11192017Headline:

Tell Me More About Your Imaginary Friends

"All right girls, if everyone's picked the head covering of their choice, let's hit the town."

“All right girls, if everyone’s picked the head covering of their choice, let’s hit the town.”

I don’t get the chance to catch Husband off guard very often, but when the opportunity does finally arise, I usually surprise him with something completely mundane.

“I’m going to get coffee with friends on Saturday.”

A look of confusion jogged across Husband’s face. “I don’t get it.”

“Don’t get what?”

“Friends. Where are you really going?”

“I have friends.”

“You have me and people you talk to on the internet. So I ask you again, where are you going?”

I crossed my arms. “They’re college friends. I went there once, before I lost my vigor for life and enthusiasm for putting outfits together.”

“I thought you sat in the library for four years and studied.”

“That’s the story I told you.”

I guess I couldn’t really blame my beloved for being confused. The social scene and I parted ways many years ago, and spending time with people who could actually see how long it’s been since I had my roots dyed had all but gone the way of the Dodo. Therefore, when the invitation to coffee had floated in, I wasn’t really in a position to decline. The important part was going, not convincing Husband I wasn’t crazy. Or, at least, to what degree.

So, I went. This past Saturday, I went again. The story was the same for all of us. Kids, husbands, responsibilities, no one had become a millionaire in the month since we’d seen each other. But there was something else.

“I don’t see anyone anymore.”
“No one from school, that’s for sure.”
“Or anyone at all.”
“I think the only friend I have left is my husband.”
“Some days, I don’t even like my husband, so I think coffee is the only friend I have left.”
“One day, I ran out of coffee, and I almost quit the world altogether.”
“Can you imagine if there wasn’t coffee?”
“Shut up, that’s not even funny to joke about.”
“Yeah, you’ll be lucky if we invite you back.”

A vast feeling of isolation had suddenly run through the group like a gilded thread and bound us both to each other and the nearest salt shaker. The six of us looked around.

“It’s like we’re back on a mission to find friends.”
I nodded solemnly, “Friend retrieval.”
“No one said it was pretty. But it needs to be done.”
“Are we gonna make t-shirts?”
“I’ll handle the gift exchange at Christmas.”
“Whoever made that crack about coffee doesn’t get a present.”
“Agreed.”

And thus the society was born. A good way to imagine us is to think of the movie The Skulls and realize we’re nothing like that. This group is more like Steel Magnolias with a twist of desperation. A lot less hairspray, and no aversions to red velvet cake. So, if you see us out, feel free to come sit down, just don’t ever, ever touch our coffee.

Paige Kellerman blogs about marriage, babies and gin at www.paigekellerman.com, and is the author of At Least My Belly Hides My Cankles: Mostly-True Tales of An Impending Miracle. You can reach her at paigekellerman@gmail.com.


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