When I was a teenager, we had a neighbor across the street, named Rachel. Yes, there have always been lots of Rachels floating around in my life. It can make things confusing, but never dull. My brother was about five years old and had enough trouble understanding that other people can have your name. So, he discovered his own way of differentiating between our neighbor and I.
Shortly after making her acquaintance, my baby bro christened her “Friend-Rachel”, and said it like it was one word. If he was talking about me, he said Rachel, but if he was talking about her, then he gave her that full title. We were amused by his way of naming people, just like we got a chuckle out of his names for different things. For example, the Disney version of Robin Hood was Robin-Hood-the-Fox and the live action movie was Robin-Hood-the-Man.
Somewhere along the line, and I don’t remember how it came about, our cousins would come to visit, and he began to refer to them as his “friend-cousins”. For weren’t they both his friends AND his cousins?
In the years to follow, my cousins and I picked up on this term, and we’ve never let it go. We call each other “friend-cousin” when we’re face to face, when we send text messages, and when we’re on Facebook. Oh, not all the time, but it’s entered into the family lingo, where it will probably always remain.
And yes, as you’ll see, I did pass out some of my presents from Australia. When one of the kids didn’t want to put on the hat I brought them from Australian Outback Spectacular!, my brother decided to model it, instead. Such good times.