Thursday, July 22, 2010

Happy Birthday, Baby Sister

I can't ever remember a time without her. 41 years ago, my parents brought a tiny baby home and introduced me, still a baby myself, to my little sister. I don't remember life without her, so as far as I'm concerned, she has been here my entire life.

Her job, although I was two years older than she, was to protect me. She protected me at night, kept my piggies safe from the big bad wolf, and everything else that goes bump in the night. As family lore tells it, she kept me safe from most things that go bump in the day, too.  She was always the brave one. She kept our room clean, let me sleep with her when I was scared, and took care of me when I got sick in the night.

Although she's younger, it seems like I've always lived in her shadow. She did everything better than me. She cleaned house better (I regret I never got the urge). She made better grades. The teachers liked her better. She had more friends. She was better with the boys. She managed her money better.

She definitely snuck out better, as our mother discovered late one summer evening when she came in and found me tucked safely in my bed, with my sister nowhere to be seen. It was some hours later when my sister snuck back in and tried to slide between her covers, only to find Mom laying there, mad as a wet hen, and I'm certain just as disappointed. I don't think I made it any easier for my sister when I tried to console my mom by telling her, "don't worry, she does this all the time."  Oopsie.

My sister saved me from some terrible decision making when she drug me off to college with her before what should have been my junior year. We lived together for years after, laughing hysterically as only sisters can do. I will never forget one morning as we were reading the paper, when she asked me with a quizzical look on her face what in the world a "toe-aster" pastry was.  "Toaster pastry?"  I replied.  I will never look at a pop-tart without thinking of us, sitting at our kitchen table, laughing until tears rolled down our faces.

The Toe-Aster pastry is just as funny as the time we came home together in her car.  She drove a stick shift, and for some reason, I was driving that night. We'd just driven three hours with a squirmy puppy in the car and were rounding third base headed for home when I exited the freeway and inconveniently forgot to downshift.  The car lurched wildly, my sister frantically held on to the puppy, trying to tell me what to do, while, I, confused as hell, hysterically yelled, "This is not my car!" as I tried to avoid killing either us or the car. Good times indeed.

For some reason, despite the fact she seemed better at most things than I, she often turned to me for advice growing up.  I always gave it. Some of it good, some of it not so much. When she had a big decision to make about her career a few years ago, she called me and we talked for a long time about it. It struck me as odd that she, stuck between the offer of a partnership at her CPA firm and an offer to be a CFO, called me to discuss her options. After all, she's the one who did my taxes, and she knew damn well what tax bracket I fell in. It seemed ironic to me at the time that she was asking me for advice when either of the two jobs she had in front of her paid many, many, many times what I brought in.

My sister has made the decision to come walk the 3-day Komen walk with me in November. Under duress, I might add, as I spent an entire day convincing her that she can, indeed, raise the minimum necessary to walk. It took me two months to raise my money; it took her just about a day. And she is now the #1 fundraiser in the Dallas-Fort Worth walk.  Not by much, but by God, she's at the top of the list.

When I congratulated her yesterday, she said she was proud, too, but knowing that I was proud of her meant even more. It dawned on me then that I've never said I'm proud of her. I think sisters are like an old married couple. So many things are left unsaid because you just know the other person knows what you're thinking.

So, here you go, Adnohr.

I am so proud of the child you were and the grown up you've become. I am proud you left a miserable relationship that was eating you up to marry a really, really terrific guy who loves you and supports you. I am proud of the ridiculous amount of money that you make and the stunning home you own. I'm proud of your expensive toys, although most of them frighten me to some degree. I am proud of the support you give the people you love and the sacrifice you're making to walk with me in November. I am ridiculously proud that you've raised over $10,000 to eradicate breast cancer forever, when you were worried you couldn't raise two grand.

I'm proud that you're well read and interesting and fun to be around. I'm proud to be the sister of the life of the party. I'm proud you take care of yourself and those around you, even when the ones around you make it hard sometimes. Your sense of family and purpose are astounding at times, and that makes me proud.

I think all sisters love each other, by default, because that's what we're supposed to do. But it's another thing entirely to hold your sister in high esteem, to love her and honor her.  They say pride is a sin, but I'm not buying it.

So, Little Sister, today is for you. I love you and I am so so proud of you! 

ps - I didn't buy a card. Again.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Unequally yoked

Oh, the joys of targeted marketing.  NOT!

Here's what I had in my inbox this morning:

It's not that I'm opposed to the person of color. In fact there are several "Black" men (it's ok to refer to them that way if the ad does, right?) that I find wildly attractive. Sterling Sharp, Blair Underwood, Taye Diggs. All very, very yummy.  But I digress...

I think we all know that my tastes run more to the Brown than the Black.

As a reminder, here's what I look like:

Yes, those are freckles. And blue eyes. Oh yeah, and I've been married for 11 years. To a Mexican.

You'll see if you look closely enough, that there is an "opt out" option at the bottom of the email, and I've tried to exercise that option several times.

So, I tried a different approach today. Since the email at least appears to come from a human's email address, I emailed him back a picture of me. And one of my Mexican husband. And asked him nicely to include us both in his database of singles if he thought we would be a fit for his service. Otherwise, would he kindly remove my address from his system? I'm really, truly, not interested. Unless of course, Taye Diggs is on there and wouldn't mind a dalliance with a 40-something married white chick

I'm now taking bets on whether or not I'll get another email from our friends at

You want in?

Peace out,

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

If it's not Sex, it's Lesbians. Good gosh, y'all.

First it was The idiots at ABC, now it's our Holy Grail of Radio, KERA.

LittleG and I were on the way to the "lye-bary" on Saturday, and the good folks at National Public Radio were interviewing people who make movies. Safe enough topic, I think to myself.

Turns out I was wrong.

The subject of the interview during that timeslot was the woman who wrote the book or the screenplay upon which The Kids are All Right is based. This is not going to end well, I think to myself, remembering the storyline of the movie, and my inquisitive little sponge in her booster seat right behind me.

I act quickly to change the station to some far more kid-friendly selection, maybe Lady Gaga, Ke$ha or 50 Cent. Unfortunately, I don't hit that button fast enough.

"Mom," says LittleG, "what is a lesbian?" And there it is.


If you've read me at all, you know I just don't swing that way. I do tend to be pretty liberal in my views on "others," be they a different religion, skin color, or sexual persuasion. I don't always understand the other guy, but I do my best to accept them.

For the benefit of one of my extremely conservative readers, I should throw in here that we've all sinned and fallen short and I don't think I or any other human has the right to judge another. Those aren't my words, and I've paraphrased just a bit, but I think you get the gist of it.

Anyway, just because I am reasonably comfortable with the concept of a lesbian doesn't mean I'm ready to explain it to my six year old.

I know, based on six years of dealing with this child, that I had better answer her question, or she'll just keep asking it. And the more she asks, the more interesting the concept will become.

So I walked a fine line and said that sometimes moms love moms instead of moms loving dads, and in our family, we don't judge people like that. Everyone is different, and that's ok.

And my beautiful, precious, perceptive little girl says, "I get it Mom. They are just different than us, just like if their skin was another color. Can we get another Mudge book when we get inside?"

Sometimes the simplest answer is the right one. I'm a little hacked off at NPR that I had to have that conversation with her at this point in her life, but perhaps by having a simple conversation now, the harder conversations yet to come will be a little easier.

Gotta go - I need to go burn a "safe for LittleG" mix tape for the car.  Wonder where I put that personalized Veggie Tales CD?

Monday, July 12, 2010

All comments welcome....well, almost all!

Dear 峻帆峻帆峻帆, 玉苓玉苓, and 雅芳:

I've received several comments on my blogs from you, and while I'm sure you're all lovely people, your comments are written entirely in an Asian language that this particular ugly American cain't quite git the gist of.

Plus, you've got those annoying html codes in your message, and I'm not willing to approve your comments. Who knows what kind of whacky site those links take you. I'm not about to find out, nor am I going to expose my ever-dwindling reader base to the links.

Please do us both a favor and quit trying. I'm not going to approve your comments, and I'm frankly, a bit tired of refusing them. Please stop.

Thanks a bunch.
Lady Steele