Friday, 2 May 2008

Special In-depth Review: Imaginary Friend Finder

Finding imaginary friends has always been a difficult task, and it’s hard to be sure that your special immaterial pal is the right one for you. Now, with more people engaging in busy lifestyles, it’s getting even more tricky to find enough time for imaginary friend searching. The new website Imaginary Friend Finder ( claims to be the solution to our friend-finding needs, whether we’re too busy, too shy, or if we just want to meet as many new imaginary friends as possible.

My own imaginary friend, Sally, left me over a year ago, hoping to find herself on a deserted island in the middle of the River Thames. It has been a personal struggle to get over the loss, but I feel I have moved on enough to be able to find a replacement. With this in mind, I decided to give a try.

My first reaction to the site was how easy it was to join. I opted for the Premium Membership, at a cost of $39.95 per year, which allows me to upload as many photos of myself as I wish and send unlimited messages and emails to other users of the site. The free membership has limits on these actions. Once I had uploaded a few pictures of myself, written about myself and my interests and ticked various options for the types of friends I was interested in imagining, I was ready to go.

Scanning through the imaginary friends’ profiles, I was struck by the wealth of different personalities and interests of the people on offer. Some were interesting to me, others less so. From my stated interests the website recommends imaginary friends whom they think will match up with my profile. I chose some that piqued my interest and arranged to meet them.

The first of my prospective new imaginary friends was Gladys, a three-hundred year old masseuse from Portland, Oregon. She met me on a flying cloud and talked at length about peanuts and how they were originally mined in ways similar to diamonds. I sensed that our conversation was making the other patrons in the bar feel awkward, possibly due to the volume of Gladys’s voice. I was getting looks of sympathy from the couples and waiting staff, and I knew that it was not to be between Gladys and I.

One good feature of is that comments can be made on the veracity of people’s claims on the site, and to the accuracy of the imaginary user’s photographs. So the next time I logged in I was forced to make it known that while her picture showed an attractive blonde (not unlike a young Brigitte Bardot), when we met she had green skin and teeth made of fingernails.

It should be noted that there are various different categories of imaginary friends on the site, catering for different needs. I chose ‘serious illusory companionship’, but it is also possible to be a member who is looking for a casual fictional friend or an erotic hallucination.

My second date was somewhat better than the first, and Mike (who I met in the park) was nice, if a little shy. Apparently he was also new to the online imaginary friend service, but the news that I was in a similar situation seemed to calm him. I’d have to say that my time with Mike was enjoyable, if a little dull, except for the part when we sat next to a mother and her child on a bench. For some reason she felt the need to take her child away, giving me a disapproving look as she did so. Despite the innocence of Mike’s and my platonic friendship, I guess a same-sex imaginary relationship is too much for some people.

After several more meetings with prospective imaginary friends, all with similar results, I decided to try one of Imaginary Friend Finder’s famed ‘speed imaginary friend finding’ sessions. Held in the prestigious Miltoff Hotel, I signed in with the twenty or so other website members. We were led into a hall with numerous tables, each with a different imaginary person sitting opposite an empty seat. We took our places and had two minutes to chat with the made-up person at our table before we had to move on. Scorecards were given out so that we could note any phantasmal creations with whom we could see ourselves being chums.

It was here that I met Julie, who I’m proud to say is my new imaginary best friend. We do everything together, and she has a mischievous streak that I find particularly wicked. Even in work, or when I’m writing, she’s looking over my shoulder, chatting with me and helping me. Sometimes she tells me to burn things, but I try to ignore her when she’s in one of those moods.

It has been three months since I joined Imaginary Friend Finder and in that time they set me up with the most wonderful imaginary friend that I’ve ever had. I couldn’t be more happy with their service, and I recommend it to anyone who has trouble meeting that special non-existent person.

What’s that Julie? You want me to burn them? Burn them all? But…but that’s wrong! I won’t do it! I won’t!


Falwless said...

"Sometimes she tells me to burn things, but I try to ignore her when she's in one of those moods."

I'm pretty sure your imaginary friend is my mother.

Falwless said...

Oooooooh I love the new header banner!

The Imaginary Reviewer said...

Falwless: That would make for an interesting coincidence...
And the new header banner is the work of the genius Imaginary Brother, who is available for other design work! Contact me for details...

Anonymous said...

My imaginary friend was called Hattie and was green! Imagine! A green imaginary friend called hattie.

Only the sort of conjealed and creamed individual person that I am could conjur such a vivid boch-job.

Anonymous said...

My son had an imaginary friend called Statty (I think). She was green too. I dont know what happened to her. Congratulations to your imaginary brother on the new banner.

The Imaginary Reviewer said...

Gary and Anonymous: Two green imaginary friends, one named Hattie and one named Statty...very odd. Anonymous: Your son sounds like a very well-adjusted, talented and handsome individual. I bet he's the kind of guy that men want to be and women want to be with.

Anonymous said...

I am sure my son is all these things. He is also rather big headed

p0nk said...

I haven't heard from Mike or Zebedee in probably 40 years. I don't remember either of them being green.

Jillian said...

Imaginary friends tend to have such funny names.

My older sister had Coggyrib and Mean (who was apparently as nice as could be). My younder sister had Theresa Ballayer (She was a ballerina, of course) and Pluto (he was her imaginary brother).

I never had any and sort of feel like I missed out!