…the hood

To: Sis.ter@fam.out
You wiped the dust off the top of that can into the seat of your pants before you opened it! Mom and I do it too. Just for your information, if the can happens to already be opened, green beans or olives cascade down your butt to your socks. Just so you know. Love ya T.

Sisters laugh, cry, read each other’s thoughts and solve each other’s problems. We look alike, and have some of the same mannerisms. One week we blame Mom’s genes, the next, it’s Dad’s. In family photos, people say number one and three could be twins, but then, so could two and four, and three and five; well, but only if five had darker hair.

I think it’s the hair. We get the group rate on hair styling by doing each other’s. When it’s picture-taking time, all of us cram into the bathroom, primping and pulling, clipping and curling.
We have our own homes, complete with their own bathrooms, so we should come to the party ready. But tradition demands that everybody meet in the bathroom. The children squeeze in to stand on the edge of the bathtub and watch the primping parade in the triple mirror.

It’s not the preening, but the talking that’s important. The frenetic babble starts from the moment we meet. Women speak a requisite 25,000 words a day and we can do that much in the first fifteen minutes. It’s actually calmer than when we’re being charged by the minute.

The three sisters-in-law, one a fairly recent inductee, one middlin’ and the other, a long-timer, are right in the thick of things. The new one, of less than a year, disappears once in a while: I suspect find a spot with more oxygen to take a breather. But the others seem accustomed to the chaos and they dive right in.

The men avoid the melee completely, and rather than fight the tide, they spit-wash and dowse their combs at the kitchen sink.

We’re not cliquish. We can’t afford to be. Anyone that can brave the currents swirling at family gatherings is welcome. When fifty of us crest the swell, anyone who doesn’t drown becomes family.

My bachelor brother had to be cautious about introducing any new catch, because if they broke up, she may not be the one we released.

Dad believes in the old adage that fish and family stink after three days. He disappears and only after the maelstrom abates, does he emerge.

Reality Bite: Don't be messing with my sister.


…tell me what i really think

In high school, I could have been the forensic champion, except that my opponent was cute. We debated bovine artificial insemination and although I was better at bull pucky than cow sex, I knew that debate wouldn’t get me a date. I couldn’t disagree with him without being disagreeable, and that was my downfall.

It didn’t dawn on me then, (I must have been busy applying lipstick) but that class was designed to introduce me to the governmental process. When I watch CNN, the House and Senate are as consumed with being popular are high school girls.

The basic theory of debate is still good—that an opinion—any opinion should be voiced. How can my ideas be influenced if I don’t know your opinion? Open yourself up to debate! Risk it! Say what you think and you may have an effect on my opinion.

But, not today! Your comment won’t change my opinion today because I’m too bull-headed to do it today. But, who knows, you have introduced an aspect I’ve never considered and upon mulling it over, it may influence my opinion tomorrow... or perhaps not.

I know that voicing an opinion is risky. It’s best to be thought a fool, particularly when opening my mouth removes all doubt, and with the advent of audio technology, it also removes any future doubt—because my husband now has the ability to rewind in an instant and play back whatever I‘ve said.

To: Sis.ter@wig.out
Wow, I hit a two-in-one, with both the pregnancy and the plastic surgery
[1] comments. Please forgive my big mouth…again. T.

So I may be wrong! That’s a risk I take. Besides, after I've written about experts and big mouths, does my opinion have any long-term validity anyway?

Good, I’m glad that it doesn’t, because my view changes with the scenery and my perceptions advance with the length of the horizon. I am one who has an opinion today, but will take the time to consider your opinion and then may make a value-added adjustment in my opinion and change my mind tomorrow.

I speak of an opinion that evolves… within my own genus of course. I love the quote (can't find who said it) that, "I adapt my views with each new piece of information presented to me. What do you do with new information?" (it was a life-altering and profound moment as you can tell.)

I could never become political figure whose opinion, once stated, is cast in stone—who is forced by surroundings and party to be of, and stay of the same mind, (because they are only sharing one.)

Reality Bite: Just don’t say anything actionable to anyone with a law degree.

[1] I not only say it, but cement my mistakes in writing for all of posterity.