Today is my sister’s birthday. You know. The one who was smart enough to leave Paradise and move to VA where the leaves actually turn colors and fall off the trees. On the Right Coast where there’s weather? That one. And in spite of her abandoning me, right when I am actually beginning to have a real life as a stay-at-home mouse potato, and could have influenced her in a variety of tainted ways, I still love her and want to wish her a Very Happy Birthday. Here’s a brief trip down memory lane to celebrate in a very cost effective way (even though you bought me that cool bag packed full of pajamas, unmentionables, and smelly bath items for my last birthday).
Key West, Florida. 1963. You can tell it would be difficult to love someone who had a scowl on her face until she was about 6 years old. I mean look at the little one in this picture of swell kids. What is her problem? Does she just need sunglasses? A bonnet? Who is her mother, anyway? And whose idea was it to have an Easter Egg Hunt in the rocks?
You probably don’t remember, but this is the place where Mom used to make us wear our tennis shoes in the water because there were so many crabs, they’d pinch our toes — especially your chubby morsels.
Chipiona, Spain. 1964. Maybe it’s because she was abandoned on the beach as a young girl, left with other, non-scowling girls with untangled hair who were bound to be simply gorgeous when they grew up and were destined to live in Paradise, bab-i-fied and married to Prince Charming. Poor urchin. Where is her mother?
Do you remember that bathing suit? It was red with a little skirt and had white turtles on it, or something, didn’t it? And you loved to roll in the sand until you were covered in it. I think this is the only picture that exists where you weren’t cranky about having your picture taken. No wonder the nuns smacked you around in that Spanish school.
But clearly she came out of such a painful childhood caused by years of tolerating vinegar rinses after community, mixed gender bathtub shampoos, and monotonous lunches of “only baloney” and peanut butter without the jelly. Developing a passion for modeling poor eating behavior for the children at the dining table by playing with her mashed potatoes has assured all of us, that she is just fine.
Today, she’s a serious butt-kicking name taker. Don’t even think about approaching her at a gas station while she is on her cell phone and interrupting a serious conversation with her gorgeous older daughter, who, like a good daughter, calls her mother 12 times a day. She will snap you up one side and down another. You will be toast. And be glad that you were not the woman behind the counter at the DMV in VA who made the mistake of asking her far too many questions about her seemingly incomplete paperwork. What was that innocent government employee’s name?
She’s a fierce mom of a competitive cheerleader and gymnast girls, who, after showing everyone she could graduate summa cum laude with a degree in Accountancy and nail a job from an international firm, turned her back on it all to stay at home and boss her family around while her husband has been off fighting wars and stuff. She’s really good at it.
She’s also good at remembering all of our birthdays and I never remember theirs — or get them royally mixed up. They tolerate me with flat expressions and murmurs of, “What do they feed her?”
She’s a tiny thing, but she’s scarier than hell. And I’m thinking that I’d really love to get old with her in VA some day before we can’t walk, talk, or eat salsa on everything anymore.
This is your Birthday Song…It isn’t very long…
Cheers my sister!
Now just for hoots, watch this and have a splendiferous day and indulge yourself somehow. It’s swell.