I have two older sisters whom I’ll call, in all fairness, Cruella and St. Joan. Not to telegraph anything. St. Joan arrived yesterday morning on her Steed of Assistance (real name: Rowdy) to help me finish painting the kitchen. I finally got the color right, but in my lack of skill / zen-like attempt to do a good job, was o n l y h a l f d o n e with the primer coat. She heard wind of this and was here in a nonce from her town two hours away. With her expertise, energy, and entertaining talk, we are now done with all but one final roll of each wall. I do not know how this happened so quickly. I accused her of giving me knockout drops and doing it all herself, then waking me up and hypnotizing me into thinking I helped. I wouldn’t be a bit surprised. When I keep thanking her, she says, “We’re sisters! That’s what sisters do!”
Unfortunately, we both know this isn’t true. Neither of us speaks to Cruella anymore. I stopped talking to her in 2003 or so, when she sent a nasty note to St. Joan while she was going through a divorce. According to Cruella, it was all St. Joan’s fault because she is such a horrible person no one could ever be married to her. Oh wait. Did I mention Cruella wrote this in Joan’s birthday card?? It took seven more years of Joan being nice to Cruella — hosting all the family get-togethers, leaving Cruella to go through her closets and take anything she wanted, metaphorically letting Cruella ride in the front seat everywhere they went, before she gave up too.
Joan and I marvel, while we wait for coats of paint to dry, why people are so mean sometimes. There are other people in our family we have had to stop having contact with because a) we are trying not to by psychotic (doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results) and b) getting angry with ourselves for trying, ditto.
An acquaintance of mine recently had a health scare with her mom. It was truly a marvel to me to see how close she felt to her mother, and hear her talk about the family coming together to support, you know, the person who needed support, instead of demanding the attention go to themselves. I wonder what that’s like.
But having a sister who insists on helping me to finish a hard job is a wonderment, too, and I’m grateful.