Anyone want to discuss their personal Snuffleupaguses (wasn’t it better when only Big Bird could see him?!)? I had an imaginary older brother named David who I remember saving assembly seats for in third grade. It wasn’t that I did much with him– it’s just that he was there, a comforting, understanding presence. Maybe he’s who I now talk to when I’m scooting through market aisles talking to “myself.” And while we’re on the subject– do kids have assemblies anymore?– the kind where the whole school comes in to sing or watch movies (God bless Jiminy Cricket– “I’m no fool, no siree, I’m gonna live to be 103. I play safe for you and me “cause I’m no fool”). We did the best “rounds–” not just Row, row, row your boat, but also White Coral Bells, and something about clocks that we all “ticked” in time. But I digress……
My best friend, Ann Hoffman lived on Longfellow/Westchester Avenues and I lived on Westchester/Bryant Aves. We met in kindergarten, PS 75, and have remained close friends up to this day. When we were in our first two years of James Monroe HS, I moved to Flushing and 6 months later, so did she. We have gone through growing up in the Bronx, to our marriages in Flushing, with the trials and tribulations of raising children, and divorce. She resides in Florida now, and I in Penna. We are still in touch, still laugh and cry about our growing years.
I also have a best friend. I always like the concept of best friend. It is so much fun to know that there is someone who knows you forever and has seen all these personal aspects of your life. My best friend lived with my mother for a short while and actually it was my step father who gave her the extra push she needed to take her big European adventure after high school. We met at 11 and have been friends ever since. We have never lost touch. We have supported each other through all of our major decisions in life. We basically have totally different friends. Of course we do know many of the same people. After high school our lives took on very different flavors. She is still unmarried without children, I am married and with. The things we choose to do. The things we choose to wear. The things we deeply believe in, I am not sure if any of it is the same, although I am sure it intersects. The choices we made in our late teens – it was all different, what we felt was cool – not the same – and now at thirty eight we are still best friends. I know her in a way noone else can know her because we met at 11 and have been there for each other through every stage up until the present.
I have been friends with Myron since 1945.I was 2 he was 4.We never had a break in our friendship and never had an argument.We talk on the phone at least once every 2 weeks and get together at least once every few months.
I recently got back in touch with my very first best friend, Joan, after losing touch with her for some 20 years. It was with her that I had my first (and last) fistfight; digging in the dirt so deep, it seemed, that we would soon get to China or Hell, whichever came first; dreaming of what it would like to be in college and have boyfriends at the age of 5; pretending that the two vertical cement slabs attached to the stoop were horses. Joan always got to name hers first, which wasn’t fair (it was really just a matter of who shout out first – I guess I was too slow). I always got second dibs on the name, and she always got Sparkle – which, of course, is the elite of imaginary horse names. Right after Joan’s ninth birthday her family moved away, which was very sad. I had no idea where and didn’t think I’d ever see her again. As fate would have it, eight months later I stood in the schoolyard of my own brand new neighborhood, feeling very lost. All of a sudden Joan came running up to me shouting, jumped up into my arms and banged her head into my chin. The joy was immense – so was the pain! I still have a tiny remnant of the chip it left in my tooth. Now that we’re back in touch, the 20 year gap seems like 20 minutes. Connections like that are something special.
My friend Susan and I met when we were 2 1/2 years old – we’re both in our mid-40s now. We have never lost touch. In fact, she is godmother to one of my daughters. We haven’t lived in the same State since college, but we always manage to keep in touch. Even did a long weekend together with families several years ago. I’ve always said she’s my oldest friend, and she’s always referred to me as her youngest oldest friend (we’re 7 months apart!).