Some people lead charmed lives. As babies, they are smothered with ooo’s and aaah’s of admiration. During childhood, they shimmer with an aura that leaves their peers cowering in the shade. Academic qualifications matter not. Who needs university degrees when personality propels one to heights of popularity and opens doors which thinkers and academics can only lean on? I know such a person, Miss Rosemary Anne Pinkerton. My best friend who will be right now clamping her hand to an open mouth and spluttering as her cheeks flush with a customary ‘rosey’ glow!
I sometimes think I’d like to swap lives with her. Not just because she’s half my age, but due to the fact that she has in her hands a gift which she’s not even aware of. Not only is her world her oyster, but it’s also a diamond-encrusted crustacean which in her naive and totally charming mind she’s yet to notice! But then again, such qualities in other hands could spoil the person.
As a child Rosey was blissfully blind to the hand she’d been dealt. It’s not uncommon for children to have imaginary friends and she was no exception and she created in her mind the person she would have liked to have been. But usually, imaginary mates fade away as real friendships develop and young people leave childish ways behind.
If you are a regular visitor to my little corner of Blogland you will not, I’m sure, be surprised to learn that my friend Rosey had a pretend friend when she was a nipper. She was a girl called Candice. She started out the same age as Rosey, in fact, she gave Candice the same birthday as her own (and mine by the way!) so she wouldn’t miss it, and each year they gave each other birthday cards! Candice was supposed to be left-handed so when she wrote, her handwriting would look markedly different from Rosey’s!
I didn’t know Rosey back then, but her parents still tease her about it at every available opportunity, usually in front of friends! What her parents don’t know is that Candice is still around, at least Rosey imagines she is! Somehow the years have not been as unkind to Candice because nowadays she seems to be ten years younger than thirty-one-year-old Rosey! Of course, even Rosey wouldn’t seriously believe he had an invisible friend. She just decided it would be fun to carry on with a pretend friend as a kind of unique personality feature!
She brings her up in conversation at regular intervals and the things she claims Candice has done are often outrageous and always hilarious! She particularly likes to mention her in front of people who aren’t in the joke, and it’s so funny to watch their faces as they hear about Candice’s latest escapade! We, her close friends, have sworn a vow of secrecy to enable Rosey to have a little fun at every opportunity.
A few times this has caused problems for my friend Rosey! For instance, on one occasion a group of us were having a drink in the bar opposite Eastbourne Town Hall. As with most lunchtimes, there were quite a few ‘booted and suited’ local civil servants there lapping up a lunchtime libation. We were enjoying a bit of banter with a couple of them when Rosey mentioned that she had a friend called Candice living with her. The conversation then moved on to what our new found friends actually did behind those heavy oak doors over the road at the Town Hall and they told us that they worked in the department which deals with the local council tax which is levied on every property inside the town boundaries. Rosey was being her usual over friendly self and joked that although she was sharing her apartment with Candice she was managing to get away with claiming the 25% discount enjoyed by single occupants (I actually enjoy that concession myself!). Alarm bells must have rung in the council workers heads and they somehow managed to find out exactly where Rosey lived with her friend! A few days later a tax inspector arrived on Rosey’s doorstep asking questions about the occupancy of the apartment. I think however Rosey had the last laugh when she explained that her so-called confession was no more than a joke which was somehow taken seriously by a couple of overzealous council workers who really shouldn’t have been indulging in alcoholic beverages halfway through their working day.
As you know Rosey is quite keen on holding dinner parties. I told you about one that went pear-shaped a few weeks ago! What I’ve never mentioned is that she always lays a place for Candice! She doesn’t actually go as far as to plate up an extra meal, but Candice gets given a glass or two of wine which, needless to say, Rosey helps her to drink!
And whenever we have a drink together no matter where we are, we always raise our glasses to Rosey’s imaginary friend Candice.! So it’s cheers Candice, and bottoms up to my funny friend Rosey! If only I’d been you……. ah well!