Friday, November 7, 2008

Madamojell and Jessie Brown

The other day I was blog visiting and on Amanda Blake's blog I discovered this painting, which I love, and I couldn't help but giggle when I looked at it and it's title. It brought back memories of the two imaginary friends that I was blessed with as a child. Mine happened to be people, and I still have a soft place in my heart for those girls. :)

Their names were Madamojell and Jessie Brown and they were wonderful friends, always there to play with and talk to when nobody else was.

I was an only child, but there were always other children in the Rabbit Hop community to play with, plus I had lots of cousins, several around my age. Lots of sleepovers at our house too. The older girls in the neighborhood loved to spoil me. The whole community was more like family than just neighbors.

Even when I was alone, I wasn't. I had a vivid imagination, my dolls, my teddy bear, my monkey, my books, and my two friends that nobody could see or talk to except me. Mama would hear me carrying on a conversation out loud and she would ask who I was talking to.

I would look at her like she was crazy and say, "Madamojell. Can't you see her, Mama? She's sitting right there?"

Madamojell's name came from the word Madamoiselle. Mama used to call me that sometimes when I was being a little smarty pants. It stuck in my head. Only I couldn't pronounce it and it came out Madamojell. She was a free spirit; not afraid of anything or anyone. She traveled to the beat of her own song. I think, looking back, she was a combination of two older cousins and a neighbor girl that I always looked up to and loved immensely. I wanted to be just like them.

Of course, it was the fifties, and though my older friends dressed in lots of can-cans under full skirts, pony tails, bobby sox, and cardigan sweaters buttoned down the back, Madamojell dressed her thin body in long chiffon dresses, hid her long blonde hair under luscious wide brimmed hats, wore dainty gloves, and she wore lots of makeup and jewelry. She had a wonderful laugh and was very wise. At least, I thought so. She loved living and was full of self confidence.

Jessie Brown, on the other hand, was a complete opposite of Madamojell.

My older cousin, Gene, stayed with us for a while, and he had a friend named Jessie Brown ______, and I thought he was so handsome. He was dark haired, had a dark complexion, sparkling brown eyes, a great personality, and I just loved his name.

My invisible friend, however, was not sparkly. She was a lovely girl, very quiet, kind of plain looking in her dark plaid cotton dress with her long brown hair hanging down past her shoulders, her brown eyes kind of sad. She was a bit shy, a great friend, and fun to be with, even if she was afraid of her own shadow. The kind that you could sit in silence with, without feeling awkward.

The three of us spent many happy times together having tea parties, playing house, talking and laughing. Sometimes they even attended school with my dolls and stuffed animals, where they all sat lined up on the couch and listened attentively while I "read" to them from my Golden story books, the stories that mama had read to me until I had them memorized. The students enjoyed these stories immensely. (This was before I actually started school and learned to read; no kindergarten back then.) :)

As I got older, Jessie Brown disappeared. Or maybe she didn't. Maybe she has been me all these years.

Madamojell, on the other hand, still pops up often in the form of my alter ego or my creative muse.

I think she may be the me that I was always afraid to let out. Now that I'm a Senior Citizen, who knows, I may turn her loose. :)

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