I was chatting with my life-long friend Mel the other afternoon. Well, “life-long” is not exactly true, as we met when we were five. And “friend” might be a bit of a stretch, since she’s a pain in the ass.
She has recently started reading my blog again. She’s having fun trying to guess who all the unnamed people are. And likely giggling about how much of a giant goof I am.
I was telling her how hard it was to come up with post ideas for this NaBloPoMo business. So, she started reminding me of some of the stories from our childhood. Most of which involved my sister and I brawling over something or other. (Always HER fault!)
I’ve already touched on the battling ways of our youth.
However, I did forget to mention the game of Monopoly where I tore the board in half and beat my sister over the head with it. If memory serves, it was because she tried to pay me 30-odd bucks all in ones. Since I was fairly certain that there wasn’t an exotic dancer square anywhere in the game, I was not standing for that disrespect.
There was also a bit of a checker fight. Which was, as it sounds, a fight involving checkers. Though I don’t think we had even tried to start a game. The checker fight (and there may have been more than one) devolved into a shoe fight.
My sister stood across the room and threatened to throw one of my mother’s shoes at me.
“So, here’s the thing… I throw harder than you. I have better aim than you. You are going to toss it and maybe hit me on the leg. But, I am going to pick it up and nail you in the head. You don’t want that.”
I smiled again.
Of all the things my sister hated about me as a kid — and there were MANY — I am guessing that my smugness was right up there. Personally I felt that it made me seem delightfully impish, but whatever.
She threw the shoe. It hit my knee. Without standing up, I grabbed it and drilled her in the side of the head with it.
She cried. I said, “Well?”
I occasionally have freakishly good aim. Usually when spite or cockiness are involved. When I was a teen, I once got banned from shooting basketballs into a tiny rim at a carnival/fair. I won 5 prizes in a row. The dude told me, “Get the fuck out of here.” I don’t think he was ever breast fed. I decided not to ask because I make it a policy never to argue with dudes sporting what can only be described as self-inflicted prison neck tattoos.
I stand by that policy.
Not long after the checker fight, my sister did get some revenge, by swinging a lamp cord at me and embedding the prongs into my thigh. Which, I think you’ll agree, is pretty ingenious use of what she could get her hands on.
(How many of you are now considering taking extra steps when it comes to birth control?)
When we were young ‘uns, Mel’s mom and my mom would also take us on yearly trips. Every March Break (spring break for you dirty Americans?) they’d drive us someplace to stay in a hotel. Halifax. Sydney. Prince Edward Island.
And every year they’d make the mistake of seating my sister and I next to each other in the back seat. (Remember that this was before every car had separate DVD players and headsets, and also before you were allowed to drug your kids for any old reason at all.) We’d all leave the driveway and within five minutes…
“Her knee is too close to my knee.”
“He is hitting me with his elbow.”
“She is harshing my zen!”
Then we’d have to pull over and the moms would put Mel between us.
Five minutes later you’d hear Mel…
“Stop throwing punches over me!”
And then the grumbling would start in the front seat.
“Last trip EVER!!!”
Which would make us giggle, because they’d say it every year.
Especially if we were eating in a Chinese restaurant and I was trying to burn chopsticks and then used a wooden skewer dealie to flick a cookie-less fortune into the bee-hive hair do of an old woman at the next table.
Mel also reminded me of what I think might be her favourite Peter/sister of Peter story…
It was before Christmas. We were still pretty young. We were playing the old “If you tell me what I am getting, I’ll tell you what you are getting” game. We had tried this game pretty much every year. And every year we’d fight over who went first. This year was no different. But, even as a wee child, I would always strive for détente.
“Dear sister,” I said. “There’s been far too much fussin’ and fightin’. But, I have an idea…”
The plan that I outlined for her was this:
We would each take a piece of paper. We would write down one present that the other was getting for Christmas. Then we would fold the pieces of paper and toss them into the middle of the room. And then we’d pick up the other’s paper at exactly the same time. Mel would referee.
My sister, after some consideration, accepted the terms.
We took paper. We took pens. And we wrote.
We folded and tossed the notes into the middle of the room.
Under Mel’s watchful eye we each picked up the other’s note.
I unfolded mine, and in my sister’s writing saw, “hockey net.”
I was excited!
My sister unfolded the one I wrote and read…
“You’ll find out at Christmas.”