Even My Imaginary Friends Were Only Children
Posted on August 20, 2012
I was a fairly typical only child for the first twelve years of my life. Share? Share with whom? Why should I have to share when there was nobody to share it with? If it was there, it was mine. Even my toys had a strict regiment of sharing when it came time to play. Certain Star Wars figures had specific duties and weren’t allowed to mix with other Star Wars figures, especially the G.I. Joe figures, though they did mingle with Micronauts. That was allowed. And my executive staff figures? They mingled with each other quite a bit, especially at night. The ladies stayed in their own quarters (yes, I believed in having women in roles of authority) and the men humped their brains out in private quarters, then went on missions the following day and blew things up.
Real life was a little different. One couldn’t exactly go around blowing things up and have his army following him (or her) in the name of what looked cool, who looked at him funny, and it-was-time-to-put-things-away-because-mom-just-made-nachos! There are days I think I really was a little Calvin from Calvin & Hobbes. My figures and I plotted intergalactic domination and nothing was going to stop us…except bedtime.
Most of my friends had siblings. The sisters, older or younger, tended to be downright annoying because they were so not all about the Star Wars universe or anything remotely interesting to us. Older brothers were into senseless things like sports and girls. Have you ever seen the end of either of those interests? No. There’s always something sports-related going on and someone really needs to cut that crap down. There should be a season finale for all sports and then reruns to give us all a break. And don’t even get me started on girls. If my friends had younger brothers, the parents enjoyed making sure we included them in what we were doing. Because that was fun. And there was always that one snarky parent who felt the need to comment “This is what it’s like to have brothers and sisters. You should learn.” Really? I’d tell them. Because my parents got it right the first time.
Yes, my friends’ parents just loved it when their sons asked if I could come over to play.
One way certain parents would try to take me down a notch is through the use of video games. They were like my folks in that they played at night after the little one or little ones were in bed. One of them was a champion and the remaining spouse pretended to let the other win, but they both played and they were both competitive. They had no idea what they were in for with me. Little monsters may be a Lady Gaga term now, but she had nothing on me growing up. Anyway, these particular parents would watch me playing several games with their son while I lost semi-grudgingly gracefully. They’d want in on the action, especially after a measure of my snarkiness.
So, naturally, they’d ask to play, too, while their son got up to use the bathroom or get us something to drink. Have you ever seen a parent sit down in complete smugness, a fully grown adult ready to take down a child because it amused them to do so, and then get their ass handed to them every which way to Sunday? Hello? I was letting their kid lose because I was hoping he’d do that whole “I won, so you have to do what I say. Now strip!” game, which they did. I knew what I was doing. I had a strategy that worked. But, no. The parents’ excuses ranged from they were taking it easy on me to the joystick malfunctioning. Yeah, okay. You fix that joystick. Meanwhile, your son’s gonna go play with mine, loser.
Not to worry, though. I got better with age. Tactics changed, interests changed and I learned the true meaning of it being better to give than to receive. Well, back up for a moment. When it comes to giving gifts, I enjoy giving rather than receiving. When it comes to me…. Eh, you get the point. Or, rather, I get the point. I like getting the point.
As for imaginary friends, I can’t say I really had any that I remember. And if I did, I’m pretty certain they were only children, too. Mind you, they’d obey. They had to. Can you imagine an imaginary only child trying to tell me what he was going to play with out of my toys and that he had no intention of sharing? If I knew then what I knew now and talked the same way, I’d be all “Bitch, please!”, then kicked his airy little ass out of my room.
Kristoffer Gair (who formerly wrote under the pseudonym Kage Alan) is the Detroit-based author of Honor Unbound, A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To My Sexual Orientation, Andy Stevenson Vs. The Lord Of The Loins, Gaylias: Operation Thunderspell, several short stories featured in anthologies (to be combined in a forthcoming book), the recently re-published novella Falling Awake, its sequel, Falling Awake II: Revenant and Falling Awake III: Requiem.
One Response to “Even My Imaginary Friends Were Only Children”
August 20, 2012 at 9:10 am
Imaginary friends? Dorien is fascinated and wants to meet them.
As an only child myself, I can identify with most of what you went through, though I was far more shy than you, and there were no such things as video games. Chinese Checkers was a new game at the time.