I was advised to fill-out my story a bit more.
Enjoy the new edit.
Happy Mother's Day to my Mom
Throughout my life, I have come up with or heard some ridiculous plans, ideas and explanations for the way that things were. For example, in graduate school my friend told me that sex and the single girl become estranged friends after the age of twenty-four. She was a wise woman. She also warned me that if you are a bridesmaid at the wedding you not see your girlfriend again. She was right again. Women tend to ask old friends to be in their wedding and then everyone disappear. I have always tended to seek fault in other people for my shortcomings and problems. I blame my grandmother for being the shortest in my family. At four foot ten, she ruined it for me. I avoid conflict by creating and adhering to elaborate non-confrontational rules. I adhere to the “do not inquire about gifts once given rule” that Miss Manners promotes. I understand the significance of this rule whenever I glance at the wedding gift that I made for my cousin lying unappreciatively on his couch. It was designed to be a wall hanging. Perhaps, I should just stop making things for relatives and concentrate on projects that people request. Sometimes, my rationale for my habits and life-rules eludes my family and friends. My aunt cannot understand why I insist on learning to eat with my left hand. Each of my personal rules begins with a story.
Being that I was the shortest and the smallest in my childhood home, I actively worked to make my sister feel inferior and insecure. I still explain to people that I hated my sister because I had not been properly prepared for her addition to the family. After my parent’s divorce, my father’s family would present my sister with gifts on my birthday because her birthday is four days after Christmas and mine is in the summer. They would always forget that they gave her a gift for both Christmas and her birthday (meaning that she would receive two to my one) and give her another in July. Clearly, it was not my fault that we did not get along.
I was quite mean to her. I broke her bedroom window because she dared to touch mine. While getting ready for kindergarten, I set up a safety pin in the hopes that she would step on it. In my rush to find socks for my mint green corduroy outfit (I think that it was St. Patrick’s Day), it was me that needed a band aid. That did not stop me. Once I placed a small cup of warm water by her foot and set her alarm clock. When she rose and began getting dressed, I removed the cup and accused her of peeing in her bed. She eventually learned my trick. Since she grew taller than I before she left grade school, I knew that I had to rely on more than my wits to stay on top. I needed strength in case our frequent arguments escalated into violence. She became more assertive once she entered junior high and I feared a rebellion was coming. I joined the track team during middle school to have access to weight machines and trainers to become physically equal to my very athletic, taller and bigger little sister. It seemed easier to build muscle rather than just try to get along with my sister. Actually, I stopped paying attention to her once I began to focus all of my efforts on selecting a college to attend.
I also gave up chicken drumsticks because of my sister. Dinner at my house on fried chicken night had become a battle of wills over who would get the prized drumsticks. Sometimes, my mother would make extra drumsticks and other times we would make the drumstick undesirable to anyone but ourselves by touching it repeatedly or sneezing on it. Teaching myself to dislike drumsticks meant that I could avoid the dinner table wars. After one particularly nasty drumstick duel, I declared that drumsticks were for children. My sister had earned the prize drumstick by appealing to my grandmother. Her tactic was clearly not fair and I was quite upset with her during dinner. When she asked me to pass the butter, I said, “Hut, one, two, three…” and threw it at her almost hitting my sister in the head. I thought that it was loads of funny but my grandmother punished me anyway. It occurred to me that the adults did not eat the drumsticks only the children ate the chicken legs. Being the oldest at twelve, I determined that it was time for me to grow up and learn to like white meat.
In my early teens, I hated making Kool-aid. I would avoid drinking the last cup in the pitcher to avoid being shamed into making more. I just wanted to be able to drink it. This changed for me when I became friendly with a cool, high school senior. The charming senior shared his wisdom with me when he informed me that Kool-Aid was nothing more than flavored sugar water and as an athlete he drank Gatorade which had electrolytes. Being a Kool-Aid drinker and an aspiring member of the cool athletic crowd became an issue; therefore, I developed another rule. I could no longer drink Kool-Aid, referring to it as candy water for kids. Of course, I did not really stop drinking Kool-Aid, but it did make a good cover story for why I would not make it. As an adult, I still tell people that Kool-Aid is for children. (I also tell people that White Zinfandel is Kool-Aid for adults, but that is another story.)