Sunday, October 14, 2012

Years, and the Passing Thereof

Today: an ode to my sister. Because it's her birthday.

We've always had good taste in eyewear.

My sister and I are two years apart. These days, people always have to ask who is older. Most people think it's her. I'm not sure why this is... it could be that she has that married-living-in-the-burbs vibe, that she dresses better than I do, that she carries herself like someone who's got their shit together. And me? I'm still battling through my flaky-free spirit-postgrad-design-major days. Also I'm about a quarter of an inch shorter.

Whatever the reason, she takes great delight in this. I, myself, will take great delight in this when we're in our forties and people think I'm the younger one.

And now: a brief retrospective.

I must have been excited to get a little sister. I don't have the best recall from being two, but I have a remarkable amount of trace memories from those early years... though I'm not sure how many are "real" memories and how many are pieced together given the various photographic evidence lying about. (Though there are certain things that I know went undocumented, like the Christmas that we only had a clump of snow in our backyard and I was looking down at it from our living room window - which was upstairs, we had an elevated living room, I don't know. We also had green astroturf on our front porch which I got many a rugburn from. These are things that I can probably verify through pictures. I also remember the first time I had puppy chow - my parents had friends over and us kids were playing on whatever swingset/jungle gym thing that was in our backyard, and I was adamant that I did not want to eat it, because clearly it was for dogs. They laughed and then I tried it and it was glorious. But I'm getting rapidly off track here.) My point is, I have enough memory from those days to remember that I was looking forward to having a sister and I was excited when she arrived, two years and not quite a month after myself.

There are lots of pictures of us in those very early years to indicate that I enjoyed having a sister and that she enjoyed being a sister. It was when we started to reach the upper single digits that that novelty wore off. Sibling rivalry took a human form in both of us. In addition to fighting about normal stuff that kids fight about, we were constantly trying to be better than the other. Long story short, it would be kind of an understatement to say that we didn't particularly get along growing up. I mean, we didn't fight all the time - one of the perks of having a sibling is having a built-in playmate. At least until you get to the age where you're suddenly too cool to have your little sister following you around and you and your friends try to ditch the shadow. (Sorry Min.)

Then there was high school and I found that it wasn't completely horrible sharing it with your sister. You got to do events together and go dress shopping together for prom and make fun of her mercilessly on the bus ride home from some band event that she spent chatting with a boy that would eventually someday become her husband. I remember how excited she was for me at my graduation, proud of me for reaching the finish line.

Then I moved away for college. We wrote letters (because letters are awesome) and she came to visit me, which I think was a highlight for both of us. I got to show off my campus and she got to feel pretty grownup and badass for spending a weekend on a college campus. Our relationship improved dramatically after we weren't sharing a roof... so as long as I don't end up living in her basement someday, I think we're set now.

Together we survived adolescence and our parents' divorce and college and finding jobs and wedding planning (hers) and the woes of perpetual singledom (mine) and, all of a sudden, we're in our late twenties. Both of us.

We were talking the other day and she mentioned being 26 and, well, it startled me. First of all, if she was 26, that meant that I was older than 26, which was not a pleasant thing to dwell on. Hadn't I JUST been 26? Where the hell did those two years ago? And for some reason, in my head, she's perpetually 23, maybe 24. None of this "26" nonsense.

So I quickly pointed out to her that, no, she was still 25. For some reason, it made me feel better.

But, alas, the gig is up, and as of today, she is now over the hump on her own downhill slide to 30. (Muahahaha). Though I'll grant her the same logic I granted myself: 20-23 = early twenties; 24-26 = mid-twenties; 27-29 = late twenties. (Feel free to borrow it for yourself, too, if needed).

Now that we've got that pesky business of growing up out of the way, we can move on to the next batch of challenges - kids (probably her), another wedding (hopefully me, someday), wrinkles and gray hairs, menopause, picking out nursing homes, etc. (Okay, prom dress shopping was way more fun.)

Happy birthday, not-so-little-anymore sis!

Worth noting: for the first time ever, our hair finally matches.


MSchlader said...

Aww.. thanks for the sweet post! Love ya Sis! (And what are ya talkin' about?? Nursing home shopping will be a BLAST!)

Steph A said...

Holy shit, i'm in my LATE twenties?! Hoooooly shit.

Cute post. :)