October 19, 2005

Fast Times at SS "High"

I don’t write very much about my “special” sister; mostly because a beast, uglier than you might care to imagine, would surely emerge from its seething pit beneath my aged skin. On occasion, however, I feel as though I must release this monster in little spits, to prevent certain implosion. The monster lives in the form of wretched childhood memories, and mostly, I prefer to write about the brighter ones ~ those that bring good cheer and cozy feelings.

I’ll continue to refer to this sister as “special” in many of my writings, but for now, let’s just call her (and appropriately so) “SS.” It can stand for Special Sister, or anything else that comes to mind.

The SS and I were closest in age of all the sisters. When we were very little girls, we’d play outdoor games together, splash around in our pool together and share our toys on the living room floor on rainy or snowy days. We also shared many friends, but I learned rather early - when it was time for just the older kids to hang out together, go to a concert, or talk about older-kid stuff. Little siblings were not welcome to be in on such events, and yes, I was the little sister.

Little sisters, I’m sure can be real pests sometimes; especially when mom instructs older sister to drag the young one around and keep an eye on her. Of course, this wasn’t my idea of fun either … I knew what I was in for … but back then, you did what mom told you to do and there were no negotiations. There wasn’t any of this “time out” stuff back in the day. Instead, we had “time to kick your ass from one end of the house to the other.” *

On many, many occasions throughout our childhood, my sister saw fit to make an utter shambles of my life – I’m sure, as punishment for my very existence. She was clever with her schemes, and in many cases she waited years to exact revenge.

One such example of a perfect SS payback was as follows:

After having worked a long and trying nine hour shift at my answering service job, I drove home in the pouring rain around eleven at night, looking very much forward to a hot bath and my cozy bed. As I walked into my apartment, the phone was ringing and I ran to answer it. It was the SS.

SS: Hey, what are you doing?
Hag: I just got in from work. Why?
SS: Look, you HAVE to come over. Tony is on his way over here and he’s bringing his friend. I PROMISED him I’d invite you so his friend wouldn’t feel like a third wheel.
Hag: (thinking “oh cripes”) But it’s late already… I have to work again tomorrow. I don’t want to drive clear across the Island just to entertain some guy I don’t even know so you can see your waste-of-life boyfriend.
SS: (offering no argument about the boyfriend) Come on. It’s not that late. Just stay for an hour or so. Just come as you are… you’re going to love this guy – he is really, really good looking, and smart, and he’s a musician in a great band.
Hag: (thinking, “She's lying but how bad can it be?”) Okay but I will not stay for more than an hour. And DON’T leave me sitting there with this stranger and go off somewhere with Tony.

Now I wasn’t far off the mark with that last statement. The SS was famous for this type of thing. I cannot begin to tell you how many times I got roped into babysitting her daughter while she took off for half a day with some loser.

So against my better judgment, I showered quickly, threw on some face (make-up) and went back out into the driving rain. When I got to the SS’s apartment, it was already after midnight and I was completely exhausted.

I walked into the house, up the stairs and knocked on her door. When she opened it, a huge plume of smoke circled around her as she stood to the side letting me in. I took one breath and was stoned off my ass already; there was enough pot in the air that I’ll bet the old lady next door had the munchies. Mind you, this wasn’t my thing … but it was very much the SS’s.

Her living room screamed with the sound of the Rolling Stones, and as if the leftover pot wasn’t enough to dull my senses, there was a heavy stench of incense wafting through the hallway (HAH! Probably patchouli – knowing her).

“They’re in the kitchen … WAIT till you meet this guy – what a hot ticket” she slurred into my ear, "Oh, and at least undo your top button." Looking up to god, I said, "It doesn't undo... it's sewed on that way." And I should have turned around right then, right there - but did not.

We walked through the living room and down the hall and I spotted Tony sitting in a chair at the head of the table. There was another figure standing with his back to us near the sink. This is very similar to what I saw as he turned to say hello:

Okay, this is Ozzy (who I happen to adore). But you get my drift.

This guy was wearing black leather pants so tight that I could see everything he owned in one quick glance. Below the pants were high heeled platform shoes. He had more bracelets on his wrists than I had in my jewelry box back home. His hair was bottle black, and so were his fingernails. His lipstick was perfectly drawn; that black too. And what could be worse than all that? I already knew the guy, and I never liked the guy.

We had gone to high school together a few years earlier, and let’s just say we did not hang in the same circles.

After being introduced, the SS, true to form, took Tony by the hand and announced that they would be “putting on more music” in the living room. Off they went. Bitch. I sat down thinking a mile a minute just how I could escape this hellish nightmare. The Ozzy-wannabe took a seat as well.

I tried hard to make conversation about how I remembered him in high school, but judging from his responses, I don’t think he even recalled having BEEN to high school … this was going nowhere – fast.

After a dreadful silence – he looked me dead in the eye, flipped his long hair behind one shoulder and said “Soooo ya wanna like - get together or somethin?”
I looked straight back at him and without skipping a beat, said “Ya know what? I left my cigarettes in the car, I’ll be right back.” I was a non-smoker then.

I walked through the den of iniquity that was the black-lit hallway and living room, making paths in the low lying putrid smoke, completely ignored the SS sitting Indian-style on the floor in front of the stereo, and escaped this night from hell as I slammed the door behind me.

I never ran so fast to my car as I did that night. I drove straight home without blinking. The only reason I stopped for red lights was because had I gotten pulled over, no one would ever believe (with the pungent smell stuck to my hair and clothing) that I wasn’t higher than a kite.

I did two things before getting between the sheets that night ~ I unplugged my phone and I wrote in my diary; I was afraid that one day, I might forget this awful experience. Thirty years later, and as it turns out, I’m still trying to.

Thank you SS.

*We never actually got hit in our house. Well, I can’t say never, but it was only on the rarest of occasions, and only a swat on the backside by mom. Mostly, it was enough to just give us the evil stare of death, followed by loud tones and the obligatory “Wait till your father comes home.” Of course, that only meant more evil stares and his reaching for the belt buckle. If you got “the reach” you beat tracks to your room as though it would be the last run of your life.


Blogger sands of time said...

Poor you.The post made me smile though.
Im the oldest and i made my younger brother do terrible things.The thing is though that i cant remember but he does.

12:03 PM  
Blogger Bekah said...

You're such a wonderful writer that I can even enjoy reading about the crappy stories of your life.

12:29 PM  
Blogger happyandblue2 said...

Ha,ha. I lucked out. My older sister was no where near as devious as I was. And she never tried to share her "friends" with me either, tee,hee..

1:46 PM  
Blogger Swifty said...

Beautifully written. Just as I begin to think you've got sloppy and you're running on automatic, you do something like this. You really nailed the smokey party atmosphere, especially with "...making paths in the low lying putrid smoke..". That's class in my book.

I've no doubt SS pulled some rotten stunts over the years, but this one, although not relished by you, is par for the course and is probably standard fare in the "How To Get The Most Out Of Your Younger Sister" Manual. But I doubt if it would get an entry in that classic title, "The Book of Shitty Sibling Stunts".

It's a trivial observation, but if she really was such an arsehole of a sister, then perhpaps your reference to her as SS is more appropriate than you might imagine, as this was the shortened form of "Schutzstaffel", the special police force in Nazi Germany, founded as a personal bodyguard for Adolf Hitler. These are the guys who administered the concentration camps. I thought I'd mention it.

2:13 PM  
Blogger Lightning Bug's Butt said...

Still, you probably should have hooked up with him, if only for the pot.

3:21 PM  
Blogger Grant said...

I was the youngest, and when the family halves got together they always forced my older siblings to take me along. They resented that, and since they couldn't punish our parents they took it out on me. Parents never seem to remember that part of growing up so each generation repeats the last one's mistakes.

3:22 PM  
Blogger annush said...

Thank God I don't have sisters...thank god I am the oldest...thank god I actually like my brothers :)

3:35 PM  
Blogger Jim said...

Weary Hag-

I discovered you at madcapmum's place and I love your writing.

But don't poke a toothpick through your earlobe unless you numb it first with ice (the earlobe I mean, not the toothpick).


4:14 PM  
Blogger madcapmum said...

Oh families, happy happy families!

I take it you live half a world away now?

5:37 PM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

weren't Hitler's guards called SS?

8:42 PM  
Blogger CarpeDM said...

Oh, dear. Wow. What a sexpot he sounded like. I apologize right now for giggling madly. Okay, no I don't. Great story, Carol!

I'm the oldest, the second to the youngest or the middle child, depending on how you look it (Dad was married 3 times, had 7 children with his 2nd wife, 2 with my Mom, Mom had a son that she gave up for adoption 7 years before I was born). My little sister was actually the one that called the shots (she could beat me up) and got me in trouble all the time.

Ah, family.

10:04 PM  
Blogger Michelle said...

Carol, thanks so much for putting a smile on my face. You are such a talented writer, i loved reading this post so much. I always look forward to your posts as i know they always provoke something inside me :o)

11:44 PM  
Blogger Swathi said...

i'm the youngest and know what u r talking 'bout
I do have a version of SS as my elder sis :)
but no incident was as bad as the one u recounted ...I had a good laugh though

2:42 AM  
Blogger dulciana said...

I was also thinking of the Nazi SS - good choice of label for her!

8:26 AM  
Blogger The Assimilated Negro said...

funny story.

you didn't hook up and smoke pot with ozzy? tsk, tsk, such a prude...

I don't see why you want to forget these stories, they provide texture. This story sounds like it would give a nice chuckle thirty years later.

but maybe not?

1:24 PM  
Blogger sidcruise said...

A good read, lot of crazy experience you have huh ! keep then rolling ....
it might be stressful during that time and now I bet you recall them they do bring smile on your face ;)

1:55 PM  
Blogger katie said...

Sometimes I feel as though I missed out by not having a sister. Then I read something like this, and I am kind of thankful! Great story, but did you exact revenge?

2:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am so sorry but this made me laugh, especially the picture of the "hot ticket."

4:33 PM  
Blogger kenju said...

You make me glad for once that I am an only child. I am sorry you had to go through that; how is your relationship with that sister now? Do you speak to her?

In ref. to your comment: the robe I got was not like this one. It was French blue sweatshirt material, with a zip front (my preference) and deep pockets. I do have one like the putrple one, but it is white terry. I love chenille too, and I have not been able to find a robe I like in chenille for a while.

I will post about the frog collection as soon as I have time to take photos of them all.

5:50 PM  
Anonymous John said...

Excellent read Weary. Truly it was a nite from Hell aye! The "i forgot my cigarettes" line was a great getaway plan... lol!!

6:30 PM  
Anonymous colleen said...

Love the play on words...SS. Well, at least you had the last one (word). Or not.

8:23 PM  
Blogger Dave Morris said...

Ah, to date a band member! I can't believe you passed up THAT opportunity. The cheating, the booze and pot, the road.

12:32 AM  
Anonymous Kathy AKA Ben said...

I needed a laugh today. Great story. It touched a spot in me that is still tender because, I must admit, as the oldest sister I was not always nice to my siblings. Once I had my own kids though, I made sure they all knew I was sorry. BTW, my husband's name is Ozzie. Really. And quess what our last name is?

12:49 AM  
Blogger the Monk said...

Ouch...must've hurt...i'm al elder sibling myself, and i guess i've been mean to my sister sometimes...well, i'll try not to do it again, i guess...great post...

6:15 AM  
Blogger dan said...

i haven't seen my sister for a couple of years. she could be dead for all i know.

i've tried to contact her to tell her about mum but she never answers the phone and i'm not going a couple of hundred miles so she can call me a bastard.

10:48 AM  
Blogger MYSTIC said...

Ah! for the good old days. Kind of makes you want to go back in time and kill somebody. I was a middle child. For the middle child, rules don't apply. The eldest torture you, and when you think that you have learned enough and it's your turn to pass on the fun and excitement to the youngest, Mom and Dad rush in to punish you for being so bad..Football rules apply: It is always the one who tries to defend himself that gets caught....Yellow Flag Flies...I have a collection of yellow flags tossed in my life...Great Story Carol..Brought back so many crappy memories...THANKS!!!

4:14 PM  
Blogger Lizabeth said...

I love the way you write, what a great story! Well not that it was a great experience to you, but it made for some fun reading!

Excuse me while I remove my black lipstick and nailpolish. Shoot, I thought that was cool...

5:39 PM  
Blogger Tabor said...

I didn't have a sister like SS. Good thing too, because I had enough of an inferiority complex when I was younger!

6:52 PM  
Blogger Carol (Smiles and Laughter) said...

Poor you! Sisters can be MEAN. Especially older ones. :)

The "belt reach". Oooohhh, I remember that! My dad never ever hit us but you would think he did by how fast we ran when he started to take his belt off. lol.

9:02 PM  
Blogger Nonsensical_Flounderings said...

Thoroughly enjoyed that post as I usually do.


9:07 PM  
Blogger lilly05 said...

MMMMM weed and cheetos, thanks for the flashback Carol! Chuckle. Great post as always! I finally updated btw! I know shocking isn't it? Thanks for the laugh and the memories!

5:43 AM  
Blogger Walker said...

Great story.
Siblings are a pain I have one for free if anyone wants. LOL
Reminds me of a woman I was introduced to. She had this whole poem tattooed on her chest and she thought I was cute. ARG.
I wasn't that stoned and I don't think I could get that stoned. as you I went to the washroom and flushed myself out of there.
Have a great weekend.

5:56 AM  
Blogger Green-Eyed Lady(GEL) said...

Terrifically told about a painful time... "Photographs and Memories...." You're braver than me to post this.

8:33 AM  
Blogger Floridacracker said...

Poor Ozzie, so addled these days.
Sounds like you got out of there just in time.

8:33 AM  
Blogger phoenix said...

I read this one earlier but since I was at work at the time I couldn't comment. I have to say thank goodness for quick thinking on your part! Next time trust your instincts!! :P

10:49 AM  
Anonymous Simply Coll said...

I am the oldest of three sisters and yes.. we had some rough times when we were young. But .. lucky for us.. time has healed.. I would be lost without my sisters.

You are an excellent writer.. I felt like I was there with you.

9:34 PM  
Blogger PBS said...

Wow, that was clear (and fast) thinking on your part!

I grew up with two brothers and used to wish for a sister. After your story and some from my friends (SLA keeps trying to give me one of her sisters!) maybe not...

9:20 AM  
Blogger frustratedwriter said...

the fact you didn't kill SS is a testament to your kindness. good story and yeah, siblings can be soooo fun, right?

6:25 PM  
Blogger Justine said...

Lucky for me I had no younger sister... but I AM one!

8:36 AM  
Blogger anumita said...

I am the youngest too, so I understand. But I hope you found ways to harrass SS. And Ozzy boy must have been heartbroken to find you gone! Excellent post as usual hag!!

9:51 AM  
Blogger Rob Seifert said...

I'm so pleased my dear sister is not special in the way that you've described. She certainly did quite a bit in her day to get me in trouble but at least it stopped when we reached adulthood. You still speak to this woman? Ick!


1:27 PM  
Blogger Puggyspice said...

Love your writing! Your love for dear SS really shines through! Okay, maybe not but you'd have to love her because you haven't killed her.

I don't know whether to cry (in sympathy for you) or jump for joy that I am an only child.

3:14 PM  
Blogger brooksba said...

Being an only child, I can't relate to sibling stories, but I can think of times when friends have asked for support and found myself looking at "guys" (quotes not because of masculinity but humanity) that I wanted nothing to do with. I'm sorry for the painful memory, but you've shared it beautifully.

3:55 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

oh dear. I hope you've managed to pay SS back in several different ways since then lol

And here's me thinking you were going to tell us, that's how you met your ex husband. I was horrified thinking your ex wore black lipstick etc. I know some people love that goth thing, but ugh. Was so relieved to read you'd scarpered outta there lol

5:09 PM  
Blogger Spinning Girl said...

Wow, what a story! Glad you got out of there.

9:33 AM  
Anonymous Guitar Master said...

I wish I could blog as good as you, but what I can do is give you a nice Guitar Lesson!

4:12 PM  

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