Thursday, December 20, 2012

Rant #868: Early Birthday Wishes

Next week, I am going to be taking a few days off from writing this blog.

This Jewish guy is going to celebrate Christmas the right way, by not working, not doing much of anything, and that includes posting entries on this blog.

If much of the world can take off, why can't I?

So, since tomorrow will be my last Rant until a week from today, I thought I would send out an early birthday wish to someone near and dear to me.

It's to my sister, who will turn 53 (eek! I actually said it!) on December 26, better known as the first day of Kwaanza and Boxing Day.

When I came along in 1957, some people actually wondered why my mother would have another child. She tells a story that someone approached her in a store way back when, viewed how bad I was, saw how pregnant my mother was, and asked her, "After having a horrible kid like this, why are you having another one?"

Yes, that actually happened.

I was Dennis the Menace on steroids, but my parents wanted at least one more child. I think they figured if they got another boy, they would try for a girl.

If they got a girl, closed shop, if you know what I mean.

Well, they got a girl, and a wonderful tax write-off at the end of 1959.

But they got much more than that.

They got a little piece of sugar that my mother could dote on, someone she could dress in nice outfits, someone who she could doll up her hair, and most importantly, someone who would settle me down.

When my sister was born, my mother has told me countless times that she sat me down and said I had to be a big brother to this little person, and that I was. According to her, my sister was just the antidote I needed to tone down my act, and I did.

We were very close growing up, figuratively as well as literally. From the time she was born until 1971, when I was 14 and my sister was on her way to being 12, we shared a room. She had her side, I had mine.

Most of the time, the room was separated with an actual divider, and it was clear what side of the room was mine, and what side was hers. On my side were my comic books, pictures of Yankees and Knicks all over the wall, bats and balls and gloves all over the place, and, well, it looked like a boy's room.

My sister's side was certainly more feminine. She had up all her girly stuff, including pictures of David Cassidy all over the place. She had her dolls and all of her girly games.

As we grew up, we had our friends, but we sometimes played together.

I can remember that I played dolls and the Mystery Date board game with her countless times on days when we weren't otherwise occupied. Yes, I got the schlub many, many times. My sister knew better about such things.

Oh, it wasn't all fine and dandy with us. Sometimes we didn't get along, sometimes we did.

When we lived in Rochdale Village, Queens, I remember standing behind her drapes on many occasions as she climbed in the bed to go to sleep, and scaring the heck out of her.

She had countless friends as I did, and she kind of liked all my friends. Her friends, pretty much from day one, I simply tolerated, but I think at some point, my friends came up to see her as much as they came into the house to see me.

We looked after each other, and at one point, she protected me in a fight that I had, and she earned the name "Super Sister."

As we got older, we kind of grew apart, and she got married way before I did, a marriage that still stands strong today. But we always had that sense that she was there for me and I was there for her.

I eventually married, and I had the first grandchild, by just nine days. Her first son was born right after my daughter.

That must have been a super hectic time for our parents. Two new grandchildren in nine days, almost like having twins, I guess.

I got divorced, her marriage sustained, and she has three boys. "Her Three Sons," if you will.

She was there during my tumultuous times, and I have been there through hers.

And she was there when I remarried, and she was there when I had another child.

As we both move through our 50s, she is still there.

The thing with the two of us is that we each haven't changed that much over the years.

Sure, we are older, and have been through many travails, but deep down, I am still her big brother and she is still my little sister.

I guess it will be that way until the end of our time on this earth.

So here's to you, Gail, on your upcoming birthday. You have been one of the most important people in my life for the past 53 years, and I am sure that will continue for years to come.

Congratulations, little sister. And I hope you aren't upset that I told everyone how old you are, are you?

I guess that's a little jab that a big brother has every right to make.


Love you.

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