Last weekend I survived a (much needed) five hour phone call with my sister that hit all the basics and continually came back to relationships and divorce and all that chewy goodness. Because mine is finally done and hers has been for years, and therefore she has wisdom. However, as is the norm in my family, wisdom comes with snark and scars.
Can I have happiness?
“Yes you can, good luck… Wait, that was snarky. Let me try again.”
I want the man that I just can’t stop kissing.
“Stop watching Practical Magic!”
The perfect man? I have a whole POP list!
“Of course you do, you always have… but you always go for the boys that don’t even hit the edge of the paper!”
Newly divorced and talking to my younger (but divorced for much longer) sister made for an interesting phone call. Her marriage, my marriage, her dating failures, my dating anxieties, it’s all good. Online dating mishaps, logic vs romance, the importance of penis size, and more “what if” situations than I could shake my fist at—several of which made me quite uncomfortable. Hours worth of giggling and crying and screaming and calm scary talks that ended with a scientific experiment that I’m pretty sure she’s going to actually go through with. In the end I learned a few things about me and my sister, found out some insane things we have in common and never knew about, and have to wonder about a few things regarding my mother—which I will NEVER ask! *lalalalala*
Once upon a time, I threw an old fashion wooden hairbrush across the room and nailed my sister in the forehead (she was touching my book, see image, which I had repeatedly told her to leave alone). She will never let me forget. Once upon a time, when she was afraid of the dark upstairs and was running as fast as she could to retrieve something, I called up “the faster you run, the faster THEY run” and she screamed bloody murder all the way back down. My parents laughed… and will never let me forget. Once upon a time, I had a sister that I tortured, it was my job. She tortured me back, it was her job. We put up with each other. We sometimes hated each other. But when the shit gets thick and the times get dark, we’ve always been there for each other. Always. To remind the other that life goes on.
It’s like she knew I needed to giggle, but unlike when we were teens and I fell off my bed the day she asked me how to get birth control (I, the older one, was still a virgin!), we’ve grown up and can chuckle about sex and relationships. We can use it as a tool to make the other double over laughing instead of curling into a pathetic ball of depressed misery.
“Wait, you can’t blog this… mom reads it! She’s a scary little ball of fury. She reads it! And you can’t put that I called her a ‘scary little ball of fury’! I FEAR her. Hell, why do you think she schleps grandma around, like to the eye doctor in a blizzard?! It’s because she still fears HER! We fear our mothers, it’s what we do. If your children don’t fear you, you didn’t do your job right… she did her job! You cannot blog this!!”
Some day, maybe, my family will realize that they are material no matter if they want to be or not—the good, the bad, the sick and twisted, the dirty and wrong, and the hysterically ugly. (And mom, don’t kill her. You knew/know about the birth control.)
I heart my sister (on occasion), and thank her for dragging me out of the abyss that threatened to swallow me. For reminding me that this too shall pass. For making me laugh at myself and my surroundings and allowing me to laugh at her. Siblings, much like parents and grandparents are those people in our lives that we can’t break up with, can’t move too far from for them to just stop talking to us, and who will always be there when you least expect or need most.
As much as I share snippets of life in these, I’ve also been known to make demands. This time, let’s see if everyone can take away a simple thought: Life goes on (yeah, I’m looking at you, and you know who you are!!) And of course: Call your sibling(s)!!! They may need to hear your voice right this second, or who knows, maybe the sound of theirs will help you.
(mildly updated/edited 2023)