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16 August 2008

Sisters! [More:]We've all got them, or at least most of us... hopefully. I never thought I'd be saying that. Of course growing up, my sister and I were very, very close. The elder one of my sisters, who is two years younger to me, and I would spend most of our time together, getting up to some mischief or the other, since there was no one else to keep us occupied except ourselves. So we did mostly everything together... playing Monopoly, watching TV (I actually got hooked on stuff like My Little Pony and Friends because of her???), and a whole lot of other shit. When I was growing up, I loved my sister very much. We fought, sure--but we both knew we had to take care of eachother because there was no one else to lean back on. (I remember one time after watching Aliens for the first time, where Sigourney Weaver's character (Ripley, wasn't it?), says to the Mother Alien--(something, something) "Get away from her, you bitch!" And I, being around eight or so, was fascinated by the word and started repeating it, the whole dialogue, which made my mom [who was also watching the movie along with a cousin brother and sister of mine] to warn me very strictly never to utter that word again). The effect that this has on an eight year old anywhere in the world is probably the same one as I did: I smirked at mom, raised my eyebrow--turned to my sister, and without even knowing what the word meant (it was something that I was NOT supposed to say--that was enough for me)--told her to--"get away from me, you bitch!"

That was it--whatever vestige of control my mom was showing in front of my cousin brother and sister (who were in their late teens and obviously knew what the word meant, and were also extremely embarrassed about the whole thing since it was my cousin brother who had brought the movie home for all of us to watch--saying that it would be very good, which it was--except for the foul language [the one bit of dialogue that was there])--made my mom lose control and get up from the couch where she had been peacefully sitting--walk straight towards me--and slap me HARD on my cheek.

This was embarrassing, no doubt, but to have it done to me without even knowing the reason why was even more hard to swallow, and so--I of course broke out into tears, but not before I was able to stomp off into an adjoining room and slam the door behind me.

My sister--the one who I'd called a bitch, was just as perplexed as I was to the whole situation, and decided to console me--she knocked on the door as gently as she could, told me that it was she who was entering the room (or at least I can recall that she did, because I don't think I would've opened the door for anyone else at that point of time), and slipped into the room.

She saw the tears in my eyes, even though I had tried my best to wipe my face clean before letting her in, and sort of just stood in front of me for a second or two, I think, after which we both went over to the window and stood on a stool or something to watch the pigeons flying around. I told her that I hated mom, and that she was a very bad person, and my sister quietly listened to my frustrated cries, after which (we were both looking everywhere else except at each other), she sort of turned to me and said--Daanish--you can call me Bitch anytime you want--I don't mind.
I know--sounds kinda corny--but I still remember that day so vividly, where we had bonded so effortlessly, and it felt so good to have some one close to me. But then life moved on, and my sister started getting popular (and I didn't) which made things a little weird at home. At first I didn't realize what was going on, but soon the problem worsened, and the friend I had had for so long, had turned into my worst enemy. I would hate it everytime she would go out, with her friends, and not even realize the kind of turmoil that I was going through--it would hurt, and the only way that I could lash out at her was by trying to act like a jerk. A grade A jerk at that too. Taunting her, and teasing her, and trying my best to not let her enjoy herself as much as she was enjoying--I mean--who in the hell did she think she was...!?

I even raised my hand on her a couple of times, and we would not speak to eachother for weeks afterwards. I would try and excuse my actions by telling myself that she was the one who would instigate it, since she should've known better that I was mentally unwell, so she should've tried harder to understand me, but she didn't, so I had no ther choice but to lash out at her, and she would withdraw from me. This would continue for a couple of years, until the time had come for my sister to get married. I knew things were about to change drastically, and I didn't want us to enter this new part of our lives with the kind of past we had had, so tried my best to make things right. I tried to do everything I could to see that her wedding went as smoothly as possible, and when it was time to go--I went up to her and apologized for all the crazy shit I'd pulled and asked her if she could ever forgive me--I hadn't even hugged her in ages, and that was one of the first times after a long time that we did.

Funny--isn't it: when it was time for her to go, and when she was settled a thousand miles away from me--that's when we started getting close again. And now--we're back to that same place where we can talk to each other about whatever we want, and it feels great to have my sister back.
posted by hadjiboy 16 August | 10:12
Sister no. 2 was no easier to deal with, but like sister no. one--we're a much more solid duo than we ever were. She likes to call me Bhaiya (she always did, but now it's with a lot more meaning and emotion than she would previously--Bhaiya is a hindi/urdu term which means brother [elder] in order to refer to him with respect, and for sister it's Baji, which is what my younger sister calls her elder sis).

So anyway--the purpose of posting all of this (and again--I apologize for the length--but by now you know me well enough to know what to expect when you click on one of these long threads--I hope I'm not boring you guys too much though [those of you who are at least interested in a little about what I have to say]), is that--today was Raksha Bandhan--a day of sisterly love. Two of my best friends' girlfriends had called me over to tie Rakhi on my hand (wrist) and made me their brother:)

They first apply some red haldi/turmeric I think, to your forehead, which gives you that red dot, and then tie the rakhi, and then (unbeknownst to me--we had this in school too, but nothing similar to the way it was performed this time), ask you to put the haldi/turmeric on their forehead, after which you have to put some rice on their head [on the crown] and bless them, while they bow down and touch your feet--which I didn't like at all. I asked if this is customary of women, or if men could do it too, thinking it was a bit sexist for the woman to bend in front of the man, and was informed that it's actually done because I was elder to both of them, so it's as a mark of respect, so if I were younger, I would've had to have done it to them, which is what I would've preferred, but since it's tradition, I didn't want to say anything. So didn't. But, yeah--it was cool. I have two more sisters now, and I love them very much as well.:)
posted by hadjiboy 16 August | 10:15
i love your posts, dood.
posted by By the Grace of God 16 August | 14:36
me too.

this, of course, made me think of my own sister. When we were really little people would always ask if we were twins. So we'd wear the same socks, shoes and whatnot to exaggerate it. Our school uniforms were already identical (although mine maybe a bit darker since I was two and a half years older and she had my hand-me-downs). We got a kick out of it, until I hit 5'2" at ten years old and stopped growing, and she overshot me by several inches.

In retrospect I don't know why people would ask that. She's olive skinned with blue eyes. Like, the kind you can see are blue from across the street. I'm pale with hazel/amber eyes, and my hair was strawberry where hers was dirty blond.

When we got older we fought like cats and dogs. My mom would always say stuff like "I thought I could avoid this when I had two girls!" Like pushing each other down stairs and stuff fighting. Brutal. We didn't get along in high school. She was a jock, and popular. I was a black-wearing outcast who hung in the art studio and listened to Bauhaus. She called me a geek, I called her dumb. On bad days she would make fun of my weight and I would make fun of her skin (I've always been heavy, she went on accutaine at sixteen because of how bad it was) I feel bad looking back on that, and I know she does too, now. I suspect a lot was because her social group looked down on me and my group, and the pressure from it, and because I was something of an intellectual elitist in the way that only annoying teenagers can be.
Once she went to college we got along a lot better. I think she was always a lot more sheltered than me, and seeing the world outside our mom's house opened her eyes a lot. And, I mellowed out a lot myself. We talk at least once a week now although we don't see each other as often as we would like because of the distance. She was maid of honor in my wedding, and I in hers. (and her husband? his geekiness puts mine to shame. he's awesome. which didn't prevent me from taking him aside before the wedding and warning him that if he ever did anything to hurt my sister I'd make him suffer in ways he'd never imagined possible.)

I love that you have a day dedicated to sisterly love. I don't think American society is nearly as good at acknowledging how important sibling relationships are, and how much they define who we become as adults.
posted by kellydamnit 16 August | 16:26
I love these posts. My sister and I are the best of friends. Growing up, we had our normal sibling spats, and our own set of friends, but we were always close and there for one another.

We're two and a half years apart. We look very much alike and were always mistaken for one another growing up. We have the same voice, too.
posted by LoriFLA 16 August | 19:21
My sister and I went through some really rough years where we had a hate-hate relationship. We had screaming matches, threw stuff at each other, made my mother's life hell. Then we both passed through puberty and were best friends until the day she died in 2002. Her death has made me a lot closer with my brothers, but I still miss her terribly
posted by rhapsodie 16 August | 19:55
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