absurdity

My Imaginary Husband

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:

What I See
What I See
What You See
What You See

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.

Other times…

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.

But maybe…

harvey

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.

Or maybe…

4404-41318

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.

Or perhaps….

james_stewart_harvey
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.

Or maybe…

James Stewart - Harvey

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.

Phew.

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.

In a dream, even imaginary people can drive cars.
In a dream, even imaginary people can drive cars.

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?

bimeetup2

If you had an imaginary friend today, would it be human?

81 comments

    1. I had to google “australopithecine”, but now I can completely see the allure. They’re like a slightly-less-furry ewok. Though put like that, I’d rather have the ewok. 🙂

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  1. And I’m pretty sure I have an imaginary great aunt.
    Or had. I guess she’d be dead by now.
    She had earrings made out of rattle-snake rattles.
    Nobody else seems to remember her.

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    1. Isn’t it crazy to think that our interactions with some people are such that it could have been imagined? I suppose that’s the good thing about this digital age. It’s hard to explain away all the photos and videos.

      Rattlesnake rattle earrings sound awesome!

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      1. Probably just one of those amalgamation type memories. You know, a blending of multiple real memories, and stories I heard as a kid and maybe the odd dream-element thrown in and it just all got stirred up in my little brain.
        And stuck there.

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        1. My family works in a way where I don’t even bother trying to recount all the people who I were told were aunties or uncles… so I completely understand the amalgamation possibility. 🙂

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  2. I think if I had an imaginary friend it would be a dinosaur, more specifically a triceratops. I would have so much fun watching it smash through aisles in the shops and bulldozing slow moving traffic out of the way.

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    1. Any friend of dinosaurs is a friend of mine, 🙂 Actually, I might be dinosaur-enough of a friend for you since I also smash through aisles and bulldoze slow-moving (people) traffic. 😀

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  3. I imagined really hard that PF wasn’t there last night, but it don’t work. He just carried on snoring. I like the idea of an imaginary dog, too – my real one is on heat at the moment, and she is imagining all sorts of things, very loudly, at the door.

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    1. Haha! 😀 As far as imaginary dogs go, mine wasn’t particularly fun… but I suppose that falls on me entirely. 🙂 At least he didn’t bark, 😀

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  4. 1. When I was little, I had an imaginary pet dog with a fractured leg. I have no recollection of this, but my aunt told me about it a few years ago.
    2. My husband has questioned whether he is a figment of my imagination, but I think that was mostly just to wig me out — although sometimes I wonder if I haven’t made up the past three years and in reality I’m living in an apartment with three pets on my own.
    3. Introverts often go unnoticed, but it’s because we have an unassuming presence most of the time. I’ve yelled at drive-thru microphones countless times before I got annoyed and drove up to the window to place my order. It just happens.
    4. I love the Harvey references. 😀

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    1. 1. That’s adorable! I love that even in the imaginary world, you’re a champion for the underdog.
      2. I wig myself out, Dave only encourages it. 😀
      3. I understand this, in a vague way. It’s hard to believe because Dave, like most introverts I know, is quite striking to me in physical appearance. Of course, he spent a good portion of time crafting the ability to be unseen, and he’s good at whatever he wants to be good at, so it doesn’t surprise me that the talent gets the most of him at times.
      4. Yay for someone recognizing Harvey! 🙂 You’re young to catch the reference! 🙂

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      1. 1. My aunt laughed and said, “If there was ever proof that you’re a veterinarian’s kid, there it is.”
        2. Aren’t husbands awesome, in that weird sort of way? 😉
        3. I think that may have a large part to do with it… I spent many of my formative years practicing being a wallflower. It worked. Props to you for being able to understand that… I know a lot of extroverts just give me a blank look when I try to explain it, but I think being close to an introvert helps.
        4. When I was doing high school theater, my first role was Mrs. Chumly, the doctor’s wife, in Harvey. 😀

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  5. Slightly concerned here about the number of times Dave is completely ignored or just not seen. It got me thinking about my own experience and I began to see the disturbing similarities. I need to do a bit more research but I am beginning to think that maybe I too am an imaginary husband…

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    1. 😀 Ha! Oh no. Too bad there’s no test to determine this for certain! 🙂 Of course, if you are one, then the only two possibly-imaginary-husbands I know are great people… which is something to be proud of, right? 🙂

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  6. I haven’t watched Harvey in forever, definitely need to make time to watch it again soon.

    I don’t know about imaginary friends…maybe I can pretend to have an imaginary husband instead? It’d get some people off my case, for sure 😉

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    1. Oh good, someone else sees the practicality of it. Dave was asking why on earth I would imagine a husband if I could imagine anything. I explained that, at my core, despite all my inclinations towards the fanciful, I am a practical person. 😀

      I need a Jimmy Stewart marathon, but Dave isn’t as much of a fan as I am… so I’ll have to save it for a “Rara’s Choice” movie night. 🙂

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  7. I have a similar line of thinking often wondering if I’m mentally retarded would anyone say anything to me about it. Sometimes I get in the mood that when I walk I just say hi to everyone and they look back at me kind of funny and say hi. Then sometimes I think that they are giving me the same smile that you give to people that are a little different and don’t know it. So then I started to think if I am retarded would anyone point this out to me. I could go along thinking that I am the smartest person in the room but really everybody is just humoring me, smiling and nodding… you just never know…

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  8. Rara, whenever I’m feeling down about my single status, I watch that youtube video and think, it can’t be that bad, I haven’t posted a video of me crying on a dating website about how I’m a crazy cat lady…YET!!!

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  9. Rara. Oh I am quite sure Dave exists, but he is a husband, and as such we are sometimes, pushed into the woodwork,or made to blend into our surrounding. And it works for speach as well. When a clerk, at a hotel or eating establishment see a couple, he or she doesn’t address the couple until the wife speaks, because 95 pct of the time the husband is not aware of the true needs, and the clerk realizes this, so he or she just waits until the wife begins, and then and only then does with words the husband utter really become heard. LOL or so I am told, Great piece, take care Bill

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  10. What a fun post today, Rara. Dave is definitely not imaginary—he is memorable to those of us who have met him through you. 🙂 If I had an imaginary friend as an adult I think it might have to be a baby giraffe—-you know those mini ones on the direct tv commercials? Small enough to fit in my purse and take with me….the perfect friend.

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  11. 🙂 what a smiley way to start my morning. I wish we lived less on the other side of the country so I could come meet you guys and see a 5% possibility of an imaginary husband for myself! 🙂

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  12. I’m pretty sure he’s real… I’ve shook his hand, had conversations with him.
    But, your imagination could be so powerful that you could project his essence onto those you meet, thus drawing us into the illusion you’ve created…
    And the car is easy enough to explain. Detachment. You are actually doing the driving, but because you need “proof” that Dave is real, you use that opportunity to give “him” the task you don’t want anyway.
    That being said, I am pretty sure he’s real.
    I think.
    Maybe…

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  13. I have a sort of an imaginary friend. When we got married, The Wife purchased for me a stuffed turtle from Build-A Bear. She wanted to name him Franklin, after the cartoon turtle. I refused, because that turtle already existed. I agreed to make that his middle name though. So his full name is Benjamin Franklin Turtle.
    Most days I think of him as a better friend than most people. I think that might classify as an imaginary friend, don’t you think?

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  14. I think I would have a horse with wings so I could fly. I love horses. 🙂 You mentioned that Dave is legally changing his name. I’ve contemplated that. I know it may be different in the States but is it a huge long red tape ordeal?

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  15. I just love this. Really, really love this. Somehow that 5% uncertainty speaks of an otherworldly love. And it’s quite romantic. I, too, have a quietly introverted and super-awesome man in my life. And because he’s so busy doing super-awesome things, there are plenty of close friends–even family members– who have yet to meet him. We have these two boys that are his near clones, so hard, driving-the-car type evidence is there. But you’ve tripped on a lovely idea here, Rara, written charmingly as ever. xoxo

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    1. Thank you, Britt! 🙂 I’m glad you have someone super-awesome in your life, and that he comes along with the driving-the-car type of evidence. 🙂 Wishing you the best of romance and good times with him, forever more!

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    1. 🙂 I knew you wouldn’t, Goldy. Just like mom! I think my first comment to you back in the beginning was about the similarity between you & my parents… it’s a compliment, I swear. 🙂

      And yeah, the video cracks me up every single time. 🙂

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  16. The driving thing doesn’t prove anything, Rara. Just watch Fight Club again. When they get in the accident it is actually Edward Norton who gets out of the driver’s side.
    I love that you get to enjoy so much special time with Dave because others can’t hear him, pay attention to him, or don’t notice him. Kind of like an angel. {{{invisible hugs}}} to “both” of you, Kozo

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    1. Aw, thank you, Kozo! 🙂 And you’re right, Fight Club RUINS my driving argument, 🙂

      I do enjoy my private time with Dave. I read once that married couples spend 2 to 2.5 hours a day together on average… Dave and I spend closer to 12 to 16, depending on if you count sleep. 🙂 It’s a gift!

      *hugs*

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  17. I have a similar affliction. My husband often goes unnoticed, specially at restaurants and bars and to the extent that a waiter will take my order and turn to walk away. I have to say loudly: “Cale, What are you going to have?”. This turns the waiter back around and they often look surprised to be taking a second order for the table. They will come back to ask if I’d like a refill and completely ignore him. It’s diabolical and has become quite a joke between us. I try to make light of it because it really is rather offensive that they don’t see or consider him. Some will actually give me the check, which I don’t mind except for the fact that he usually pays. The ones that actually do see and cater to him get a BIG tip.

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  18. IF I had an imaginery friend, he would most definitely be human. 😀
    I once had an imaginary husband too. He never was a real one and didn’t follow any of the rules so I divorced him. Ha ha.

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  19. I LOVED this, Rara. Sometimes I feel like the people around me are imaginary too, which makes a lot of sense when you spend time in bloggyland.

    If I had an imaginary friend, it would probably be an object. Things have such wonderful personalities. I actually blogged once about my childhood imaginary friend. It was a jar of pimentos ;D

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    1. 😀 It’s true… Bloggyland is the perfect place to find possibly-imaginary people. 🙂 I remember (and loved) your Pimento post… it’s the sweetest thing ever. I’m totally rooting for Cee following in love with the imaginary persona of a jar of maraschinos. 🙂

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    1. I *love* Philip Pullman. Love, love, love! 🙂 My daemon would be a dinosaur! Except according to internet quizzes, it’d be a cat or elephant… but I’m still going with dinosaur! Rawr! 🙂

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  20. You always describe him with such devotion and admiration. And I’m not saying that I don’t admire my husband and that I’m not devoted to him, BUT… if he were imaginary, it might be easier to sound devoted and full of admiration. Hmm…

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    1. 🙂 I guess that means you’re safe from imaginary husbands, ha! It seems out of character, but I didn’t have any imaginary friends growing up. 🙂

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  21. Like Emily, I often feel that way about blogland. I meet people, feel attached to some, and then wonder… do they really exist? What are they really like. Do others see what I see? As for my husband, given the number of hours he works, I am not the only one who wonders if I’m really married. Of course, the 3 kids kind of seal that deal. 😉 VERY clever post!

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  22. Ha! You quite imagine a lot. I really liked the way you reached your conclusion. Glad to know that the 5% possibility is too meager when compared to other factors. 🙂
    I sometimes imagine that the life unfurling right this instant is a dream and when I die in this dream, I’d wake up in my baby form, having seen my entire future in a dream so vivid and tangible that it was never a dream and I turn out to be nothing. Does it make sense to you!?

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  23. I love that you pretended to have a dog in your purse all day. That, along with the fact that you married a man who doesn’t argue when you accuse him of not existing, means that there is a lot of wacky awesomeness going on in this corner of the internet. =D

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  24. Dave and I are a lot alike. I don’t go through drive-thrus for the exact same reason. Maybe I’m imaginary too. I’ve never considered the possibility, but now I feel I must explore that avenue. What happens if I don’t like what I find?

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  25. I totally feel Grayson’s pain here- I have the same problem, but only with automatic faucets. I spend significant amounts of time trying to get the automatic faucets in airports and restaurants to register my presence. Lots of hand waving…

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  26. I guess some might say that Jesus is my imaginary friend… A puppy or a kitten would be really cool, especially if they’re imaginary, because they could stay at whatever stage you want them.

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