Can't We Just Get Along?
with her younger sister, and it reminded me of my dear sibling. I
saw that Redneck Diva had a sister post on Saturday, but hers
was not the source of my thieving. Mine was already in the can.
Check these two out if you haven't already, because they're much
better than mine.
Sis is 20 months younger than me, but who's counting? Well, she
is, to be truthful. In fact, when somebody gave us their condolences
at our father's funeral, and mentioned how she had red hair, and I
had brown, Sis said, "Hers would be gray, but she colors it." Maybe
it's just me, but I did not think that was appropriate.
We had our battles growing up. I had to include her in all the
neighborhood games. By the time we hit middle school, we
each had our own set of friends. I tortured her as a sibling will,
making fun of her purple bedroom with Donny Osmond posters.
The one act that irritated her most was when I saw her wearing
some kind of silver plastic sandals, and told her she had "boy toes."
She was outraged! I had found her Achilles heel in those sandals.
Whenever I wanted to needle her, all I had to do was lean over
and whisper, "boy toes."
Since I was older, I got my license and a car first. But I had to
drive her to school. Be careful what you wish for, huh? Living
in Missouri, we were occasionally sent home from school early
due to snowstorms. My Hillbilly Dad had always said to put
more weight in the back if you had to drive on snow. We lived
at the top of a quarter-mile hill, and I had a Chevy Vega, bright
yellow with a black stripe down the side. (The color had nothing
to do with the way it slid around in snow--I'm just bragging about
what a fine car I had!!!) When I found out we were being
dismissed early, I waited in the hall for Sis and told her, "You
need to get in the hatch so we can make it up the hill." She
hurried past me and said, "Uh uh. I'm riding the bus home!"
Oooh! I was spittin' mad. I couldn't wait to tell on her. I was
hoping she would get in trouble and have to ride the bus all the
time, but no such luck.
I never did much to hurt her physically, though there was the
time she was cleaning her ear with a bobby pin and I "accidentally"
bumped her arm. I wouldn't have been in so much trouble if it
wasn't for all that blood. (Let this be a lesson to you, kids. Don't
ever put anything smaller than your elbow in your ear.) The only
other physical thing I remember was regularly chasing her for
revenge so I could thump her on the back. That sound of a
lung rattling against her ribs was quite satisfying.
Don't go thinking Sis was an angel, and I was a bully. Check out
her transgressions. She loved to get me in trouble. A clever ruse
was to call me around the corner with the lure of, "C'mere. I've
got something to tell you." And I fell for it. I'd go around the
corner, and Sis would promptly CLAP her hands together and
start screaming, "OW! Mom! She slapped me!" Now this was
not a lung-thumping...I hadn't laid a hand on her.
Mom was a teacher at a school about 20 minutes away. After
school, before Mom got home, it was our job to fix supper. I
didn't like to cook, so Sis did the cooking, and I did the dishes.
Fair enough, one would think. Sis always cooked spaghetti or
lasagna. I hate both. She would dump something in a pan, then
say, "Oh, I didn't want that pan. I want this pan." So I had extra
dishes to wash, and a meal that I didn't like.
Another example: when I was 18 or 19, I played on a fast-pitch
softball team sponsored by a hole-in-the-wall bar called Al's Tavern.
Most of the girls were older, but a friend and I had been asked to
join their team. After a win, the owner of Al's said to come on to
the tavern. We drank soda, they drank beer. This might be something
I had neglected to tell the parental units. But Sis made sure they knew.
She rushed home one evening to tell them that she had seen my car
parked in front of Al's Tavern. They questioned me, but since I was
a good kid, I pointed out that if I wanted to sneak around, I would
not have parked my screaming yellow car in front of a bar less than
two miles from our house. They said they knew there was a good
explanation. Sis was spittin' mad this time.
How about the piece de resistance? When I had knee surgery the
first time, I was on crutches for 10 days. While recuperating, I had
fallen down an 8-step flight of stairs at my parents' split-level home.
It made them nervous when I went crutching up or down the stairs.
Dad was at work, and Mom had to run to town. She left me at home
with Sis, with strict instructions not to leave the family room. We
had a bathroom down there, and she told Sis if I needed anything
from upstairs, that she was to get it for me. I sat with my leg propped
up in a recliner. Sis and I watched some TV. She was nice enough.
Then I needed a drink. I asked her nicely if she could go up to the
kitchen to get me a glass of water. "Sure," she said. She returned
with one of those green Tupperware glasses full of water. I took a
drink and almost spit it out. It was hot water. Sis laughed an evil
laugh. I asked why she brought me hot water. She shrugged. "You
didn't say you wanted cold water."
We are still on speaking terms. I don't see her very often, but she
is a laugh riot when I do. And I know better than to go around the
corner to hear a secret.