Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Sister Drill

I remember lying across the bed at my friend, Becky’s house when we were sixth graders. Her little sister came in, and Becky screeched at her to leave us alone. When she was gone, I shared with Becky that I had always wanted a little sister. Becky said, "Trust me, you don’t want one!" But I did. I remember thinking, "Yeah, I do" but I did not say anything to Becky. I had watched sisters, and I knew the drill. Big sisters did not play with little sisters – not cool. I had two younger girl cousins that I enjoyed playing with when our families got together. But when my cousin Patti, who was my age, was around, she would not allow the younger cousins to play with us. Patti had a big sister – she knew the drill. My friend Kathy was the same way. Not only did she have a little sister, but she also had two big sisters. I always thought that was the coolest! But Kathy did not let her little sister play with us, and Kathy’s big sisters did not acknowledge we existed. I didn’t really understand it, but I went along with it. If I had a sister, I would love it. She would be mine to mold, to share clothes with, to talk to late at night, etc. Didn’t these girls know what they were missing. It could be so much worse – they could have a little brother!

During the summer months there were several college-aged girls who came to live at our lodge and work in RR. Our lodge was a bit outdated with guests having to share bathrooms between the rooms. Cabins and condos were more popular. So, Dad would rent out rooms to the young ladies working in RR. The boys shared a small room out back called "the fox pit" – that is where Ray Wylie Hubbard roomed. Anyway, I loved spending time with these young ladies. I watched them do their hair and put on makeup getting ready for work or dates. They would talk and discuss the boys that they dated, they shared clothes, they would tan on the roof of the patio – they were just so beautiful and cool. And they let me tag along fixing me a bikini top out of handkerchiefs and treating me like I was special. That is how sisters were suppose to treat each other – in fact, I called them my "summer sisters." Yesterday I mentioned Bege. Although she was several years older than I was, she was never "too cool" to let me hang with her. I often spent the night at her house. She even let me tag along when she was running around town with her brother and his friends. Those times made me feel like I was special, and I was very careful not to be silly or do anything to draw attention to myself – be cool.

One summer, my friend Kathy did not come to RR with her family until later in the summer. You could have knocked me over with a feather when her big sister let me hang with her and her friends. Was it that I was a bit older and not so much of a pesky little sister sort? I tried to be cool, but it was difficult when you were shaking with glee.

Yesterday, Nancigail left a comment. Nancigail is the big sister to my friend Janetta. I don’t ever recall Nancigail being mean to me or to Janetta, but I knew the sister drill. I just stood back in awe of her – she was so beautiful and fun. Nancigail was like a ray of golden light – she just beamed. We worked together at Texas Red’s, and she was the most smooth waitress/hostess ever. Nothing ever rattled her. Gracious is the word that comes to mind. Toward the end of August, there is a real dead time in RR when all of the tourists have started back to school and all of the town’s employees too. One night after work, I went running around with Nancigail in her old blue Volkswagen. We just drove up and down Main Street and over to the Playhouse. I was in awe – I was runnin’ with the big dogs – I was tryin’ to be cool. I remember Nancigail laughing about her old car, and I said that it was not that old since the odometer only showed 60,000 miles. She just laughed (that special Gill Grin) and said, "Yeah, but the odometer has already turned over once." I don’t remember much else about that night – I was just soakin’ up the rays of being with Nancigail, and thinking, "This how I want to be with my sister."
Janetta at her wedding with Nanigail and their father (about 1981).


Buck said...

Ah, yet another of life's mysteries I need schooling on! I know nothing about the "sister drill," except for the fact that I didn't much like MY younger sister hanging around... but there were six years between us, and that's a LOT when you're a boy of, say, 15. And up.

I would have thought it different between girl siblings, but I guess not! One learns something every day... or, ain't life GRAND?!?

Inquiries said...

Sisters sisters, Yes I know the sister drill too. Great stories.

Laurie said...

I didn't have any sisters, just 3 older brothers. I don't know the sister drill. I don't recall any of my friends having those kinds of sister issues. Either my friends just had brothers too, or their sisters were old enough that they were already out of the house.

Jenny said...

I always wanted a sister, too. But got a stinky little brother instead. LOL! Glad my kids have one of each!

Mezzo SF said...

I have plenty of "sisters"...they are just not related to me! Being the older sister though (I have one younger brother) I see the reverse side of things :)

I never wanted an older sister growing up...but I wouldn't have minded having an older brother.

Becky said...

That was such a sweet story. I have both a little sister and a little brother.

I hated my sister when I was a child. She is 5 years younger than me, and in my childish mind, I blamed her for our mother not loving me any more. Before Deana was born, Mommy loved me. After she was born, the mother barely acknowledged my existence. I thought if she would just go back to the hospital, Mommy would love me again.

Bag Blog said...

Mezzo, I have a brother who is 13 months older. We were close when we were little and we did things together as we got older, but he was always pretty horrified at having to do anything with me and tried his best to ignore me.

Jenny, I also had a little brother. You are right - they are stinky.

Becky, it is funny how we think as kids. When I finally got a sister (12 years younger) I was glad Mom finally had a girl to dress up and play with. I was a tomboy being between two brothers.

Laurie, Three brothers and you lived to tell about it!?

Buck, I have known sisters who were closer in age who were great friends. I think the age thing is a factor. My cousin is about six years older and never said a word to me or her little sister until we were in college :)

The Friendly Neighborhood Piper said...

i am the youngest of three brothers are 7 and 9 years older. Interesting thing at least in my fam...i don't ever remember my brothers not wanting me around, except of course when i told on them.

nancigail said...

Well you had to go and do it! My mom, my daughter, Darsey, & I all teared up on this one! Where do you get all these pictures from anyway? None of us have this particular picture! & looking at it just reminds us that we will never be that small again!
I do remember being mean to you and Janetta... especilly when we ran out of muffins on a busy night, and you girls skipped down the stairs over to the Comm. House to square dance!! Those were the days, for sure!
Also, I haven't thought of my VW bug in years, & I appreciate you bringing that fun memory back...That was Marsha Kidd's VW that Daddy Bill bought for me....the cost, only about $600! My how times have changed.
I remember you being the KIND and GRACIOUS GIRL at work...not me. So I think you got that a little backwards. I find myself needing forgiveness from my little sis, & other co-workers/friends, cause I wasn't as nice as I should have been. I'm working on trying to be nicer in my "grandma" years!
Again, Lou, thanks for all the memories you share! I love your words and pictures...where ever you pull them from!