Family Invasion

I thought I’d better tell you the current family circumstances in case I suddenly disappear and am never heard from again.  Two of my sisters are coming to town.  In fact, one arrived last night, and the other will come in tomorrow.  There are six of us, collectively known as the ___ girls, half in town and half scattered about the U.S. of A.  Whenever there is a critical mass of ___ girls in one town, things happen.  With possibly one exception, we are not quiet.  Daddy has always said that the only problem with having six daughters is that they are very loud when they are together.  There are going to be many opinions expressed and explained and touted with certainty and devotion.  There will be competition.  Sisters will brag, some in that offhand, roundabout way that is intended to make you feel that no bragging is taking place, but that facts about genius and superhuman ability are just being recognized.  There may be crying and tissue throwing, and at some point, scripture will be quoted. 

My first reaction is to beat a hasty path out of town and hide out in a good hotel with an acceptable brand of coffee and 24-hour room service.  Unfortunately, keeping the right leg elevated is not consistent with driving.  I’m supposed to take my antibiotics and stay put.  I’ve toyed with the idea of being “too sick” to  answer the phone, but that would probably precipitate a visit to my door, and my car is clearly visible here.  Besides, I’m a sucker for any woman who stands on my front porch and pleads “Please let me in!  I have to pee!”  (Forget it, guys, you can pee anywhere.) 

There are things I would miss if I didn’t get together with the sisters.  The latest gossip, for one.  Some of the things we tell about our partners and our children and grandchildren are only told across a kitchen table, never in an email or on the phone.  I’d miss the jokes and insults, especially my opportunity to dish some out!  (“So you probably hadn’t had your medication when you got that orange streak put in your hair, hmmm?”)  I’d miss the babying.  I’m the next to the youngest and at least nine years younger than the next sister, and sometimes I like being treated “special”.  Hell, I am special!  And cute! 

Actually, I want to be with my sisters.  I read a book last year about a person who had the ability to become invisible, and as a child he always exercised this talent at family photo time.  I don’t want our children and grandchildren to look back and see me as the one who was missing from all the events, good or bad, the one who never contributed or argued or joked.  I would never want to be the invisible one in the family.  I want to wade into the muck and be elbow-to-elbow to the other ____ girls, holding my own in that enduring (if not endearing) family drama.  We have the advantage of having always been able to rally together and support one another, and get past any differences we may have.

Speaking of differences, although people think we look alike, we are really very different individuals.  We range from average height to super-short, looks- and fashion-conscious to oblivious to fashion, from graceful to awkward, from lilting sopranos to tone-deaf altos, and none of us chose the same career.  If I had to find the things in which we are similar, however, I would say that we all speak well, with good vocabularies and the ability to speak with confidence, and we all read a lot, two things that I think are related.  Both qualities were encouraged by my parents, as they thought it was important to be able to express oneself clearly and intelligently, without colloquialisms and grating accents.  They were both regular readers, and it was an activity that seemed natural in our home. 

Lord knows I have heard a million times that people with collagen vascular diseases should avoid stress.  My stress this time just happens to come from part of my support base, so I’m going to take a deep breath, carry some knitting with me at all times, and be with the sisters this weekend.  You will know if you see us-you can hear us coming. 

Peace!

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