I didn’t have many friends when I was growing up. Other than my cousins and my sister’s friends (because I was that archetype of the annoying kid sister whom everyone hated) whom I shamelessly tagged on because my sister didn’t really have much of a choice hahaha.
It could be because I was a brash kid, telling classmates off when they were being plain annoying or stupid, even going as far as to speak out against my classmates’ parents. Or it could simply be because I was a weird kid.
I was fairly lonely when I was younger because my older sister would escape my clutches as far as possible (and my next sibling wouldn’t come along till years later), my father worked in a neighbouring country and would only return on weekends and my mother was almost always out of the house (probably to escape from me also). So, during her very short stint of working (she eventually had to quit because I bawled like she was going to abandon me as she left for work every single morning), she bought me this extremely cute stuffed dog which I so creatively named Spot. It had well, spots on it and there was this popular book series which I absolutely adored by the same name.
Spot became my best friend. I talked to him all the time, kissed and cuddled him and even fashioned a leash made out of this multicoloured shoelace so that I could drag it around for his “walks”. Then I started going to school and announcing that I owned a puppy. Pets were a rarity those days so suddenly, I was this popular kid with cool parents and everyone wanted to meet Spot.
The power must have gone to my head because I remembered bringing some friends home. And this is where my memory gets a little fuzzy. I don’t remember the exact situation but I know I introduced Spot to them and they laughed at me saying Spot was just a toy. I argued that he too was real and I think at some point they exchanged looks and deduced that I was off my rocker.
Then I remember being friendless for a really long time until I reached third grade and must have gained some semblance of normalcy. Even though I said I can’t recall things exactly, I think it was good that I was so oblivious that having no friends didn’t impact me that much. After all, I already had Spot, and who needs more friends right?