Oct 26, 2008

Happy Birthday, sister

Every girl needs a sister. In fact, if you're a girl and don't have a sister, you can have mine.

I mean that in the nicest way.

I mean that I'll share her with you 'cuz she's pretty special.

Her name is Megan. In the late 1950s, that name was not just uncommon. It was rare. Most people thought my parents were getting in touch with their creative side when they chose that name for their eldest daughter. Today it is more common, although most people pronounce it differently than we do. To us, she is "mee' gan." Which was fun when she called my office once and my coworker came to my office door and said, "Whoever you just spoke to on the phone a minute ago is on line two again." Not having been on the phone for well over an hour, I tilted my head to the side and said, "Huh?" Denise (said coworker) said, "I don't know! She said, 'Hi. It's me again. May I speak with Jennifer please?'" Very confused, I picked up the phone and sheepishly said "hello" only to be greeted by the cheerful voice of my sister.

And I started laughing.

And couldn't stop.

"Me again" was actually, well, you know, "Megan."

I have no idea why that popped into my mind and further why I was compelled to share it, but hey, roll with it. (It did remind me that the pastor of the church where we grew up used to call her "Ma GAN'" every Sunday morning as she would finish playing the offertory.)

Me-Again is a very talented individual. You know, the kind you hate because you wish you could do all those things as well as she does. Except you wouldn't hate Me-Again. She's too cute for that. She sings. Man, you should hear the girl sing. And she plays the piano. Beautifully, I might add. And she's the organist at her church, and she's good at that, too. Oh, and she teaches the choirs and ensembles at the school where she works, right after she's finished instructing sophomores in their requisite World History course.

She's also very smart. So smart, in fact, she doesn't want to know her ACTUAL I.Q. because she's afraid she'll be disappointed in how low it might be. Hello? Valedictorian of her high school with over 1,000 in her class? Check. Summa cum laude graduate from college? Check. Let's just say she's smart. Smarter than me, for sure. And she probably has printed out this post and is sitting at her desk with her red green pen marking my grammatical errors and circling things that aren't complete sentences. (The school where she works doesn't allow teachers to mark papers with red ink as it might cause the students emotional distress. What ev'.) It's a fun game we play. That, and she doesn't see much "blog speak," so she wouldn't necessarily know how totally appropriate this writing style is. (I do have delusions of grandeur, don't I?) (I also like to use parenthetical phrases. Deal.)

She's two and a half years older than me, and in our younger years, that meant I looked up to her. Literally. She was taller than me. Sometimes when we'd fight, she'd place the heel of her hand squarely on my forehead and watch and giggle as I swung at her in vain. My arms were too short to reach her, but I didn't realize that at the time. I just kept trying, hoping I'd get lucky and one day actually hit her.

As I grew older - and taller and stronger and wiser - that began to change. Like the time Dad was traveling on business as he did a fair amount when we were young. Mom (remember her?) always had her hands full with us, especially me. (I was/am the "problem child.") Me-Again and I were sitting in the entry hall playing with our Barbies. (Scandalous! We were allowed to PLAY. WITH. BARBIES.) Mom was busy cleaning when it came time for her to go to the basement and move the laundry from the washer to the dryer. As she'd JUST finished mopping the kitchen floor, she told us to stay off of it while it dried. And then she went down to the basement.

Me-Again (who incidentally is also known as "Gar" in our family - a story for another day) decided she was thirsty. And she wanted milk. (See, it runs in my family.) The problem was two-fold. She had to step on the wet kitchen floor to get to the refrigerator AND she had to get the GLASS PITCHER CONTAINING THE MILK off of a refrigerator shelf that was over.her.head.


The full GLASS pitcher of milk shattered, and glass and milk covered the freshly mopped floor!

"This will never do," I thought to myself. "Daddy is gone. Mommy is downstairs. WHO will discipline the rebellious Me-Again? WHO?"

Why, Jennster, of course.

Somehow I wrestled her to ground, straddled her bony little body and held her arms to the floor. Now I faced a serious dilemma: hands busy holding her arms down = nothing with which to enact discipline. What's a girl to do? I did the only thing any self-respecting five-year-old would do. I used the only instrument of discipline weapon I had, and I bit her nose. Hard. Until blood came out.

There was much screaming.

Remember those Barbies a few feet away? Well, who knew a Barbie stand could become lethal weapon #672? She raked that thing down my bare back (I had on a halter top). Hard. Until blood came out.

There was much screaming.

Mom, who by this time had flown up the stairs after hearing all the commotion, took one look at us, grabbed her keys and said, "Kill each other. I don't care."

And she left.

In the car.

With us at home.


She drove around the block and was home in 2.35 minutes, but it just as easily could have been 2.35 years because during that time? Me-Again and the Jennster had become best friends. For life. Because really? Who wouldn't make an ally of a former enemy when it is just the two of you alone against the world?

All these years later, she's still my very best girlfriend. She "gets me," and even though we don't always see eye to eye, we're always family. She laughs at my jokes, and she cries at my sorrows (which sometimes ARE my jokes). She was my matron of honor and the first person I called after getting engaged to Studly. She's my fellow lover-of-purple and my biggest cheerleader. She's a great mom and a thoughtful daughter. She's a loyal friend and a godly woman.

If you need a sister, you can borrow mine. She's the best.

But you have to give her back.


Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday MeAgain. The story of your fight, brings back memories of Cheryl and I...we are 13 months apart. She is younger and taller...so I was the older, smaller sister. I don't remember drawing blood...but I do remember a few bumps and bruises!!! And I remember a few groundings due to the fights! Ah those are the memories...I better call my sister during half time to say hi!
Cute blog today!
Ruby's Fairy Godmother

Anonymous said...

I kinda like her too!! IN FACT, BOTH OF YA ARE KEEPERS.... 8)

GoSuze! said...

Great minds think alike...when "White Christmas" comes on in either Dallas or Oklahoma City, you can bet that my sister and I will be on the phone during the "Sisters" number!! P.S. I still think you were twisted to bite her on the nose. You deserved the Barbie stand attack!

Anonymous said...

Wow - I don't know that I'm at all deserving of such a tribute - however, it was highly amusing to take the memory lane stroll!

Thanks for such glowing words - it could be said right back at ya' that YOU are the world's best sis, and I think you've been there more for me through life's crises than vice versa.

I'll have to see if the copier/printer is actually working today (!!) to print it out for keepsake.

Hope ya'll are having a divine time - enjoy the escape for as long as you can!!!!

Love you tons,

Anonymous said...

This is one of the things that's so cool about blogs and the internet! Although I lived down the street and we hung out now and then, I would have never had the occasion to got such an inside peek (pun intended) at your family. On the other hand, teenage boys are not often interested in heartwarming tales of lethal conflict between little girls.

The other cool thing is hearing where olf friends and aqaintances are, what they're doing and that they're ok...and I'm sure there are folks who knew me back in the day wonder if I turned out ok...not that I'm comparing, mind you. (Parentheses are nice but I prefer improper use of dot dot dot.)

Finally, I used to work at a stereo store. When a certain customer called for the boss, we'd say "It's Me Again" because that's what "Hello, it's Nguyen" sounded like to him.

Scott McC

Anonymous said...

OK, I know "to got" ain't right. Shoulda proofread better but it's early Sat. morn, I've had little sleep, no coffee and typing on this crackberry ain't so easy.