Ya know how everyone in a family has a descriptive tag that follows them through life, maybe only in the family?
Well I’m one of four sisters. In order of age, Iris was the smart sister, Phyllis was the pretty sister, Marcia was the sweet sister, and, since nothing jumped out when they labeled me, I was the baby.
Marcia was six years older than me and I became her responsibility. Not only because my mother was playing cards a lot but also because my mother was a little scary. Marcia, the sweet sister, was the one I clung to.
Even as a kid I knew her sweetness could be used as a weapon. We slept in the same room in twin beds but that wasn’t close enough for me. I wanted to sleep in the bed with her.
Every night would start out with me asking to get in her bed and her saying no. I’d beg, “please please please etc” until she’d pick up her covers and I’d jump in.
Sometimes she’d hold out so I had to take out the big guns. I would lie on top of my blankets and shiver. Most people would just ignore me because all I had to do to stop shivering was get under the covers.
That certainly wouldn’t have worked with the pretty sister and the smart sister but they were already teen agers and mostly ignored me and Marcia who was way too sweet to let me shiver the night away.
Marcia always took care of me, mostly willingly. She’d buy me easter baskets and hide them, a strange thing for a jewish family that had a kosher home but my mother never noticed.
She was also responsible for my Christmas.
One year I begged her to show me what she got me for Christmas. She didn’t want to but see the bed thing above.
She told me it would ruin the surprise. I insisted that it wouldn’t so she stood at the top of the stairs and showed me the twin dolls that she bought me.
Naturally I told her that now that I had nothing to look forward to we might as well forget the holiday all together.
When she was in high school she had a boyfriend, Bob. Or rather we had a boyfriend Bob since she had to take me on most of her dates. On Fridays we’d go to a drive in. I particularly liked that. Poor Bob thought I’d accept sitting in the back seat but as I explained to him, and Marcia backed me up, I wouldn’t enjoy the movie if I had to stretch my neck to see over them.
I’m thinking now as I look back at all this (and it’s only the tip of the iceberg) I might well be labeled the bitch sister.
I adored Marcia. I still count as one of the worst days of my life when Marcia went away to college. I cried for days.
Well today is the sweet sister’s birthday. I love her and owe her so much. More than I can ever repay.
Happy Birthday Sweet Sister.