observations on life

My sister. An essay.

My sister, Roxie, is the most level-headed, calm, dispassionate person you would ever want to meet.  The exact opposite of me.  She considers what she’s going to say before she says it.  She doesn’t complain.  She doesn’t have tantrums.  She doesn’t yell.  Unlike me in every way.  How did this happen?  I don’t know why she got ALL the self-control, and I got none, but there it is.  And she has migraines and osteoporosis and a bad back and had asthma when we were kids and every other crappy thing you can think of.  And she’s still, you know, not pissed off all the time.  Like I am.

From the time she was in high school, she was absolutely drop dead gorgeous.  If you didn’t know her then, but do know her now that her hair is turning gray and she doesn’t wear her contacts anymore, you might not know that about her. Yes, she is still very beautiful.  But younger, and even not-so-young, she was the most beautiful woman I have ever seen.

And she’s smart. Damn it. She’s one of the smartest people I know, or have ever known.  She knows everything. Somebody doesn’t know something?  Ask Roxie.  She’ll know.  It’s almost demoralizing.  She’s already forgotten more than I know.

I got her a birthday card once that said, “You’re smarter than me, you’re better looking than me,  and you’re older than me.”  Inside it said “I win.”  It’s the only thing I win at, being two years younger.  But I would gladly be two years older if I could be the person she is.  I know this sound really sappy, and normally that’s the last thing I would ever be.  But I can’t think how else to say this.  She could probably think of something, though.

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observations on life

My Sister is a Peach

My sister works as the financial director at a church.  She works closely with some of the members who volunteer there.  I saw one of those people at Costco the other day (her husband and mine were colleagues).  She said to me “I just have to tell you, your sister is a peach.”  I told her I also think my sister is a peach.  In fact, everyone knows that my sister is a peach.  She’s so nearly perfect.  She is smarter than I am, calmer than I am, more even-tempered than I am (almost always), she’s got much better judgment than I do, she doesn’t get overwrought or have tantrums or whine or run her mouth when she shouldn’t.  I really wish I were a lot more like my sister.

I’m a pretty independent person.  I can usually take care of myself.  I know how to live without parents.  I know how to live without a husband.  But I don’t know how to live without my sister, and I never want to have to learn.  A sister isn’t like anybody else.  She takes care of you when you’re sick, for instance.  Which other people can do, but when your sister does it, she doesn’t care if you whine or cry or act like an immature idiot.

My sister says “Intimacy is not sex.  Intimacy is when your partner holds your head while you throw up on his shoes.”  And she is exactly right.  There is an intimacy between a woman (and a girl) and her sister that exceeds all others.  It’s like we’re a little bit the same person.  We share the same memories of childhood.  We know each others’ secrets.  We often think the same thoughts.  Our histories are a shared experience.

If I say “I need you,” it doesn’t matter for what — I’m hurt, I need help cutting a cake, my hair looks stupid, I’m having an emotional crisis, I fell down the stairs and sprained my ankle and have a date in two hours and have no make up on and can’t get upstairs to get my make up — makes no difference what’s wrong, she comes to help me.  That’s all.  Only a sister does that.

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