My family holds the rights for two months; April and November. Both of my children, a brother, one of my grandchildren, and others were born in April. Two brothers and a sister were born in November. Today is my baby sister Kathleen Mary (Kat)’s birthday. She is, um, younger than me. Let’s leave it at that, shall we? Some things are better left unsaid, some secrets better left untold.
It’s funny, when you think about it. I was the oldest of eight. I am now the eldest of the seven who remain. There were five boys and three girls. Back, say forty years ago, she would have had a conniption fit if I called her ‘baby’ sister. If you’ve never seen one, you don’t want to. It’s not a pretty sight. Think of the scene in the Exorcist where Linda Blair is all pimply faced, green, spewing ectoplasm and her head turns completely around and you get a hint of what a well pitched conniption looks like. Just saying.
No, my baby ‘sistah’ doesn’t look like that at all. I’m just trying to paint a picture of what things were like once upon a time. You were risking serious bodily harm at the hands of this skinny little sprite if you called her your ‘baby’ sister.
That has all changed. Today I noticed her Facebook greetings ranged from ‘little sister’ (our brother) to ‘old lady’ (our niece). No one bats an eyelash. But I remember when things were different.
I remember the sister with the curly hair ironing it to make it straight, and the sister with the straight hair wrapping it around orange juice cans and dipping it in epoxy to get it to hold a curl, or at least a wave. Unless you’re ‘of a certain age’, you probably think orange juice only comes in plastic bottles. I remember when the most economic way to get it (short of stealing oranges from a grove) was to buy it frozen in little cans, dump it in a pitcher and add three cans of water, effectively reconstituting it. Here’s a secret. Read the label on your juice bottle. If it doesn’t say ‘fresh squeezed, never frozen’, you’re still getting it that way. Someone else is just adding the water for you, but that’s another story.
We were talking about Kat. Today is her birthday. She’s all grown up, married with children, and living in Tennessee. She talks funny, but I guess that’s just Tennessee rubbing off on her.
She may or may not pitch a conniption when she reads this. If she does, well, I live almost a thousand miles south of her and should only get the shock-wave, which will have dissipated considerably by time it gets here.
Besides – little sis – you wouldn’t hit a cripple old man with a cane would you?
Anyway, Happy Birthday, ‘baby sistah’. Love you!