Saturday, February 20, 2010

...I Want You to Know that It Wasn't All Bad...

I have recently come into the knowledge that my sister Cassie feels like she gets slapped around on this blog a lot. I don’t think that’s true, but it’s hard to dispute feelings because well, they’re feelings. And no matter where they come from, be it the truth or be it interpretation, they are very real and they should be respected. And so I respect that.

At no time was it ever my intention to imply, suggest or otherwise propose that Cassie was a bad sister or a bad person.

She has always been my best friend, taken good care of me, and been a major positive influence in my life. And even if I find her somewhat misguided these days, I still think she’s a good person and I still care very much. Whatever conflicts there are between us now it doesn’t take away from all of the experiences we’ve had in life together and the warmth that I feel when I remember those things.

I can very clearly remember sitting on the back of the sofa in the living room  around the age of 5 with my 11-year-old sister teaching me how to tell time because she knew I was getting a watch for Christmas. I remember using that same teaching method with a classmate in school. And I remember her comforting me when I lost the watch down a public toilet and got in some pretty severe trouble over it. (To this day no one else believed that it really did just fall off my arm.)

I also remember learning math from her through a game she created using Monopoly and Pay Day money and our huge stuffed animal collection.

And I remember sitting among the stuffed animals playing “school” with her, learning real school lessons. Whatever she learned, I learned. And since she was so smart, so was I. Around middle school I started to run into her former teachers. I can’t begin to tell you their excitement at realizing Cassie’s little sister was going to be in their class. One teacher spent the entire school year calling me “Cassie’s sister.” (I wish I was joking about that.)

If I made it seem like my sister never looked out for me, I didn’t mean to do that. She saved me from a savage panther once. Okay, it was really a very large, dirty, angry alley cat, but that point was I couldn’t outrun it, and she picked me up and carried me to safety. And our cousin threw a hula-hoop at it, but I probably would have been ripped to shreds that day if it weren’t for her. It’s funny now, but it was pretty serious at the time. No wait, it was funny then, too.

I could go on…

  • Taking me shopping and helping me get ready for junior prom (and being supportive when I ended up not going to senior prom because of an idiot boyfriend)
  • Doing my hair and makeup, and styling the outfits for my senior pictures. (And yes, I looked absolutely awesome in my pictures)
  • Taking me door to door to sell Girl Scout cookies, and then helping me become the Cookie Queen when she sold so many boxes at school, it took her a week to deliver them all. (That was a real family effort – I got up to close to 1,000 boxes sold. I am the Champion, my friend)
  • Secretly shopping for a puppy with me and successfully tricking my parents into letting him stay (until he chewed up that lamp cord.)
And still one of the funniest and best memories is being tossed over the fence in the winter time to take out the garbage. Our house actually had a white picket fence around it, but in the deep snow of a Michigan winter, it was impossible to open to get to the dumpster in the back alley. So she’d toss me over, toss over the bags and then run away while I was putting the bags in the dumpster. I don’t know why it was so hilariously funny every time, but dangit, it was. I’m laughing now.

And man, the year my dad got a camcorder for Christmas! He knocked on her door and told us girls we should make some videos for him to watch later. We stayed up all night making music videos. Changing hair and outfits and songs. (Salt n Pepa? L'Trimm? JJ Fad? Whatever, yo! They didn't have nothing on us!)

And wow, years of “Dance Fever” and “The Scene” (Detroit’s version of Soul Train) certainly made an impression. She choreographed some pretty intricate dance routines and put together some top notch shows. If the Oscars had hired her, they wouldn’t suck so much. I still remember the exhilaration of being tossed high in the air and caught by one arm and one leg spinning over her head. Yeah, we were that good. If our dad had been Matthew Knowles, we’d be famous right now.

The more I write, the more I remember. And it’s not that I ever really forgot but the strain between us lately has probably taken its toll more than I care to acknowledge.

I have always felt truly blessed to have my sister also be my best friend. Whatever happens next can’t really change what’s happened up until now. It might shift the perspective a little, but I am very big on dealing in reality.

And the reality is Cassie is a wonderful person and I love her very much.

Song that periodically pops up in my head, and probably Cassie's head, too :-D

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