Sunday, September 25, 2011

Family Matters

It has occurred to me that I haven't written a whole lot about my family, much to their delight, I'm sure. I suppose that is why I have held back, thus far.  But they are an amusing cast of characters.  I am very blessed to have a well-rounded, loving and happy family.  In the words of the Warlock himself, we are winning.

My sisters and I are very similar and completely opposite of one another.  We are also wonderful friends. However, I do get the distinct impression that I manage to embarrass them on a regular basis. I am, after all, the youngest. That fact in and of itself provides me with reason enough to torture my elder siblings with my somewhat campy demeanor. And, if I'm not mistaken, I do believe that there are studies that say that the youngest of multiple siblings acts out in order to get attention in a full home. So, there, I've even got science on my side.

I can't help but want to write about my sisters.  There is enough witty and heartfelt material to launch a sitcom.  But, I will respect their humility and not tell anything too private or embarrassing.  I am committed to not humiliating anyone in my blog other than myself.  A little self deprecation is good for the ego.

The Anchor
My oldest sister is perhaps the most unassumingly funny person you could ever meet.  She was a blessing in disguise to our parents.  She is beyond special.  I could go on and on about her.  But what I want you to know most of all is that she is what has kept our family grounded.  She reminds us of what the most important things in life truly are. 

She goes to an amazing school in the South where she lives year round.  She comes home twice a year for her birthday and for Christmas and that is about all she can handle of us.  At the end of her stay she is always ready to get back to the normalcy and stability at school.  Honestly.  That's not to say that she finds us crazy or anything, though I've noticed that she will sign "you drive me crazy" to at least one of us during her visits.  Hmmm.

A few years back Mom and Dad were visiting my sister for parents weekend.  They were in their hotel room while our mother finished preparing herself for dinner. Now, mind you, our Dad is well known for his lack of patience.  He began jiggling the change in his pocket and clearing his throat which is code for "Let's Go NOW!!".  My sister took it upon herself to tame the beast.  "Keep your f-----g pants on."  Dead silence.  Truth be told our parents were doing everything in their power to keep from laughing.  I remember my Dad saying "Well, she is 42.  I guess she can say that to me."  I am 42 now and wouldn't even consider saying such a thing to my father.  She is, quite frankly, the only one of us who could have gotten away with such a statement.

This sister is a very passionate girl.  She accessorizes every outfit with as many pieces of jewelry as she can find.  She is an indulgent consumer of bath products and chewing gum.  But, most of all she is very enthusiastic about food.  She once was quoted as saying, "God they've got good food on airplanes".  Yep, she finds the absolute best in everything and everyone.

The Boss

She has even been deemed so by our mother.  But someone has to keep this motley crew in line.  And she foots the bill quite well.  She has a way of getting people to do things they had no idea that they wanted to do, even though they really didn't.  But, she has this innate charm that endears her to most everyone she meets.  It's very hard to tell her no.  You run the risk of making the "I hate you right now" list if you do.  She'd make a great drill seargent except that she doesn't like to be mean to people. 

My sister is perhaps the busiest person you'll ever meet.  If there isn't something that she has to do then she will find something to do.  She doesn't sit well.  And, people who do sit well make her nervous. 

She has had some pretty rough bumps along the way, but she is a shining example of what doesn't kill you only makes you stronger.  She practices the Scarlett O'Hara school of thought.  But, at some point I can't help but wonder if she didn't think, "WTF?  Enough already!".  Though she would never say such a thing.  And certainly not in those words!

I think it is adorable how naive my sister is, especially for someone who has been through as much as she has.  I get a kick out of trying to shock her by making some crass remark or telling an off color joke to her.  Typically I get a blank stare for a good 10-20 seconds, then you see the light bulb go on, and then I usually hear, "Oh gross.  You are so disgusting."  But, she can't hide the smirk on her face.  Yeah, you know it's funny!

A few years back she was out with her board of directors from a previous job, most of whom were male.  They had been out to dinner and made a pit stop at a dive bar.  Apparently most of the evening one of the men had been giving her a hard time about her slip, not because it was showing but because it had obviously been trimmed rather unevenly to fit the length of her skirt. (Which I guess she had misjudged.  And, by the way, who wears a slip anymore?)  After several dozen comments and  a few envibations, my sister had had it.  She shimmied the slip off and threw it at him!  Legend has it that even today the slip is still pinned to the wall of that bar where it had been hung in her honor that night.

My sister is genuinely sweet and thoughtful, a rare find these days.  I have always admired her and strive to be more like her but I think she may have hogged all of the nice genes.  In fact, I think all three of my sisters got them all and left a little itty bitty one for me.  So, I have to work extra hard at it. 

The Practical One

This is the triple threat sister.  She's smart, pretty and fit.  You kinda want to hate her.  But you can't because she's also nice.  It's completely unfair. 

We are 6 years apart in age, enough so that I manage to get under her skin from time to time.  That and the fact that she is very logical and practical and I am, well, not.  I tend to lean more towards the impulsive side of life.  I think more than anything I am an enigma to her.  I wish that I could be a bit more pragmatic like my sister, but then I guess someone has to be the wild card.  I'm happy to oblige.

As a kid I was pretty sure that my sister did not like me.  It wasn't until I was in high school that I realized that she did in fact like me.  We were coincidentally at a John Cougar Mellencamp concert in Bloomington, Indiana and we actually bumped into each other in a crowd of about 25,000.  A bouncer had come along and was harassing me because I wasn't in a designated seat.  He grabbed me by the arm and told me I had to leave.  Next thing I heard was, "Get your hands off my sister!"  I don't even know what happened after that.  I was in shock.  Now, granted, a scant amount of alcohol was likely involved, but, she actually came to my defense!  That moment is carved in my mind as when my sister and I became friends.

What most people don't know about her is that she is wickedly funny.  I think her intellect allows her the ability to come up with one liners that most of us wouldn't be able to think of until that night in bed.  She is also a bit of a savant when it comes to popular culture.  I like to pride myself on my Hollywood trivia knowledge but she can put me to shame every time. 

She is my go-to-gal whenever I need sensible advice.  Which, unfortunately for her is more often than not.  She makes it all look easy though I'm sure it's really not always that way.  No one's life is completely perfect.  But from an outside perspective hers would certainly appear so.  There is a lot to be said for being practical, thoughtful and frugal. 

My sisters and I, back in the day

Well, we've all heard the expression "you can choose your friends but you can't choose your family".  If ever I had been given such a choice I wouldn't change a thing.  I adore my sisters.  I think they are awesome.  As different as we all are, we do have a lot in common.  We all love to travel.  We are all a bit klutzy.  We all snort when we laugh.  And, 3 out of 4 of us can chug a beer in less than 5 seconds.  I'm not kidding.

No comments:

Post a Comment