Sisters Doin' It For Ourselves

I just had a rockin’ weekend with two of my sisters. Is there anything better than spending a weekend with people who remember every thing you ever did, from wiping boogers on the side of the bunk bed to getting your picture in the Hubbard Eagle for being the Rotary Recognition Student of the Month?

When sisters come, you waste no time with pretenses. I saved about 3½ hours over the course of the weekend by not putting on makeup, not snapping the top of my pants, not tweezing or shaving anything, and not faking my way through conversations about topics I know nothing about. All of those things would have been useless. They already know what I look like naked and they know how smart I am. Or am not. And they love me anyway.

These are the only people who can fully appreciate that although I can’t remember where I put the bag of carrots I just brought home from the grocery store, I can remember all the verses of the song I made up in 1974 making fun of someone in our church.

I don’t know if it’s because our mom taught us from an early age that we were special or if we’re just egotistical by genetic makeup, but we Laney girls think we’re great. Not so much ourselves, but each other. We have a superiority-complex-by-proxy. No matter what I do, when my sisters hear about it, they tell me how smart I was to decide to do that, how they wish they had thought of it first, and point out all the good things about me and my most excellent decision. I could decide to cut off my left arm with some gardening shears and they’d say, “I think that’s good. I hate left arms anyway. Only dependent, overly symmetrical people still use two arms.”

Other families may find their siblings to be supportive, but in my family we go that extra 100 miles. When we visit each other, we pack portable pedestals.

If I don’t care much for light blue, but Kathy picks out the light blue sweater, I instantly love light blue. The light blue sweater is the prettiest of all, it’s clearly better than all the other colors and she will look better than anyone else in the room when she wears it. I want one and I start buying light blue sweaters immediately.

If they knit but don’t crochet, knitting is super cool and crocheting is stupid. If they only buy name brand peanut butter but are OK with store brand jelly, then that must be the best way to eat. If they drink white wine but dark beer, then that’s what we’re drinking.

When I was little and coloring was the highest art form I knew, I proudly told everyone that I colored everything very pale, barely touching the crayon to the Barbie coloring book, because that’s how my sister Reenie colored. And then one day we were coloring together and she colored dark and I said, “What are you doing?”

“Oh, I color dark now,” she said nonchalantly. Changing your coloring style just on a whim! She was such a rebel. You could almost see the confidence oozing out of her pores.

“Oh, yeah, me too,” I said, quickly covering Barbie’s strapless prom dress with the Cornflower crayon pressed down with all my 80 pounds. How could I be so stupid to color light? Dark is clearly better. It’s so obvious. Idiot!

Having sisters visit is the best way to spend a milestone birthday, too. I didn’t need a cruise or a trip to somewhere exotic. An ego trip with my sisters in my kitchen is enough for me.