Monday, September 18, 2006

The I Hate Jeannie Club -- jcarolek

I was born number two child, number two daughter, 14 months after my sister. In quick succession followed four boys. My parents had six children in seven years. My sister was the bane of my existence.
  • She got to do everything first,
  • she was the "pretty" one,
  • she was the bossy one,
  • she was "miss perfect"

My brothers copied me. Everything I did, they did. My sister's diction was great, I and my four brothers all had a lisp. By about age eight I recall really formalizing the idea in my head that I HATED my sister! So, as was the natural way of things, my brothers joined me in the "club". Yes, it had a name, the "I HATE JEANNIE CLUB." We even had a "secret" club house. OK, so it consisted of two metal lawn chairs, tipped up against the chain link fence to form a sort of lean-to. The five of use would huddle under our structure and chant, "I HATE JEANNIE, I HATE JEANNIE."

(but never loud enough to get caught...Jeannie could really put a hurting on us!)

Of course we grew up, but my sister and I were still at odds. We always shared a room and she was miss "neat stuff" and I was misfit "garbage collector." Her half of the room was always clean, mine was clean enough, once you dug through all the piles of "stuff". My mother used to threaten the shovel to clean my side. I had two typical methods of cleaning.
pay my sister to do it (she got to keep whatever loose change she found under the pile)
or "invite" my brothers to enjoy some of my items...they always wanted my stuff, so, they cleaned me out!

My sister went to college a year ahead of me. I had my own room for the first time in my life. I painted and decorated and (ahem) kept it spotless.....

The following year, I headed off to the same college my sister was attending -- same dorm! My sister was so appalled by the fact that her goofy sister was coming to the same dorm that she moved out and got an apartment. But, on the day my father drove me from Maryland to Tallahassee, FL, my sister was awaiting our arrival at the dorm. She told my new roommate to be on the look-out for a goofy looking girl with glasses, probably carrying three violins and a guitar. (Oh, how she did exaggerate...only two violins and a guitar.)

Things seemed to change a little though, once I was down there. My very presence was enough to drive her away. She lasted not six months before she left FL and returned to MD. (In reality, she decided to quit and go back to live with her boyfriend.) I graduated 2 years later and moved back to the DC area. Somehow, in the two years of separation, things were different.

My sister, the one I had hated all my life, and who, I might add, reciprocated 100%, became my friend. I don't know what happened, whether there was no longer a competition, or what, but we grew closer and closer.

We now live in different states, but in all the world I can declare, she is my best friend. I'm thinking about starting the "I LOVE JEANNIE CLUB", but the metal chairs are long gone, I have no fence against which to erect them, and I doubt the "boys" and I could bend sufficiently to huddle under them!

No comments: