Thursday night, I notice Sister devoting the majority of her attention to the computer. I notice because she’s letting me watch whatever television program I want too, without any argument. At first I don’t comment, because well (to be cliché), I didn’t feel like looking a gift horse in the mouth.
Until my curiosity wins out, as it always does and I climb into the gift horse to check out its insides. “Whatcha doing?”
“Looking at pictures of B and S.” She blandly answers, eyes never leaving the screen, “I want to see what they’re like, before they get here.”
Excellent idea Sister. Let’s do the mandatory Facebook creepage before meeting our cousins (several times removed). So, I join her. Unfortunately, pictures do not say a thousand words and we really had no idea what our cousins were like. The only advantage is we have now memorized their facial features. Looks, however, don’t say much about one’s character.
And when people are staying with me for three days, I would like some warning as to their personalities.
(To be honest I was vehemently against them coming.)
As it turns out, I had nothing to worry about.
Friday night S texts my cell – obviously my mom gave her my number - asking if I want to watch Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince when they get to my house. I’m always down for anything Harry Potter.
We were off to a good start.
As the evening (and weekend) progresses we realize we have similar tastes in books and movies. We all share similar food preferences too like Manchu Wok (a fast-food Chinese restaurant), Subway, sushi, Iced Tea, Pepsi and White Cheddar Popcorn. Both B and I can eat a jar of pickles in a day (for dinner on Sunday we ate a jar and a half of pickles...before the main course).
The resemblance between our family dynamics is startling. B and S bemoan their mother’s lack of savvy in using technology. Sister and I do the same. B and S also have the same love/hate relationship Sister and I share, complete with the same sort of volleyed comments as well as similar tones of voice.
On Saturday we head to the mall. Mother told me before they arrived that S was older than B. So I say something about their ages and B responds: “Actually I’m older. But people always think S is older.”
I’m horrified (and silently cursing Mother), “I’m so sorry B. I know how much it sucks when people always think you’re the younger one. Everyone always thinks Sister is older than I am and it really pisses me off.”
B replies: “It’s okay.”
S says: “It’s probably just because I’m taller. But I don’t really think I look older.”
“Sister’s taller than me too. I wouldn’t have said anything but Mom said S was older. So it’s her fault.”
We laugh and talk of other things, all really annoyed with this idiotic driver who was in front of me. Turns out he was old and Asian. Not a very good combination.
We separated in Forever 21 (a great store for bargain hunting and cheap – but good – clothes) because it’s massive and all three of us twenty-something’s bought some clothes. After, when sharing our purchases, we discover that B and I (the two older sisters) bought the exact same dress/shirt.
There are so many small similarities too. For example, while the rest of the world calls them remotes the six of us call it a controller (because it controls the TV! Duh!). It’s not just the common likes and dislikes either. It’s the way we interact and talk and what we find funny.
The instant we sat down to watch Harry Potter it was an instant mix. Our dynamics complement each other. There isn’t an iota of awkwardness between us. (Even today when I admitted to hating the idea of their arrival. Going so far as to explain, in detail, just how much I didn’t want them to come.)
Perhaps it’s genetics. Perhaps it’s the similarities between Mom and Cousin W themselves. Who knows. We probably never will. (I mean scientists still can’t agree on Nature VS. Nurture – who am I to act as judge and jury on the matter.)
All I know for sure is the similarities went a long way in dispelling the awkward, distant family, reunion. The tension and stress of having strange people in my home, evaporated and it seems like we’ve known each other for awhile. There’s a certain familiarity in it all. I see Sister, Mom and I in them. Not to mention the abundance of laughter and surprise we experienced every time there was a new revelation pertaining to just how similar we were.
Two families separated by two provinces, bound by genetics. We should be different. But I’m glad we aren’t.Word Of The Day: Tautology - saying the same thing twice in different words.