Thursday, October 8, 2009

Orla and Gorla

Random fact #2,687 about me: I used to have 2 imaginary friends named Orla and Gorla. Where I came up with those names, I don't know.

They lived in the grocery store in the refrigerator behind the yogurt section. Doesn't have quite the same ring to it as "a boy who lived in a cupboard under the stairs" or "an old house in Paris that was covered in vines," does it? (Name those books.) Again...I don't know...I was a weird child.

I have memories of going grocery shopping with my Mom and saying hello to them as we passed the refrigerated dairy. I don't really remember what they looked like except that they had brown hair and wore pink and purple - go figure.

I also don't remember when their presence in my life disappeared. Perhaps my parents remember - but it's as if they suddenly evaporated into thin air never to be heard from again. I know that children having imaginary friends is a normal thing, but why they appeared in my imagination and then why my imagination no longer needed them, I don't know.

Maybe even kids need an escape from reality sometimes.

In fact, maybe the imaginary friends never really went away but simply morphed into something else. Something called day dreams. Something called your "real-cation" - vacation from reality.

The other day I was talking to one of my very dear friends, Amy, who lives in the hustle and bustle of New York City and I said something along the lines of, "I want to move to the country and open up an antique store and listen to bluegrass all day while sipping on lemonade in the summer and hot cider in the winter." As I said this, I was really and truly envisioning that this, perhaps, was the life for me.

Without missing a beat, she replied, "You'd get bored." And she was right. Totally right - but I still LOVE the thought of it all. It is 1 of about 8,000 "happy places" that I like to go when I need a little escape. It's the 27-year-old version of Orla and Gorla. Perhaps now my little world of make-believe cannot be found behind the yogurt section at the grocery store, but it is still there, and that is the important thing. I am a BIG advocate of a delicious daydream - no matter how old you are.

Where do you like to "go" when you need to?

p.s. - I asked Amy what her happy place is. She said, "Probably on my couch when it is rainy outside with really good food and a movie." Her answer is just one reason of about a million why I am lucky to have Amy in my life - anyone who appreciates rain, good movies and good food is fo' shizzle in my books.

Unless you drive slow in the fast lane - then we might need to talk.


  1. i'm sorry, but the yogurt section? from a young age you were destined to be a writer because that's some creative stuff.

    i don't have a comfort place, i have a comfort thing: beverages. whether it's a coffee, tea, beer or hot chocolate, as long as i am cuddled up somewhere with a good drink it can always turn my mood around.

    also, and i'm not afraid to say it, if i'm visiting my parent's house i will always love to take naps on their bed. the most comforting, safe and secure place i will ever be able to imagine.

  2. Your childhood friends sound delightful. As for your 27 yr. old daydream -- I like it. I dream of similar things. I'd love to have a small bookstore or antique store somewhere in a place with four seasons (Texas really only has two -- hot and cold). I don't think I'd get bored, though I am pretty sure I would not like the financial aspect of running a business. It's nice to have our dreams -- they keep us sane.

  3. Orla and Gorla were at the house sometimes too, Sweetheart. I heard you speak with them, and sometimes harshly, with a sudden outburst of "Or-LAH!" like she'd just done something wrong. I was fascinated by your friends and when I learned about where they lived, which was behind a "door" of sorts: those vertical clear vinyl slats to keep the yogurt cold while still allowing customers to reach in.

    I noticed at one point that you hadn't mentioned them in awhile so I asked you, "Where are Orla and Gorla?" and you said they were visiting their grandmother. They returned for a brief time but then you stopped mentioning them and I assumed your need for them had gone. We were still in the little rental on Fairfield Street and your sister was becoming more verbal and much more like a playmate, so I always thought she was filling that need for you now.

    I love the idea of Orla and Gorla representing our imaginative nature. You come by yours honestly, Sweetheart, and I am glad to hear it has never left you!

  4. I dream of owning a children's bookstore and in the back is a tea room that my bestie owns. Sigh.

  5. You just make me laugh... I often imagine moving to the country and eating a lot of peaches. (or maybe that's just a song...) I think I'd get bored too, but you never know.

    Orla and Gorla... what great names!! I didn't have imaginary friends that I know of...

  6. Orla and Borla? Cute names :) I never had imaginary friends but my happy place is in a sweet, little cottage in the middle of nowhere, with a wonderful view. Somewhere with lots of room outside, but not so much inside. Enough for simple needs: a fireplace, a small kitchen and living space and one big bedroom.


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