Monday, March 28, 2011

19:40 -- Sisters

Before you go jumping to conclusions, this post is in no way shape or form about having a second baby.


Can you tell we're related?


My older sister came to town for L.E.'s birthday. I haven't seen her in over 2 years. And I haven't lived with her for over 15 years. But the same question always come up from my parents: Are you 2 getting along?
We are 3-1/2 years apart. By sibling standards, especially sisters, that is waaaay too close once you become teenagers. So yes, from the time I was 12 until 20, we didn't always get along. Sometimes we had the ultimate knock-down, drag-out, fist-punching fights. I even sent her to the ER after I punched her in the nose. Our fights were almost always about clothes. She'd wear something of mine without asking. I would do the same. Inevitably stains appeared. It was always the other's fault. Never mind the fact that to this day, she and i have the same drinking problem that Ted Striker does.
There was the sweatshirt. One of my college visits was to UNC-Wilmington. I bought a very expensive embroidered sweatshirt (extra-large...it was the 90s, the big look was in) and I wore it all of 2 times before it mysteriously disappeared. Soon after, photos started appearing featuring my sweatshirt on pretty much every friend my sister had. Our good friend who lived around the block picked me up for school and had it on. A co-worker at the restaurant where I worked showed up wearing it. I questioned my sister and she gave me the old "I must have left it in someone's car" story.
When I was packing to move out west, I asked her about it. She played dumb. So I got my own little revenge by stealing about 6 of her CDs along with a few other shirts. It became a long-running joke. She would send me more photos of people wearing it. I tried to find it in her closet when I went home for visits but was never successful. A few Christmases later, SURPRISE! She wrapped up the sweatshirt for me. It was pretty mangled but I didn't care, I had it back. I wore it tons when I was pregnant. (Good foresight to get the XL). So on her visit this trip, I ceremoniously gave it back to her. Little does she know that I'll totally steal it back when I visit her in a few weeks. So what was initially a very sore subject for me (it was a $55 sweatshirt I bought with my own money) has now become one of the best running gags we have.
The point is, when we were TEENAGERS...of COURSE we fought! But that was almost 20 years ago. My parents don't seem to understand that we're not the same people we were then. Is anyone? We're closer than we've ever been. When something happens in my life, good or bad, she is the first person I call. She knew I was pregnant well before my parents did. And I know that she would have visited way sooner if she hadn't just changed jobs recently (RIGHT, OH SISTER OF MINE?)
I read an article a few years ago in Time magazine about the science of siblings. The jist of it is, your siblings shape who you are more than anyone else. My sister gave me great fashion sense, a sharp wit, common sense, relationship advice, ways to get past Mom and Dad, my first cigarette, the idea to steal the airplane bottles out of our parents' bar, a night out with her college friends when I didn't have a homecoming date, the best grilled-cheese ever and more Indian-burns than I can count. I wouldn't trade my relationship with her for anything in the world.


But I'm still not going to have another baby.

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