Sunday, December 7, 2014

Best Thing Said at Thanksgiving

"This is the first thing going on our wall."
--YSF, after Younger Sister and he opened the house blessing

I made sure they opened it before anyone else arrived so they had time to look at it and then stow it somewhere it wouldn't get stomped.

Last night, I got a text saying it's up on the wall and how much they love it. With photo.

It looks fantastic.  I couldn't be more thrilled.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

On Feeling Left Behind

In mid-September, I'd been sitting at my part-time work's desk and had just logged into my personal e-mail when I saw an e-mail from Younger Sister with this subject line:

"New Keys"

That meant only one thing: She'd bought a house.

Let me explain something about my sister: she wants to check things off her list.  She needs to accomplish things, drive ahead, or she will lose her mind.  It's not that she lacks patience; it's more that she wants to dust her hands together and say, "Ah, that's done!"

Don't get me wrong, I'm happy for her.  To a point.  I don't know how good idea it is to put your name and your not-yet-husband's name on the title to a house.  Because there's still no wedding date.  Things seem to be closer to a conclusion on YSF's paperwork, but it's not settled.  And so no one is scandalized, please understand that they're not moving into the same bedroom--he is in the basement apartment and the housemate/good friend with whom she'd been renting a place for the past several years is occupying the bedroom next to YS.

Anyway, as I was saying, I am happy for her.  But I felt a twinge as I read her e-mail and looked at all the photos of their preparations to move in.

The twinge said two things to me.

  1. She's starting to settle into her own place, her own world, with her future husband, with plans for their future, probably their future children's futures, too.
  2. She beat you to getting engaged, she beat you to owning your own home, she'll beat you getting married and having a family, too.  You're going to have nothing in common anymore.  She'll have her friends who are married and/or have kids, not to mention Older Brother and SIL, to talk about married people things and parent things. Oh, and homeowning things, too.

Is there some envy there?  Sure, a little.  But even more so, it's just this sense that I am falling farther and farther behind everyone I know.  Even my little sister.  And everyone has always put us side-by-side for comparison for as long as we've been sisters.  And I've always been the different one while she's been the standard.  Homeowning is another benchmark to which I do not measure up.

I may be the older one, but she's never let me lead the way.  Maybe it's better she hasn't followed me, come to think of it.  But even if she doesn't look up to me, at least I don't get the sense she looks down on me, either.  Not anymore anyway; she knows and is proud that I've come a long way.

Other people, not so much.  I'm not looking forward to the questions and noises of pity, or having to explain.  

It's a guilty pleasure, but I do watch 19 Kids and Counting occasionally, and I just felt for poor Jana, the eldest sister, during the one episode in which all the sisters and other women in Jill's wedding party did a trial hairstyling at the salon.  Jana was (is) not married or even engaged.  Also the maid of honor, like me.  (At least she's like 15 years younger than I am.)

Hairstylist: Are you dating anybody right now?
Jana: Mmm-mm. (shakes her head with a little smile, almost rolling her eyes) 
Hairstylist: Just livin' the single life. 
Jana:  Yep. I am good.
[Cut to side interview]
Jana: I'm good.  Whenever that time comes, hopefully I'll be prepared.  But I- I'm good with just waiting right now.

Gracious in her responses, but you can tell she was tired of being looked at a certain way and asked questions like that.  

I have to practice doing that.

I know it won't be the same after YS is married.  At least not until--unless--I catch up.

I miss her already.



Friday, August 1, 2014

How to Lose and Find Your Engagement Ring in Ten Easy Steps

Younger Sister has devised these easy steps for you to follow:

1. When a slight medical condition messes with your hands, decide not to get the ring sized for fear it won't come off if your hand swells.  And then surround yourself with people who don't mention there are such things as ring guards.  Or just never get around to figuring all that out because you're all over-the-moon and stuff.  Additionally--and this will be important later--lose one of the ring's little diamond chips and don't replace it.

2. Pick a cool April evening to meet up with friends at a baseball game.  You know, the kind of chilly evening that makes your hands cold and makes your fingers shrink after you've been out there for hours.

2A. Prior to that, attend an event that is sure to help you keep your wits about you.

3. After the game ends, take the Metro home.

4. Walk in the door very late and night and look down at your ringless hand.  (My sister is not a weepie like me but there might have been screaming.  Her housemate probably is sworn to secrecy but I'll get it out of her during one of our pre-wedding get-togethers, I'm sure.)

4A. E-mail your mom because you figure she's gone to bed already so she won't be alarmed until morning.  (YS obviously was not thinking clearly because she didn't remember how late many of the time-stamps are on the e-mails we get from Mom.  Once Mom read the e-mail, she did not sleep well!)

5. The following day, get the word out.  EVERYWHERE.  The stadium, the metro, everyone you meet.  Especially if they can offer to pray for you.  Our mom hit St. Anthony up hard and she was not alone.  In addition to St. Anthony, I hit up the patron saint and namesake of the parish where I was cantoring the following Saturday.  I just knew someone had found the ring and prayed whoever found it would do the right thing.

6. After a few days, start looking into filing a claim with the ring's insurer.  Groan at the deductible.  Joke that your fiance' should propose to you all over again when you get the replacement ring.

7. Browse the Lost and Found section in your regional CraigsList site after your usual cruise through Missed Connections.  (What? They're weird and occasionally amusing.)

8.  Read a "Found" post about a ring found near the Metro station near your home.  Calm yourself down and contact the person with a description and photos including mention of the missing chip. WE HAVE A MATCH!

9.  Hear the amazing story of how this guy went jogging Sunday morning and saw something sparkly on the ground near the Metro station.  Passed it by, thinking it was a SODA CAN TAB--and then heeded the feeling that he should go back and pick it up.  Marvel at this miracle that has made the jogger a hero in his sentimental wife's eyes.

10.  Go with your fiance' to retrieve your ring and express your gratitude.  Offer a reward and when the beaming couple refuses it, stick it on their mantelpiece on the way out the door.  And then continue to wave them off as you're in your car trying to leave and the lady is running to the curb trying to hand you back the reward (not the wisest thing to do in that particular neighborhood).  And then REJOICE because you and your ring have been Reunited.