Thursday, January 03, 2008

The Anti-Climactic Recap You've All Been Waiting For

So I made it back from Canada. And surprisingly, my mother was not an issue the entire time. This might be due to a number of factors, one being that there are now two toddlers for everyone to focus on, which means less attention is on my mother which means she's not able to pick a fight as easily with less ammunition thrown her way.

I have, however, discovered that one of my sisters and I will probably someday stop speaking to each other. I see this looming on the horizon the way I can predict that I will continue to get older until the day I die.

It's kind of an odd feeling, really, knowing that someone you grew up with and were closest to as a child no longer has an interest in you or getting along.

When I was growing up, my sister, the youngest of the twins, idolized me. She worshipped the ground I walked on, I could do no wrong. And I guess I liked it enough to tolerate her, even though I really didn't like having siblings. My other sister and I didn't get along that well, but when we did, we had a blast.

Flash forward into our 20's, and the younger of the twins totally has youngest child syndrome (no offense to any of you readers who might be the youngest of the family). She is the stereotype that you read about, the one with no goals in life, who just flutters from project to project. She was a student until two years ago, well past the point where my other sister and I had retirement plans. She is still a serial dater, her latest conquest is a high school drop out who plans to be a firefighter. Which you can't do without a college degree. This guy is also 25 years old, so if he's "planning" on becoming a firefighter, at what age is he planning on doing this, because tick tock, tick tock.

My sister is very smart and has an MBA. She's got more college degrees than Sweetie Pie and I combined times two. And yet, she's gone from entry-level job to entry-level job in the past two years, making less than I did 10 years ago when I had just finished college.

She has this romantic notion that living in poverty is better. That people who have money, even middle-class people like we were growing up are bad people. She needs therapy like it's nobody's business.

My sister also does not know how to step off the soap box. There is no such thing as a normal conversation with her. Everything has to become a cause with her, to the point that it's exhausting even to people like me who are pretty active. I mean, hell, I use reusable bags at the grocery store every week. All of our lightbulbs are those expensive better for the environment bulbs. I recycle. I hate fur. I wish I could save all the children of Darfur. I think overall, as far as awareness levels go, I'm not too shabby.

But my sister abbhors the fact that I drive an SUV when I clearly could ride my bicycle with my son for 18 miles each way every day. She detests the fact that I get pissed that the only emails I get from her are once a month, when she's forwarding yet another petition to save the blue quartz of Iceland or whatever her latest pet cause is. I don't even know where my sister works. How sad is that? I could ask my mom, I guess, but the fact that she doesn't feel the need to ever call me back and tell me about her life makes me think that I don't need to bother either.

On this trip, everything was fine until the night we went to the hockey game. That night, in the car, my sister launches into a discussion about how she always intends to live downtown, even when she has children (apparently, she despises the fact that I've gone suburban and have given my child a large lawn to run and roll around on. Even if we use organic products on said lawn). I tell her that I think it's cruel for children to grow up downtown where they don't have space to run. That it's one thing to have to live downtown in an apartment because you can't afford anything else, but that if you can be where there's at least some land, than why wouldn't you choose that for your child? Her response to me? That children shouldn't change your life, that they are an addition, and that's all.

This is where my PMS exploded to previously uncharted levels and I tell her that considering she has no kids, she needs to drop it, because she doesn't know what the hell she's talking about.

She insists that she does in fact know what she's talking about and says that people who change their lives for their kids are ridiculous and she will never be that way.

Which brings us to the part that I tell her that she's obviously way too selfish to have kids, that she thinks she knows it all when in fact she knows jack shit, and that she should not talk to me about children and the sacrifices (or lack thereof) they entail until she's been there.

End scene.

And there was no talking between us for 24 hours.

The next day, at breakfast, we were all talking about my son's obsession with Finding Nemo and how everyone in the family had been forced by him to watch it at least twice with him.

My sister, rather than just being part of the conversation, goes on a rant of the plight of tropical fish. And how the creators of Finding Nemo wanted to show how cruel it is to keep fish in an aquarium.

That's when I tell her that I don't give a shit about tropical fish.

And she gets pissed.

Tells me something about how cyanide is used to capture them and they're traumatized and blah blah blah.

And I? In all of my 32 years of wisdom tell her that the discussion was about my son's love of Finding Nemo. And why can't we just have a breakfast where the conversation focuses on simple pleasures like that? And that on the scale of my priorities, the plight of tropical fish is so far on the bottom of my list, way past issues like the children orphaned by AIDS in Africa, children living below the poverty line in North America or who are abused, the 1 million animals euthanized in Dallas alone every year because people take in pets and then just dispose of them like they do of trash and won't spend the 50 dollars on getting their pet spayed or neutered. And once the war in Iraq is done and our soldiers wounds have healed. Once women around the world aren't oppressed and people don't kill innocent people in the name of their God. Once every human in the world goes to bed without the pain of thirst, hunger and preventable illnesses. Then, maybe then, will I concern myself with the plight of tropical fish.

She left the breakfast table.

I overheard her arguing with my mom a little later that this was exactly why she only speaks to me once a year.

That cut me to the bone. And made me realize that she? Intentionally doesn't call me back. She intentionally doesn't want to have a relationship with me, just because I don't choose to deal with her bullshit.

It makes me sad in some ways. But I've made it my new year's resolution to accept it.

She's 29 years old and yet still acts like she's 15. Should she ever grow up and see the light, then I will be there for her. Until then, I guess there's nothing else to say.




Jesse said...

I'm sorry to hear about you and your sister. I can't imagine what it must feel like, and it's pretty big of you to decide that this is how she's going to be and to not let it eat away at you. Hopefully one day she'll grow up and realize how important family is and one day come around and apologize for the way she's treated you.

Sandy said...

Wow. As someone whose family? has not spoken to her in 20something years, I can only say that it does get easier. Maybe not better, but easier. And as I told them 20something years ago - MY family is my husband and my kids and onward from there.

Prayers and blessings to you and to the simple pleasures God intends for us to enjoy.

Anonymous said...

She clearly has hear stuffed somewhere--sand, ass, book. Whatever.

I'm really sorry you are dealing with this. My sister and I don't always see eye to eye and it sucsks. Thankfully, we aren't at this pont (yet).

I don't know what else to say. It's not like she's 19 or 20 and is convinced she knows it all. She should've learned by now that she does NOT know everything.

In the end? It's her loss. I'm sorry, but it is. Her loss of you, Sweetie Pie and Little Man. That is sad.

Morgan Leigh said...

Wow. That's really all I can say. Wow.

I'm sorry that you are going through that, but like Kellie said-- it's her loss, and that's sad.

random_mommy said...

She sounds jealous. She should be.

One day she may figure it out, until then, she can be a teaching tool for LM. This is what happens when you let jealousy rule you. LM will know how to love his family the right way.

Beccy said...

I miss my sister loads so think it's sad that you two don't see eye to eye. Hopefully she'll come down off her high horse (she will if she ever has children) and then you can foster a good relationship.

Burgh Baby's Mom said...

Your sister? Is behaving like a bitch. If she manages to settle down long enough to actually have kids, I would be a whole lot of money that she will come around.

The whole thing totally sucks.

AnGlOpHiLe FoOtBaLl FaNaTiC said...

I agree with Random Mommy. She's jelous that at 32 you have a husband, a home, a career, and a child. You have a future laid out. She can easily jump from cause to cause without any thought to abandonment, because she has a whole life without planing. And, it's very easy to poke fun at your life, because she secretly wants it.

I think you should go to wal-mart and buy a tank full of fish and mail them to her. She can feed them or dump them in the St. Lawrence River. She obviously needs some sort of pet to get even just a LITTLE bit of a clue what it's like to care about something other than herself.

Anonymous said...

you drive an suv?

my .02$? (in us dollars that is)
she sounds bitter to me. she might not ever come around the way youd like, but hopefully you two can find some middle ground to discuss when together (like, wine? it sounds like alcohol needs to be involved!)

Rachel said...

Sounds to me like your sister is a very unhappy person and you know they say that misery loves company.

I think she is lonely and sad and is jealous that you have a loving husband, a beautiful baby boy and a job you love and she has none of that.

If she wants to be a bitch and be petty and mean, let her. Like you said, your priorities are different.

Anonymous said...

You said that she idolized you as a child. When did it stop? Why do you feel you need to argue with her? You could just manipulate the conversation to subjects that are safe. If you truly want to have a relationship with her, you should email her and discuss the rift between you.

However, you mentioned you didn't want siblings, so why are you so upset that you got rid of one? All families have issues, but you seem to have difficulties with your siblings and your mother. Are you sure you are not the one that needs to evaluate the rift?

Blue Momma said...

I used to think that having a kid wouldn't change my life either. And then I had one. WOW. Did it - and I - ever change.

My sister and I also have a strained relationship. We pretty much didn't speak until I was about 35. We still run hot and cold. I've tried all I can to make it work and now? I just go with the flow, but don't take any crap.

I'm a grown woman and a pleasant relationship with my family is desirable, but not absolutely necessary. I think that even with family you have to define the requirements for you in a relationship and if they don't meet them, don't add to your life rather than detract from it, you just let it go.

Now? It's ok for the moment. But tomorrow? Or a week ago? Could/did suck. Hey, we love you and think you rule, even if your sis doesn't!

Emma in Canada said...

I don't know who the anonymous commentor could very well be someone I love to read...but I do have a hard time taking anonymous comments seriously, just because I feel that if you can't say your honest feelings to a friend, or a fellow blogger, in your own name than there is really no point...obviously they are worried about backlash and/or defending their own opinions.

All I was going to say until I read that comment was it is a shame you can't choose your family. At the moment I would have a brother only. I'd dump the parents entirely.

Ms. Porter said...

There's got to be one in every family...thankfully yours lives far enough away that her childish fights aren't a daily part of your life. That said, I'm still sorry that your relationship with her is like that, nobody wants their relationship with their siblings to be difficult....maybe she will grow up, feel more comfortable in her own skin.

Julie said...

Does she have a bumper sticker on her car that says "Have you hugged a tree today?"!

myminivanisfasterthanyours said...

I was going to try and write something witty, such as, "By any chance is your sister my mother-in-law"? But then I read the anonymous comment and I just can't stop laughing.

I just wanted to anonymously tell you how much fun I think hanging out with your anonymous reader would be. Sounds like s/he's a hoot!

That Chick Over There said...

You really can't change people or pick your family. It's so hard when the people that we believe are the ones we can rely on aren't there for us at all. I'm dealing with that right now. :( So I feel your pain.

thefoodsnob said...

Wow, except for the part about your sister being educated, that could be mine. Mine is also very crazy, and requires medication (really) but won't get it, and has been jealous of me her whole life.
I just decided I am done with her and her drama, mostly for the safety of my children.
Really, really scary.
I feel for you, good luck.


CPA Mom said...

Sweet Jesus, Catwoman. Have you been reading my blog lately because I'm having huge issues with my sister either and I forsee that for now, we won't be communicating either. Sometimes it's best to let them stick with their victim mentality and live your own life. If you need to talk, email me. I get it, I really do.

Not sure who your anonoymous commenter is but I had one a while back who commented on my sister trouble as well - I say if you don't have the balls (or ovarian fortitude as That Chick would say) to give your name with your ASSVICE, I'm not wasting my time listening to you.

/end rant