Why Everyone Needs an Imaginary Friend

Why Everyone Needs an Imaginary Friend

I recently read a book called Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend, by Matthew Dicks and I started thinking about why I don’t have an imaginary friend. I can’t recall ever having one. Do I not have enough imagination that I can’t even have a friend that I made up? It is not like I had a lot of friends growing up. Certainly, I could find some holes in the friendships I did have to build myself an aggregate worth their salt.

There is no time like the present though. So imagining my imaginary friend, I will give it many special abilities. First, it will have the ability to burn off calories from whatever body part I indicate while I sleep. Second, it will be able to walk the dog when I’m writing. I also think it should plan the meals and make dinner, even getting the groceries.

Being realistic, which is something that you don’t really have to be when you are designing the perfect imaginary friend (IFs), I think I should remember the limitations of most IFs—is it funny that an imaginary friend is an if, like as if they are not in the room? Anyway, from my reading, it appears imaginary friends can’t actually do anything I need them to do. So maybe I don’t need one after all.

But then again, when I talk to my dog in an empty room he doesn’t even lookup. Maybe my IF could talk back to me. Keep me company as it was when our dog is sleeping or annoyed with me. Reflecting, I think maybe I do need an IF because Scooby is not getting any younger so teaching him to talk might be a trick he will never learn. Also, he has been eating bunnies lately, so he is too busy for me anyway.

I’m so glad we had this conversation. I will introduce you to my imaginary friend, named IF, as soon as we have formulated a real imaginary relationship.

BTW: The book was terrific. I highly recommend it.

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash


  1. I never had one either, but it never stopped me from talking to ‘it’ out loud whenever I had to vent or decide something important. I still find myself doing so (as long as nobody else is around) because just saying stuff out loud sometimes gives me my own solutions. Happy whatever Holiday you feel like celebrating!

  2. I had an imaginary friend named John, although he became a little less imaginary when my aunt and uncle bought me a puppet and I decided it was John. My parents were, I think, relieved that they could finally see John because of an earlier incident when John jumped out of the car while it was still moving and it took him about a week to walk home.
    I’m not sure imaginary friends are such a good influence.
    IF sounds like a pretty good imaginary friend, though, and I hope we find out eventually what “IF” stands for. Also don’t listen to Gordon Lightfoot who said he wouldn’t believe in “IF” anymore.
    Christopher recently posted…Thanksgiving 2019.My Profile

    • Although John was easier for your family, I bet it made it harder for you to have conversations with him or for him to jump out of the car undetected. Did the puppet actually look like the image you had of him in your mind? Not all imaginary friends are ‘people-looking’ so I’m curious.

      • I don’t remember what imaginary John looked like. I was very young when I got the puppet which, I’ve only learned as an adult, was a defective version of a Roosevelt Franklin from Sesame Street puppet. He didn’t have any hair or eyes. My mother sewed eyes onto him the night I got him.
        I insisted. So I guess in that regard the puppet was a little more work.
        Christopher recently posted…Leap Before You Look.My Profile

  3. I never had one either… but damn it. Now I want one.
    Of course half the friends I’ve made in the blogosphere may be imaginary, so what do I know?

  4. I never had an imaginary friend either. What I had, and still do, is two voices in my head. One is me, and the other one is Me (2). We have conversations with each other all the time, just like Smeagol and Gollum in Lord of the Rings. My Me (2) is not evil like Gollum but he does often take the contrary view of Me. I think they say voices in your head are a sign that your crazy. I might be crazy for admitting any of this.

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