My Earliest True Friend Was a Condiment

This week for Remember the Time, we are sharing stories and thoughts on the topic of imaginary friends. Thanks so much to That Cynking Feeling for submitting this topic! Skip down to the bottom for details on participating in this weekly linkup.

My parents got a video camera when my younger brother was a baby in 1985, so there are a lot of videos of us when we were growing up. They didn’t just whip that ten pound mass of equipment out on special occasions like holidays and birthdays, but took tons of footage of lazy afternoons and diaper changes. I’m grateful for this because now that I have C, I know that those everyday occurrences are where the gold is hidden. While you’re supposed to remember holiday traditions, you find that the memories that stick around are the ones that you make when you least expect it. They aren’t as fabricated as blowing out candles or backyard Easter egg hunts.

I think that one of the reasons why we take videos of growing children is so they’ll have something to marvel at when they grow up, when their childhood is as distant as Memorex tapes and the USSR. We assume that they’ll view them with adult eyes. But as a kid, I often watched those tapes only minutes after the taped moments happened. Half the fun of making a video was turning around and watching the tape that same day, right before bedtime.

As a result, sometimes I have a hard time knowing if the memories I recall have only lasted because I learned them over and over again by watching my childhood play out on my parents’ TV. People often tell me that they wish they could remember as much about their early childhood as I remember about mine, but the truth is that my memory isn’t as amazing as it seems. I just had videos that reminded me of all the things that happened while they were happening. The downside to this is that sometimes it’s hard for me to separate those video memories from the ones that have truly persisted in my mind all these years. They get muddled together.

If you were to watch videos of me when I was four, you’d hear me talk a lot about Baby. Baby was apparently an imaginary infant that I was in charge of. By all accounts, Baby was almost more trouble than she was worth. Baby often fell out of her baby bed and wouldn’t eat her bananas for breakfast unless I told her to. She cried a lot and had bad dreams. All photographic mentions of Baby cease to occur by the time I was five, for obvious reasons. I guess I sent her back to the baby depot.

The thing is, without those tapes, I have no memory of Baby at all. She doesn’t really exist outside of my four-year-old psyche and VHS tapes.

I do remember Saucy, though.

Saucy was my true imaginary friend, the friend who you’ll never find mention of on tape. In fact, this is the first time I’ve ever even brought Saucy up to anyone aside from that time I tweeted about it.

Let’s let the tweet do the talking.

I really struggled over including how many likes this tweet got. As you can see, my insecurities won out again.

Glad to see that seven people appreciated the fact that I’m a complete weirdo.

A portrait of my friend Source

A portrait of my friend Source

So, yeah, while I talked a lot about Baby on camera, Saucy was really my tried and true friend. While it was only a small clear jar of pimentos with a yellow aluminum lid, I remember thinking a lot about Saucy. As a small child, I was fascinated with the idea of inanimate objects having personalities, feelings, and dealings outside of the ones that humans gave them. And I’m not talking about the talking sandwiches and beach balls that often make appearances on Sesame Street. I’m talking about the things that you see around you in your own home that have never given you reason to believe that they were sentient beings. For instance, my grandmother was always making pound cakes and I wondered how those cakes felt about being eaten. Were they proud to be delicious or did they live short lives of melancholy knowing that their final destinations were the digestive tracts of humans not privy to their consciousness?

Deep thoughts from small people.

So Saucy was a very real – albeit imaginary – being in my life as a little kid. I realized at the time that it was probably kind of odd that I had a fantasy relationship with a condiment, so I also recall not talking a lot about it to my family. It just wasn’t worth it to explain. But Saucy was kind and interesting. It was small and nonjudgmental.

Let me reiterate: it was a jar of pimentos.

Saucy left such a positive impression on me that today when I went to Amazon to find a picture of a can of pimentos to include in this post, I felt a little sad that the single review someone had left for the product was only one star. I will be true to my Saucy, and if it takes me irrationally purchasing a jar of pimentos from an online grocery just so I can review it and reclaim its honor, then I will do it.

That’s just the kind of thing you do for friends. Even if they’re imaginary.

Link up with us! Here’s how to do it:

1. Write your post. Remember, it can be ANYTHING about imaginary friends. Just try to stick with the whole “back in the day” vibe ;D

2. Grab the badge and place it at the bottom of your post.

Remember the Time Blog Hop

3. Add your link below and come back to see all the other great posts your blogging pals have written! Comment on them and tweet and share your favorites using the hashtag #RTTbloghop. The link-up closes at midnight EST next Wednesday, so get your link in before then.

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42 comments

  1. But wait! Was Saucy one PARTICULAR jar? And if so, how did you keep your mom from using and discarding her? Ohhh, I’m feeling anxious and need answers ASAP. I’ll wait.

    1. That is such a good question, and one that I don’t even know to answer to. Maybe it was an amalgamation of all the jars I had seen up until that point in my life? Now I’m just talking nonsense.

  2. I imagine you may have been the only child ever to eye a jar of pimentos with anything other than disdain. Lol.

    1. I am probably the only child who ever even noticed that pimentos existed. They aren’t exactly ketchup.

      1. I don’t even know these pimentos are after seeing the picture!

  3. We appreciate the weirdo that is you that speaks to the weirdo in us. Or I do, anyway. Can’t speak for those other six people. ;)

    1. Well, one of them is my BFF, so she was probably just humoring me ;)

      1. What good is a BFF if she won’t at least do that? ;)

  4. Now, how is this not possibly a great stocking stuffer for you? That is very sweet to have that perspective about inanimate objects. If this was true, I would have to confess I’m having a torrid love affair with Frank’s hot sauce.

    1. I am a hot sauce junkie too. My daughter saw me dumping Tabasco all over my eggs the other morning and insisted that she try it too. She was less than pleased.

  5. […] Emily later tweeted back that she and co-host, Kelly of Are You Finished Yet?, decided to use it as this week’s theme. […]

  6. Twindaddy · · Reply

    Bwahahahahaha

    1. Aren’t you glad you read my blog today?

      1. Twindaddy · · Reply

        Of course!

  7. Part of me felt like the title of this post was enough. I mean, I was already laughing. But fortunately I continued reading, because the statement, “Baby was almost more trouble than she was worth” made me spray my computer with saliva. Just the idea that you actually created an imaginary baby who was a total pain in the ass makes me love you.

    And just do you know you’re not alone, I have had those some deep waxings about inanimate things having a consciousness. I mean, how do we REALLY know? Are we really so arrogant to think they don’t have feelings. Maybe they operate on a level so high we could never hope to be aware of it. That’s a lot of think about for 8:30 on a Thursday morning. So instead I’m just going to have visions of you being exasperated at an imaginary baby. HA!!!!!

    1. “Baby was almost more trouble than she was worth” that line got me, too!! AWESOME.

    2. I know! I really want to believe that everything has an conscience and an energy. And in a way, I think they all do. I guess it just comes down to valuing everything that we encounter and not treating objects (and especially people) like garbage or arbitrary things. It makes the world a better place to live. I don’t even know what I’m trying to say here. It was a long time ago that I took philosophy.

      1. You sound like a dirty hippie :)

  8. OH MY GOSH. I just remembered! I did have a sort of imaginary friend. Reading “Saucy” and “Baby” just jogged my memory. His name was “Buggy” and he consisted my mom’s index and middle finger. Buggy would walk around and take an elevator (my hand) to the top of my head and dance around.

    No, for the record, I did not also make dolls out of corn husks.

    1. My dad did a similar thing with his index finger. He would draw a little face on it and tell us that Wormy was coming to play with us. Wormy was a good sport. For some reason I feel like he may have worn glasses. Because that’s logical.

  9. Please don’t feel sorry for Saucy. She made a delicious cheese spread! Sadly now….I will never be able to look at a jar of pimentos again without feeling mildly disturbed. I almost feel sorry for someone who had to resort to creating a ‘pimento memento’……almost

    1. Again with the puns! Have you liked me on Facebook yet? I made a FANTASTIC pun earlier in this week that I don’t think anyone got at all. My daughter has this stuffed lamb toy and it was tossed in the corner next to her teddy bear and it looked like it was whispering into the bear’s ear. So I took a picture of it and captioned it “Loose lips sink sheep.” I SLAY myself.

      1. It’s important to make ourselves laugh! :) I use Twitter for what you described. If I get ultra popular, (like you), one day I could see creating a FB Page associated with my blog but for now I use it only to keep in touch with friends and relatives. My Twitter followers accurately depict my popularity – 11

    2. I hadn’t thought about it until you mentioned it, but now I will feel bad the next time I dive into a jar of condiments.

  10. Saucy seems like a great pal! It’s funny that a lot of cartoon shows for kids feature characters that happen to be inanimate objects. They just make the best friends!

    1. They really do! They are so much less complicated than people.

  11. I had more imaginary friends than I can count. Which is another whole level of weird, I know. :-P I had way more imaginary friends than real friends. And since I’m a writer, perhaps I still do….

    I now have a craving to eat pimentos. Sorry, Saucy.

    1. I don’t think it’s weird at all! It shows that you have an awesome, vivid imagination! If you feel the inclination, write a post about all of them and link up with us ;D

  12. Haha, THIS. I’m not sure I’ve ever heard anything quite like it.
    I had (apparently) some sort of imaginary friend on the playground who I referred to as “Funny Jimmy” and would come home talking about everyday… I still maintain that he was a real person but honestly I don’t even remember this at all.

  13. I, too, have loving memories involving pimientos. My granny (because she was Southern) made pimento cheese sandwiches that I still remember as one of the best foods in the world. It’s basically a jar of Saucy, grated cheddar cheese and a shit ton of mayonnaise. You must grate the cheese by hand and you must have a Southern accent or it won’t taste good. I have a slight accent that my children make fun of. They make me say “towel” all the time because I pronounce it more like “tal” as in “tallow.” So, my pimiento cheese (which is pronounced “pim-menna cheese” is pretty good. But it’s not as good as Granny’s and that makes me both sad and happy when I make it.

  14. As a mother of a girl who is raising an overly sensitive/empathetic 10 year old, this made me sort of feel for your mom – charged with the task of toughening up a girl who is tender hearted enough to worry that the poundcake might have depression. You know what, though. You seem to have turned out well. Thanks for the unintended encouragement and for sharing with us about you pimento companion.

  15. Such a weirdo — and we all love it! lol

  16. So, this made me cry tears of laughter in the car pool line…. First, I love your literal names for your imaginary friends. Second, my grandmother once told me when I was jumping on the couch that the couch had feelings too, and then I spent my childhood riddled with guilt over all the pain I must surely be causing all the furniture. Third, you are hilarious and I’m sure that your relationship with the jar of pimentos was a sign of creativity!

  17. Saucy!!! Perfect name. My imaginary friend was a Mongolian child from a Barnum & Bailey’s circus poster. I think I just called him “Horse Boy.”

  18. HILARIOUS. You’re brain is awesome. Saucy? A jar of pimientos? First off, I hated pimientos (no offense to saucy, though), and second…I can’t believe your imaginary friend was a jar of pimientos. I will be laughing about this one for a while! :)

  19. I certainly did not see this one coming. There were many foods I loved growing up, and I recall how much I loved it when my grandmother added pimentos to potato salad, but that was pretty much the end of my relationship with cherry peppers. Back in the day Woody Allen did a great standup routine about mechanical objects including one that talks. Check it out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DRB_ypEnL50

  20. I did not see this one coming. I loved it when my grandmother would add pimentos to potato salad, but that was pretty much the start and end of my relationship with cherry peppers. As for talking inanimate objects, back in the day Woody Allen did a great standup routine about his problems with mechanical objects. I tried to embed the link here, but then my comment disappeared into the ether. I think my MacBook is sending me a message that it did not find Woody’s routine amusing at all. If you want to hear it just Google: Woody Allen – Mechanical Objects and you’ll get the link. If this comment disappears, I’m going to have to have a serious talk with my computer.

  21. You’re the best real friend ever, Emily.

  22. […] This week’s “Remember the Time Blog Hop” topic is supposed to be about the time we had an imaginary friend. I never had an imaginary friend. I have plenty of voices in my head, but none of them are very friendly and I work very hard to keep them contained. Rather than bow out of the weekly writing episode, I have decided to break the rules and write about my very first childhood friend, Tim Apwisch (Timmy). I know I am not the first in the blog hop to break this rule as my virtual friend Kelly has done the same thing so hopefully I won’t get kicked out of the club, (oh and real friends sure beat having a jar of pimentos as a friend). […]

  23. I’m now fixating on the fact that, per the image you included, I now know you can buy a 12-pack of pimentos. I wouldn’t know what to do with one pack. Except have a conversation with it, of course.

  24. […] My Earliest True Friend Was a Condiment (notthehardestpart.com) […]

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