Mambaise and Marshley

While I was telling a story to a coworker the other day, she responded to me that she doesn't have an imagination like I do. I thought about that statement for a minute and then drifted off into memories from years ago that involved my imagination.
When I was about 4 or 5 years old, my mom got a new picture frame from the store. She pulled it out of the sack, and without any hesitation I told her that I knew the girl in the photo. She looked at the paper that came in the frame and laughed and asked me how I knew her. I explained to her that her name was Marshley and that she was my friend. I'm sure my mom was thinking, "Oh dear. Here we go. I lucked out and didn't have to deal with the imaginary friend with the other kid, so here it comes." And sure enough, Marshley became someone I talked about frequently. (The strange thing about my memories of this time is that I cannot remember any specific stories about her other than when I told my mom about her existence, and when I told her of her demise.) Apparently I hadn't mentioned Marshley in a while, so my mom hesitantly, yet nonsholantly asked me "You haven't mentioned Marshley in a while. What happened to her?" To which I shot right back not so hesitantly, but a bit even more nonsholant, "Oh. Her house burned down and she was in it." I'm sure my mom was shocked for a number of reasons. One being that I had offed my friend out of my imagination. And two being the painful death that I spoke of so aloofly. Needless to say, I'm sure it was bittersweet for her, because afterall, the death of Marshley meant that the phase had passed.

However, that wasn't the end of my random, imaginative, matter-of-factly stated stories. From the time when I was very small, if I ever had a stomach ache, my stomach was no longer my stomach anymore. It was my mambaise. Out of nowhere I began referring to my aching belly as my mambaise. But ONLY when it was hurting. I would crawl into my mom or dad's lap and whine, "my maaambaaaiiise huuuuurts." There is no rhyme or reason why this word took place of the more common terms, but it just did. I was too young for me to recall where I got this from, but I do remember saying it. I'll still refer to it as my mambaise every now and then, and occasionally in mixed company, I'll forget that not everyone knows what that is.
As you can see, I apparently made up both names from scratch, because I've never heard the name Marshley, and never heard the word mambaise since.

Now that I'm grown, the majority of my imaginative work just stays in my head and my dreams. Maybe someday this very imagination will help me with my book I plan to write.

Hey, come to think of it, maybe Marshley was the one that told me it was called a mambaise. Nah, she couldn't have because the timing doesn't add up.


Tiffany said…
Wasn't it during this same timeframe that you decided you didn't want to be Chelsea...but instead wanted to be called Chuck?

Mr. Ed brought that story up at your wedding....I had totally forgot about it! Love you Chelsea Belle!

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