I’ve arrived here at Leyte Island in the Philippines a mere seven months since I left. I told them that I would return.
Future parents and grandparents of mail-order brides, super cute Miss Universe contestants and one of my favourite blog commenters toil around me here on the familiar archipelago. The smell of jeep diesel wafts through the air. It just feels like home. I turn to my driver and say,
“I’m back, baby. I’m back!”
The ACN went home on Saturday after a kick-ass 16 day visit. This has left me a little :(
However, it does feel good to be typing in blogger again. And blogger likes it. Don’t let her fool you. She plays hard to get, but behind closed doors…
That was going to a weird place.
A few things I learned from the ACN:
1) I get more kissies on the cheek if I shave every day.
2) In the little game we play with putting letters in a board dealie, she giggles most at “X for Xzibit from Pimp My Ride.”
3) She LOVES it when I refer to bunnies as “those fuzzy-tailed little bastards.”
My sister was very appreciative of all my help with the wrangling. (It allowed my sister to go to Montana with her husband for a friend’s wedding.) That started me thinking about how well my sister and I get along as adults. And how very, very poorly we got along as children.
My cousin was complaining recently that her two kids (aged, like, 9 and 11 maybe) fight constantly. My father just laughed. He told her that when my sister and I were that age, he was sure that we’d grow up and never speak to one another. And I can totally see where he was coming from.
We fought. A LOT.
To this day, we have never finished a game of Monopoly that we were both playing in. 90% of the games we were part of, ended before the first rounding of the board was completed. We rarely ever passed Go and collected our 200 bones.
I can remember one game when we were kids that ended before the first roll of the dice. We tried to play a two-person game and got into a brawl while deciding who would be banker. No, really. I’m not sure if it was the glory, or the high pay, of the position, but neither of us was going to let the other one do it.
My mother – after a long week of work – heard screaming and slowly came walking down the stairs. She came face to face with a coffee table tipped over, massive amounts of Monopoly money slowly falling to the floor – seemingly from the sky, and me in mid whack of my sister’s head with the Monopoly board.
She mumbled something about her plans to “burn that fucking game” and went back upstairs.
On a similar tangent, I just remembered a story that my sister was telling The Monkey a few days ago. They were comparing scars and my sister said, “This is where Peter hit me in the head with a baseball bat.” The Monkey and her Monkeysitter both gasped and looked at me. And I did a “Ohhh yeah. I did that, didn’t I?”
Now, before you all start swooning, fanning yourselves and saying, “Well, I never!” Let me tell you how it actually went down.
I was like 6. And she was 4, I think. I was playing on our lawn. I’d toss a ball up, then hit it with my little wooden bat. I’d go pick up the ball, then turn around and hit it back in the other direction. (This may have been a twenty foot round trip.) At some point, my sister wandered out to play on the lawn too. It’s a big lawn so there should have been room enough for the both of us. I continued my game for a while. From what I can piece together, my sister kept wandering closer and closer. And one time I tossed the ball up, swung the bat back and —
It was a fairly sickening sound. Then there was a lot of blood. Some will tell you that I ran and hid behind a rocking chair in the living room, crying about not wanting to get in trouble. Personally, I suspect that I was just looking for a quiet place to pray for my sister’s speedy recovery.
Thankfully my sister doesn’t visit this site, otherwise she’d likely continue trying to tell it as “Peter hit me with a bat for no reason!” When you can now clearly see that it was entirely her fault. Right? Right.
We are probably lucky that most of our neighbors were relatives and a courthouse/little office complex. Some of our fights spilled outside. Some began as water balloon fights and ended with death threats.
My sister actually held a knife to my back in our kitchen one day. Did I do my best to calm her down and defuse the situation? Naw. I yelled at her and called her a “wuss.”
It was a BIG knife.
Early on, my sister learned a valuable trick. Crying when nobody was around to punish me is wasted tears. So, if I hit her at 10:30 in the morning, she’d suddenly be overcome with the pain at 4:30 in the afternoon. Talk about your delayed reactions. And when I pleaded my case, my parents would reply with, “Well, why did you hit her this morning?”
Which, even then, I had to admit was a good point.
My sister also cried the exact same amount of tears if I sprayed her with a water gun, or punched her square in the face. Maybe she was rationing them? Speaking of water guns, I went through 5000 of these things as a child. I’d get a brand new one. I’d own it for 30 minutes before spraying my sister in the face. She would cry. My father would break the gun over his knee. My sister would make a face at me behind his back. Three days later, I’d con a relative into buying me another water gun. To this day, the sight of a water gun reminds me of the sound of breaking plastic.
My father was also an absolute genius at removing “noise makers” from any toy we got as children. As a result we’d be at friends’ houses, see toys that looked like our own, start to play with them and nearly deafen ourselves.
As we got older, my sister and I fought less… or ignored each other more.
Occasionally, I’d still piss her off though. Like when I was in university and would come home for a weekend when my parents were away. A party would occur. The front of the dishwasher would get kicked in. Beer bottle rings would be banged into the wooden dining room table. Some drunk would “scrub” the kitchen floor with a mop and bucket (mostly full of stale beer) while listening to AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck” at 7:00 am on a Sunday morning.
And then I’d high-tail it back to university, a good 4 hours away.
This especially enraged my sister because 1) my mother will vent at whoever is nearby and B) everyone at the party was a friend of mine.
However, in recent years we’ve gotten along awesomely. The birth of The ACN has made my entire family much closer, of course. We had stopped fighting before that, but now we talk all the time.
Of course, we still don’t dare take out the Monopoly game.