Wednesday, August 5, 2009

My Sister, "The Stories", and Kool-aid Gate

I have the best sister in the world. We are neighbors, co-workers, and life-long friends. She has and always has had the patience of Job. I say this because, well, I have a tendency to be a little on the spontaneous side, and have always had quite the flair for the dramatic. I've always told her that I count on her to keep me reined in, and she always comes through for me.

I remember my sister very rarely getting into trouble when we were growing up, and there's a simple reason for this. She just didn't mess up all that often. ME, on the other hand....well, let's just say I was probably one of those kids. You know them. They are the ones whose parents say, "If I'd had you first, you would have been an only child!" My parents never said anything like that to me. I don't know that they ever even thought it. I only know that if I'd been the one raising me, I definitely would have thought it, and probably would have said it!

I could tell stories for days about the shenanigans that went on around our house when we were growing up, but I'll just start with this one for now. People called us the Cleavers, except that my Mother did draw the line at house-cleaning in high heels while wearing a string of pearls. We were a family who always sat down for dinner together every evening. Meals were always home-cooked, and well-balanced.

We generally drank Kool-aid with our meals, and it was my sister's job to make and pour it. Every day, without hesitation, she would get herself into the kitchen to get that Kool-aid mixed up and poured. Every day. She also would pour just a little bit more Kool-aid in her glass than in mine. Me, with my finely-tuned subtle nuances, would screech and howl at the top of my lungs, "You got more Kool-aid than I did!!!!!" , to which she would reply, "Oh, I'll fix it". She then would proceed to drink the excess Kool-aid, savoring every extra drop! This always guaranteed an additional screech.

So...this was our routine. Kool-aid mixed, poured, screech, drink, screech again. We had ourselves a nice little system, UNTIL that infamous day when I was visiting with my grandmother. She loved to watch the soap operas. "The stories" is what she called them, and her favorite was "The Doctors". I noticed that, at least once during each episode, a righteously indignant woman would haul off and slap the dickens out of somebody. Sometimes it was a woman, sometimes it was a man. That part wasn't important. What WAS important was the reaction. The person being slapped, the slap-ee, if you will, always responded with a look of shocked horror, gasping and holding his or her cheek, followed by the screen immediately fading to black.

Hmmmm. I was fascinated by that sequence. Indignant slap, shocked gasp emitted by slap-ee, slap-ee holds cheek, fade to black. I loved it!!! Never being one to shy away from a little bit of creative experimentation, I was anxious for the opportunity to give this scenario a try myself. Of course I didn't have to wait long, because it was almost time for dinner, and, if you've been paying attention, you know what happens right before dinner. Yes.... none other than Kool-aid-Gate. I could not wait to finally see the wheels of justice turn and end this travesty forever. Just as predicted, my sister poured the Kool-aid into the glasses, and , of course, her glass had more. I screeched on cue, she drank the excess Kool-aid, and I followed through with a quick but very noisy backhand right across her cheek. She didn't skip a beat. She didn't bat an eye. What she DID do, was return the favor right across my cheek! If my memory serves me correctly, I believe the exact sequence went something like this, indignant slap, slap-ee (me!) emits shocked gasp, slap-ee (me!) holds cheek, fade to black, screech (again by me).

I'll never forget my mother's response. She never looked up, just said, "I'll bet you never slap your sister again".

And I didn't.


Renée Gandy said...

what a treaure to read this post..I'm sitting here smiling to myself at the KooL-aid Gate..

readingsully2 said...

You are a great writer, Jessie. This was great to read.

ArtSnark said...

That was priceless!! Will have to forward to my sister (who was always the "good one")

QueenBe said...

That story is too funny! It brought back lots of my own great memories, as we were like the Cleaver's as well AND we watched "The Doctors" in our house promptly every day. I still remember that this is how Ray Liotta got his start in acting. You are so fortunate to have your sister so close.... both of mine live 900 miles away! Great story, thanks for sharing.

Jessie said...

Thank you all so much for reading! My sister and I lived in separate cities for many years, so we are very grateful to be able to spend time together.
Hmmm...I'd forgotten that Ray Liotta was in "The Doctors". Makes me wonder if he was one of the many "slap-ees". :-)

Alisa Nordholt-Dean said...

lol...this sounds a lot like my sister and I...only I was the older one that was constantly torturing her. Now my sis lives 1300 miles from me and I really miss seeing her on a regular basis. How wonderful that your sis is so close!

Serendipity Collections said...

This is such funny story and you are a great story-teller. Kool-aid-Gate - too funny! I love the description of yourself as a kid - that line, "If I'd had you first, you would have been an only child!"

Talking of your family, you reminded me of my own mother cleaning - she drew the line at high heels and pearls, too, but I can see her in her house dress and kerchief (to keep her hair nice), so she would be ready to whip that house dress off, brush out her hair and get her nice dress and heels on before our own home- cooked, well-balanced supper. I really enjoyed this story!