As a little girl, I used to make up embellished stories for myself and whoever else would listen to me tell them. I sat on the old rope swing at my grandparents’ house and would talk to the picnic table, which sometimes had my sister and cousins, and sometimes just a big white cat. I had a lot of imaginary friends.
The stories typically revolved around Julie and Jimmy and Jerry and Judy. The main characters were my sister and me in our grown up life with our grown up husbands respectively. The stories were full of mansions with extravagant stair cases. We always seemed to be wearing elegant long gowns and we would greet our guests for cocktail parties and ballroom dancing. Yes, the mansions were constructed with their own ballrooms and sophisticated chandeliers. (Can you tell I watched too much Big Valley or Bonanza as a child?)
We grew up. My sister didn’t marry a Jimmy and I didn’t marry a Jerry. Neither of us have mansions with chandeliers or stair cases. We don’t throw fancy cocktail parties with ballroom dances either. Maybe a barn dance and a bonfire, but nothing as refined as the stories I used to tell.
A few years ago when my sister decided she wanted to be a writer too, I asked her if she remembered the stories of Jimmy and Jerry. She insisted she did not. I was a little hurt because that was significant to my childhood and the reason I tell stories today. I don’t think we’ve talked to each other since that conversation.
I swept the old daydreams into a dust pan and filed them away. Every once in a while I pull out the old, yet familiar characters and reminisce over my daydreams. Funny thing is I remember the made up characters of Julie and Jimmy and Judy and Jerry better I remember my sister and me as young girls.