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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Fantastic Mr. Apron

My oldest sister is 42 or whatever. She lives in a spotless condominium that contains super-expensive white leather furniture that she is afraid to sit on. Nobody else lives with her in her condo, save for two stuffed dogs whom she calls Genevieve and Bedford.

Her idea of a good time is going over to my parents house so my mother can make her toast and eggs, and my father can make her coffee. Actually, she never really has a good time when she's there, so maybe it's her idea of a bad time, just with food. She is very fond of the coffee. After she's efficiently polished off a cup, the manner in which she attacks the innards of the basically empty mug borders on pornographic.

She has some sort of gastrointestinal malfunction that severely limits what and when she can eat. Though my oldest sister burps frequently, seismically, and athletically, I don't think she has farted since 1997.

She is frequently berated, belittled and beseiged with the inanities of an unappreciative family and an unkind world. It is because of this that my wife and I take my oldest sister out to the movies.

They're usually kid movies, because that's sort of where she's at. I don't suppose it's any coincidence that one of her favorite television shows is "Arrested Development" because that basically describes her perfectly. Her second favorite show, by the way, is "Sponge Bob."

I don't mind going to kids movies with my wife and my oldest sister. She can saddle up that tricycle anytime she feels the need to. Sometimes, though, I get sad when I think about what might have been for her. If my mother didn't get pregnant at 17 or 18 or whenever it was. If her first marriage didn't collapse. If my other sister and I hadn't come along. Would it have been radically different? Would we be seeing her on "SNL" or be greedily reading her "Going Rogue" right now?

Well, maybe it is good we came along after all.

When she was still living at my parents house at age 26, it was easy, and funny, for me to envision what the next fifteen-or-so years were going to look like for her. As we've grown older, I suppose it is still easy, though sharply less funny, to picture her future. Needless to say, it will most likely involve lots of plastic-covered furniture, a Jamaican nurse, a 20-year supply of Chocolate "Ensure" drinks, and several restraining orders.

Earlier this year she announced that, if her life doesn't change drastically by the time she's 50, she's buying herself a Maserati. Or maybe it was 45. I suppose I wasn't really listening closely enough-- which is typical, really. Not, of course, that her acquisition of a Maserati will encourage people necessarily to listen to her-- but they'll certainly see her coming.

My wife often tells me that I'm "a good brother." I don't really know what means. Is it sending holiday cards? Because, I don't do that. Is it sending funny emails to my sister when she forwards me text alerts from the local police department about college students getting donked on the head and robbed at gunpoint? Well, that I do-- but that's kind of just what I do. Is it taking her to the movies whenever something rated PG comes down the pike? Maybe.

Two weeks ago, we saw "The Fantastic Mr. Fox," and we all loved it mercilessly together. I think mostly because it's about a fucked up family that has a penchant for dressing interestingly and saying the wrong thing.


  1. Is your sister autistic? From how you describe her, I thought she might be.

  2. Hmmm... now there's an angle we hadn't considered....

  3. More importantly, does your sister read your blog?

  4. i'm laughing and crying at the same time.

  5. Colleen--

    Thankfully, no. I'm risky, but not suicidal.

  6. At some point, those people who gave you the "Adorable Blog" award are GOING to get wise, Mr. Athletic Burps.

    Must be the day to write about bittersweet family stuff, though my sister would have my head on a platter if I wrote anything like this about her.

  7. Oh, Paige...

    Adorable is in the eye of the blogholder.

  8. My brother is 32, unemployed (not due to the economy), drives a beat up truck and regularly loses his licenses because he doesn't pay his child support on a "regular" basis.....There are worse things in life for your siblings than taking them out to kid friendly movies and them having dreams of a Maserati for the attention it will gain them.

    My brother recently called me on a Monday night and asked me to meet him for a drink at a local "watering hole" and proceeded to tell me how very lonely he was. Of course, it's his own damn fault, but I still think of him as my big, strong brother that could throw a fast ball 90 plus from the left handed side and let all his dreams go.

    By the way, does your sister have a good job? My brother would love to keep her company, I'm sure. Although the movies would probably jump from G/PG to NC17 in the rating...

  9. I actually read this yesterday and remember I had a heart, but then I started to get nervous and think I was having a myocardial infarction! So I couldn't comment - but this post is very sweet :)

  10. An excellent post. I don't know what else to say.


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