory to my mom once and she said something along the lines of, “As long as he’s real to you, he’s real to me.” It’s possible that she was gently reminding me to stop looking for reasons to see weirdness in things.
It’s quite amazing how much of my life can be explained while exploring the 5% possibility that I have an imaginary husband.
Except, luckily– gloriously enough– I don’t drive.
It’s the only time in my life that I take solace in a lack of positive knowledge. I don’t even know which pedal does what, and if the stick in the middle means anything or if it’s just for show. (Some people seem to use it more than others.) But I do know that I get to and from work, and to the stores, and to birthday parties– in my car– and there’s nobody else around to do the driving. Thus, Dave must be here.
Of course, when I presented this 5% issue to him, he didn’t pinch me or anything else so reasonable. He simply offered the possibility that perhaps he wasn’t the only thing I imagined.
Just in case, I won’t be clicking my heels together anytime soon.
Imaginary husband or no, I rather like it here.
On a probably related note, this video has been stuck in my head all day:
On a definitely related note, be sure to visit with Dave and myself in real life on March 22nd. Have you RSVP’d yet?
If you had an imaginary friend today, would it be human?