Emward Bound

July 31, 2010 at 9:01 am 1 comment

We’re heading west, toward my dearest sister Emily. We are packing the mini-van and hitting the highway like true americans. We even have a red and white cooler.

I love my sister and if you follow this blog you may notice that I am constantly scheming to get to her or get her to me. There was just the two of us growing up and we switched off being the youngest and the oldest, meaning that though Em technically is two and a half years older than me, I occasionally pulled out in front, drawing on some inner wisdom or know-how that gave me the mature sister position. Other times she rescued me from peril or counseled me through the hazardous terrain of teenage social life, acting like a true elder. A bit of freedom from birth order roles meant we were friends.

  • When I was a dorky freshman in high school she shared her locker with me because it was an “upper locker” situated near the quad which set me up with a higher social status from the get-go.
  • Also in high school, she protected my reputation by editing my outfits, something I didn’t exactly relish but appreciated in terms of her interest and care.
  • She pumped me to elementary school on her rickety ten speed. I sat on the back rack carrying a saxophone and causing us to list deeply to the right.
  • She has brown curly hair and is taller than me by a few inches but anyone that hears us speak for even a millisecond has no doubts as to our relation.
  • Whenever I see her she tosses a few choice clothing items in my direction and always provides me with the best of the latest Filly collection. Almost my entire wardrobe is from her.
  • She drove an orange european karmman ghia, fast and furious like a true teenager, running out of gas and locking the keys inside repeatedly.
  • As a child she had trouble falling asleep and would check in with me every five minutes to see if I was asleep. I’d wake up long enough to say no, not yet, before falling asleep again.
  • She is young at heart and spent every friday night with me at our grandma’s house, long into high school.
  • When hoarding something yummy she coined the term I should get the most because I like it the most! A phrase she stands behind to this day.
  • She dreams big and then systematically creates that dream for herself. Again and again.
  • When she worked at our aunt’s deli she’d snack on the tubs of ice cream, boring a hole straight to the bottom because she only ate the good, candy, chunky parts.
  • She slacked her way through high school, got straight A’s in community college, majored in Chinese politics at a prestigious private school, spent a year in law school before dropping out to run a bike delivery co-op, taught herself to sew, went to design school, learned enough to drop out and began a highly successful clothing line. In other words she is smart and interesting.
  • We each had teddy bear hamsters and developed an elaborate imaginary life for them including rock careers and relationship jealousy. We’d talk for them in high-pitched hamster voices even if they weren’t around.
  • She shunned me only once, sitting among a pack of other teenage girls she shooed my twelve-year old self out of her room by hurling insults and a shoe. But it was just the one time.
  • She makes beautiful little matching Filly dresses for our girls and treats them like humans not babies.
  • She lives her life like it is a story. A romantic, tragic, aesthetically beautiful and triumphant novel.
  • I call her when I’m sad.

So we are making a new batch of Gak, gathering every fairy in the house, and shoving bathing suits into duffel bags. We will fend off boredom and stop to pee three million times. I will lean forward in my seat, willing myself closer to my sister.


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