[one_half_last][/one_half_last]I have been friends with Giselle for more than fifteen years. About eight years ago she began talking about a friend of hers from Chicago named Betty.
“Betty found a way to remove that ugly stain from my carpet,” Giselle said one day. “Betty is a pretty good athlete,“ she said the next time I saw her. After that it was, “Betty has a daughter.” “Betty, Betty, Betty.” Yet I never met this Betty person.
A couple of summers ago I asked Giselle’s sister if she’d ever met this Betty chick.
“Yeah I met her,” she answered.
“So what does she look like?” I asked.
“Oh you know, just like a normal person,” she says.
“What does a normal person look like?”
“Well she has short brown hair and she’s about this tall.” Giselle's sister held her hand out to show me.
“Anything else you can think of?” I said. "Anything distinguishing?"
“Well, her hands are like great big giant ping pong paddles.”[one_half_last][/one_half_last]
[one_half_last]Last year Giselle introduced me to a man who she claimed to be Betty’s husband and a beautiful young woman that she said was Betty’s daughter.
"Betty couldn’t make it," she said.
I have heard many stories about many things that Giselle and Betty have done, including an afternoon when they went canoeing. The only part of that story that I could possibly believe to be true is that Giselle said she is never going canoeing again.
But here is where things start to get interesting. I have another friend named Jenny. Jenny and I have been friends for about ten years. We have lunch together most days at work along with, Blair. About a year ago Jenny started telling Blair and I stories about someone named Marlene. At first it didn’t seem weird. But one day Blair raised her eyebrows when Jenny began yet another[one_half_last][/one_half_last] Marlene story. This time it was about the flea market they’d been to. It seemed that every night Jenny and Marlene went shopping or out to dinner or to a casino or Jenny was helping Marlene plant tobacco plants on her farm. Hell, they even sewed together. It was, Marlene, Marlene, Marlene.
It occurred to Blair and I that Jenny was possibly delusional. There weren’t enough hours in a day or days in a week to do as many things as she and this Marlene girl did. We decided that Marlene existed only in Jenny’s mind.
The day I realized that our suspicions had been correct all along was the day that Jenny told us that she and Marlene had gone shopping the night before and Marlene brought a friend along.
You know what that other friend’s name was?
"Does she have great big giant ping pong paddle hands?" I asked.