Thursday, November 29, 2007

Come and see me; I'm the same girl I used to be

For an explanation of this alphabet theme, see my first NaBloPoMo post.

V is for my little sister, who, in the interest of maintaining at least a modicum of anonymity (at least where Googlers are concerned), I am not going to name by name. I will say, though, that despite the fact that her name is decidedly less common than mine, there are no fewer than five songs featuring it, the most notable being ones by Steve Winwood, Material Issue, and most recently, Amy Winehouse. (Incidentally, how do we feel about Amy Winehouse? I cannot decide if she is fabulously bold and inventive with her devil-may-care whatnot or if she's just plain annoying and sad. Thoughts? Votes? Let me know.) Conversely, I have heard only ONE song with my name in it (the one with the title you see in my banner up there), and Velvet Underground didn't even have the decency to spell it right.

In any case, V is for my little sister, which seems maybe a tad unfair, since I didn't use N for my older one. I had neighbors to talk about! Stories to share! Lesbians to woo into friendship! Incidentally, that last one might somehow have been successful, because I am actually invited to a party at their house this week! It is a Sunday afternoon party, which seems a bit odd to me (Will there be drinks at an afternoon event? And if not, why not, I say?), but I'll take what I can get. One step at a time, of course.

I keep getting off track. Veering back now. (Hey. "Veering" starts with "V," too. What do you know?) My sister. She's an incredibly cool kid who's never quite realized it. (I say "kid" even though she is older than some of you--27 on her last birthday, to be precise.) She's always been above caring much what anybody else thinks, always done her own thing and not worried about fitting in. I wish that meant she got a crazy haircut and moved to Thailand and lives a life of adventure and constant surprise. It does not. The girl has not yet found her path in life, but the path she's been on so far is not the exploring life. She doesn't make friends easily, and she's more of a homebody hermit than I am. There are lots of things I wish for her, but I can't make any of them happen on her behalf. I wish she'd finish school. I wish she'd enjoy some hobbies that involve leaving the house and talking to others. I wish she knew how smart and funny and interesting she is... or, if she knows it, I wish she could figure out how to clue people her own age into knowing that as well.

She and I didn't always get along. She wailed instantly the moment my parents first put her in my arms, after all (on my sixth birthday, the day they brought her home). We wanted nothing to do with each other for our entire childhoods. But then I graduated from college and I spent three months living back at home while I half-assedly searched for someone willing to hire an English major. I refer to that time as the Dark Period in my life. Living back in my old bedroom, working at Shopko for extra cash and for something to do, running into people from my high school class while wearing a red smock and manning a cash register... it was not the life I'd planned for myself post-graduation. But during that time, my little sister and I became friends. We got to know each other. We realized we had more in common than we ever thought we did. It bothers me that we sort of lost that when I moved out again, but I'm glad we had that time to get to know each other as almost-adults. And I'm pretty sure she feels the same way.

I feel like this post is even more scattered than usual, but there's actually a reason for that (and for once, it is a reason that involves no wine at all). As I started typing tonight, I got a call from my mother, who informed me that my grandma had a stroke today. My mom was on her way back to the hospital to talk to the doctors, so we still don't really know how she is. Obviously I am worried about her. Obviously I want her to be OK. But I also know that she is 96, and if this is her time, this is her time. I just want her to be at peace. Comfortable. Not scared. Not sad. Not in a state of alive-but-not-there. I know she wouldn't want to be in that state, either. So I'm sending positive thoughts for whatever is best for her, and if it's not too much trouble, it'd be great if you guys could do the same.

This post is about my sister, but I have one more grandma tidbit to share--something I had completely forgotten about but remembered and had to laugh at when my mom mentioned it earlier. I've written about some of my parents' quirks before, but obviously my grandma has some excellent ones as well. For instance, for the past ten years, the woman has had a note thumb-tacked beside her door, reminding her to lock the door and turn off the lights. I used to laugh at her, wondering why on earth she'd need a reminder for those things, but then several years ago I moved into an apartment in which I had no programmable thermostat but had to pay for my own heat. I taped a similar note beside my door, too, saying "Turn off heat!" Clearly I'm in no place to judge. Know what I don't do, though? Hide my purse in my own home. I may occasionally worry about intruders (both the real and the ghostly kind), but I do not store my purse in my dryer. My grandma does.

I don't know about you, but I find that delightfully insane yet charming. Let's send some happy thoughts my grandma's way, OK?

(Also, if you know where my grandma lives, please, please don't steal her purse. Thank you.)


don't call me MA'AM said...

I promise not to steal your grandma's purse.

I have a little sister, and alternate between thinking she is totally cool and totally annoying... even as an adult. At least now I don't have to share a bathroom with her. ;-)

Cool post.

steve said...

Positive thoughts coming Grandma's way from me. I hope all works out well for her (and you, and V).

3carnations said...

I'll keep your Grandma in my thoughts.

I didn't know anyone else knew Material Issue! I have two of their CDs...those might acutally be their only CDs; I'm not sure. I never heard them on the radio. We used to play one of their TAPES in the store when I was a *supervisor* at Record Town. I was one cool supervisor, too. 18 years old with that spiral keychain bracelet holding the register key on my wrist. Awesome.

nancypearlwannabe said...

How did I not even know you HAVE two sisters? Apparently I missed something there.

I'm sorry to hear about your grandmother. It's so difficult to watch people grow old. I'll keep her (and you) in my thoughts.

Aaron said...

Oh, man, that is hard about your grandmother; I'm sincerely sorry to hear that. I'll be keeping you both in my thoughts today.

-R- said...

I'm so sorry about your grandma, Stefanie. I hope she is ok. I love that she hides her purse. That's a great quirk.

Like Grumpy above, I switch back and forth between thinking my younger sister is cool and annoying.

The Other Girl said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your grandma. Some strokes are really mild and leave almost no after-effects, so I'll be hoping that's how it is with her.

Sometimes I hide things in my house, but I can almost never remember later where I hid them. You would think this would deter me, but, sadly, it does not.

lizgwiz said...

I'm sending lots of positive thoughts in your grandma's direction. She sounds delightfully quirky. My grandma never put her purse in the dryer, probably because she couldn't stand to have it that far away from her.

Increasingly, I find Amy Winehouse sad and pathetic. I mean, her music aside, there's really nothing unique about being strung out, is there?

Jess said...

This post might be scattered, but it's still beautiful. I'm really sorry about your grandma.

L Sass said...

That depends... is there candy in grandma's purse?

Sending lots of good thoughts to your grandma and family.

Paisley said...

Grandma is in my thoughts! Happy thoughts sent to grandma.

I have had one friend with the same name as your sister. I don't think I have ever met anyone else with that name. Hmmm....

P.S. I put a special ring that I usually wear inside my glasses container in the bathroom so nobody would steal it. Do you think I'll store my purse in my dryer when I'm a grandma? Me thinks perhaps.

-R- said...

I forgot to add my opinion on Amy Winehouse. Sad and not that original.

sognatrice said...

Sorry to hear about your grandma. I like the "sending positive thoughts for whatever is best for her." I'll be doing that too.

Poppy Cede said...

Amy Winehouse = annoying and sad, there is no question.

My sympathies. 96 is a great old age.

Noelle said...

I hope you and your sister and your grandmother all fare well. Ramble on.

Pam said...

This was a great post to read.

Sorry to hear about your grandmother. Maybe this will cheer you up. There is a very popular local band here who has a song called Stephanie. I know it's not spelled right, but hey, they didn't consult me.

Let's see if this link to the song works.

Lara B (why can't I leave a link? Boo) said...

I'm sorry for not commenting sooner, but I was busy trying to track down your grandma so I could steal her purse.

Is that in poor taste, when I also want to tell you I'm so sorry to hear about your grandma. I'm thinking positive thoughts for her, you, and your family.


Oh, and hey, I didn't realize you were so close to Chicago! That blows that you are in Seattle that weekend.

Stefanie said...

Thanks for all the positive thoughts, everyone. I really appreciate it.

DCMM--Hi! Haven't seen you around lately! Good to know you're still out there. Crazy busy with life, I presume. I never had to share a bathroom with my little sister, but I definitely appreciate no longer sharing one with my older sister.

Steve--Thanks much.

3Cs--Ah. So you know what song I'm referring to, then? (I wasn't sure if those hints would be a puzzle at all, or if the name would be immediately obvious to most people.) And I bet you WERE cool with the spiral keychain bracelet with the register keys! Such power.

NPW--I think because I probably rarely mention both of them in the same post. If I talk about them at all, I generally just say "my sister," and you have to guess which one I mean. :-) I know I've mentioned being a middle child once or twice, but not recently enough that I'd expect you to remember it.

Aaron--Thanks. Yeah, I'm not even sure what I should be hoping for. Just that she's not scared or miserable, I guess. :-(

R--I know. And in the DRYER! How hilarious is that?

TOG--It wasn't a mild one, unfortunately, but we still don't really know the extent of the damage. And I have the same problem with not remembering where I put things. Unfortunately, it's generally not even things I've deliberately hidden.

Liz--My grandma's dryer is very near the door she goes out when she leaves her house, so I suppose that's why it made sense to her. It still cracks me up, though. The dryer!

Jess--Thanks and thanks. You're very kind. :-)

L Sass--Ha. Probably some after-dinner mints. Are those worth the theft to you?

Paisley--I don't know; maybe you'll go for the oven instead?

R--Thank you for weighing in. I fluctuate a bit on her myself.

Sognatrice--That's all we can do, right? Thanks.

Poppy--I actually thought you liked her! (What was that you said last week about you feeling like you don't know me at all...?) ;-)

Noelle--Thanks much.

Pam--Hee. Just like Velvet Underground didn't consult ME. (But then, according to Wikipedia, they wrote it six years before I was born, so I guess I can't blame them for that.)

Lara--I didn't notice that Blogger changed that until Noelle (and now you) pointed it out. Stupid and Boo indeed. I'm sorry. :-( I wonder how many messages they've already gotten demanding that they fix that?

Simone said...

Stef, hope your grandma is OK! (and you too!)

Anonymous said...

Man. The best of thoughts for your grandma. Aging (and all that goes with it) family is so sad.

Amy Winehouse. I keep coming back to thinking she hasn't earned this, in a way. Like, yeah, rock hard for a decent amount of time, THEN have the drugged-out spiral, but basically right out of the gate? Sad and irritating. I didn't get a chance to appreciate her based on merit before her troubles were plastered everywhere I looked.

End of the month already? I'm sure you're ready, but it's been fun for your spectators!

--Shana in MO

Erikka said...

Amy Winehouse always looks like a whino when I see photos of her...she seems desperate and sad to me.

I hope however things turned out for your grandma, everyone involved is ok and happy and peaceful.

I always wished I could have a little sister. You are so lucky :)