A few Christmases ago, my dad was fixing a bike. This awesome, black, shiny, racing bike, with a light weight frame, and those creepy tiny pedals that you have to put your foot on just right to ride.
You would feel JUST LIKE Lance Armstrong on this bike. Except, no cancer, or yellow jersey.
He asked me if I would test it out, ride around the neighborhood with him and this new member of our biking family. HELL YES, I will. We ride around a little bit, and I feel like Speedy Gonzales, if he weren’t a mouse, and could ride a bike.
“What do you think?” Dad asks me, when we stop at a corner to take a breather.
“It’s nice,” I say. “It’s awesome. Seat’s a little low, though.”
“Oh yeah,” Dad responds. “It’ll be perfect for your sister.”
My poor heart. But this is my life. I, as the younger sibling, was the curse of the hand-me-down.
If you are the youngest sibling, or a middle sibling, or anywhere in the line up that isn’t the first born, you know this feeling. You know what it’s like to get to school and have a teacher that’s had your sibling and introduces you to the class as “Another [last name] child,” or “Mini VS,” or even better, starts your high school career with the phrase, “I hope you’re as smart as your sister is.”
You know what’s it like to have to correct people on your name, when they call you by your sibling’s, or flat-out forget yours. You know the feeling of driving a car that may or may not have battle wounds because your older sibling freaking turned 16 first.
I am a prime example of the hand-me-down.
I wore VS’s clothes when she outgrew them. I got her old shoes. At one point, I remember ripping her old notes out of notebooks before using them as my own in high school (this may have been partly my fault because I did not get enough notebooks when we went school shopping. It may also be my parents’ fault because they neglected to take us school shopping until after school started.). My first car was her first car before it was my first car. And of course…there were the bicycles.
“I was so upset when I found out that was going to be your bike,” I tell VS on the phone. “But it’s okay, because if you think about it, every time you got a new bike, I got a new bike too!”
VS cracks up. “And here’s your new bike, L.A.! Behind curtain number two is….VS’s OLD BIKE!!!”
Now we both laugh.
As time has passed, I’ve accepted the hand-me-down curse because it really is a family thing. Other things get passed down too, that make it more bearable. Like if VS broke a rule when she was 17, by the time I got to be 17 and broke that same rule, it wasn’t a big deal anymore. Or if VS and I go out now…the bill gets passed up, instead of handed down (she makes more money than me, and she offers!).
Plus, since she is still in possession of that bike that was never mine, and resides in a different state, that bike could not be handed down. Which means, I got my very own shiny new bicycle.
Which is shinier than VS’s.
By the way. If you’re disgruntled about the hand-me-down law, don’t be. It could be worse.
That first car of mine, which was the first car of VS’s? By the time VS had it, it was 8 years old. By the time I drove it, it was 12 years old.
Then I got pregnant.
L.A.’s Mom: We need to get you a new car.
L.A.(extremely excited): I get a new car?!
L.A.’s Mom: Yours isn’t safe.
L.A.: I’ve been driving it for the past year.
L.A.’s Mom: Oh, well, it’s safe for you. But not for the baby.
Well, the month is winding down, kids. It’s been exciting. You’ve been reading [and not commenting a lot, but I won’t judge] and I love you all for that. Has 2k12 been good to you so far? Yes? Well, get ready to get bumblefucked if it has.
In seventeen days, the hallmark gods take over. They send flowers that I’m possibly allergic to, and chocolate that I’ll probably get zits from, and cards that will give me papercuts.
Yes, kids. It’s time for Valentine’s Day.
My goal for the holiday? Survive. Actually, my goal is this:
NeighborGirl and I entered the contest with a great speech about how the only red we want to see is blood on the ice. It’s touching how much I love hockey.
Now, in case this epic matching making game of hockey proportions doesn’t work out, and I end up spending Valentine’s day with a bottle of chocolate w[h]ine, or if YOU end up spending Valentine’s day with said bottle of chocolate wine, I have a cure.
Dating Woes of the VS.
Who loves my sister? Besides me, of course. Well, you will, after this.
“This man,” VS tells me. “He was just so depressing. He was full of sadness. I don’t want to date him anymore because he just makes you feel terrible. He radiates sadness.”
“That’s so sad,” I say. “Why did you date him in the first place?”
“His online profile didn’t seem so sad.” She shrugs. “In fact, nowhere in his profile did it say that he was Droopy.”
“I hate those guys. You know, the ones that just have to control everything?”
“Alpha males?” I guess.
“Exactly. He ordered my food for me. As if I wasn’t capable of doing so.” She’s scoffing at the memory.
“Did he know what you wanted?” I ask. “Oh, no, did he order you meat?” *VS is a vegetarian.
“No, but that’s not the point. I can order for myself. I know how to order food.”
She does, in fact, know how to order food.
“Later, he kissed me, and he grabbed the back of my neck.” VS sounds horrified at the memory. “It was like he was saying he was going to kiss me now and I didn’t have a choice.”
“I didn’t think he was so old.” VS ponders over her initial reaction to the man. “He didn’t act old at all. He’s at the same place in life that I am.”
“How old did you think he was?” I ask.
“Maybe his early 30s?” VS guesses. She’s 26, by the way.
“How old is he really?”
“Well, you know how there are like stages of life that you go through? I feel like at my age, this is what you should be doing. Grad school, good job, something like that. So I just figured that’s where he was at.”
“He’s your age?” I’m confused now.
“But you said he was at your stage of life.”
She sighs. “It’s like he just took some time off, then came back to life, and got back to it.”
“He’s like Rip Van Winkle.”
“I hope you know,” I tell her. “That I will be blogging this. And after the part about Rip Van Winkle, there will be a picture of Wishbone as Rip Van Winkle.”
17 days, kids. As Queen puts it, “Can anybody find me somebody to love?”
Oh, and just in case you don’t find somebody:
“I’m going out with some girls for Valentine’s Day.” VS tells me.
“That’s always so depressing,” I lament.
“No, it’s empowering,” VS argues.
“Oh yes,” I say. “A toast to our empty vaginas!”
VS shrugs this off. “We’ll put chocolate in them.”
Happy Hunting, Valentines.
When my sister and I were growing up, we were basically two little bitches. We either REALLY loved each other, which involved exciting Barbie games and the like, or hated each other, which involved less exciting Barbie games where generally my Barbie would lose it’s head.
Then we grew older, and learned to appreciate each other. This is pretty easy when there’s ten hours of distance between you, and an Asian mother who just tends to say really funny shit. Plus, we realized the world balanced out between the two of us. For example, I was street smart, and she was book smart. I could solve Sudoku like no other, and she got her SAT results in the mail saying “CONGRATULATIONS, EVERYONE ELSE IS FUCKING DUMB.”
Her street smarts lead to a number of hilarious moments throughout my life. I now bring you:
Stories that wouldn’t have happened if my parents hadn’t had a huge surprise in 1985.
The year is 2003. VS has just graduated from high school. We’re at Target with her best friend and we’re shopping for her new dorm room.
“Oh, crap.” VS tells us as we heave and ho a giant mini fridge into the cart. “I forgot my wallet in the car! How am I going to pay for my stuff?”
Her best friend and I exchange a look where we wonder how she ever got into college, then remember her near perfect ACT scores.
“VS,” the best friend says. “Why don’t you go out to the car and get your wallet?”
The lightbulb goes off. VS heads for the door.
Cue alarms and bells and whistles. Her best friend and I practically pee our pants laughing while VS looks at us with this innocent “WTF did I do” look.
Last Winter. VS is home for Christmas. We’re driving to meet some other Asians for drinks. We get to the bar and the best parking spot available involves parallel action.
“I suck at parallel parking.” I tell her. “How do you feel about walking to the bar from a non parallel location?”
“Fuck that shit.” VS tells me. “I can parallel like a pro.”
So we switch places and she does some manuvers with the steering wheel while I try and fail to put eyeliner on.
“Done.” She puts the car into park.
We get out.
“VS,” I tell her. “HALF my car is on the curb.”
“Yes,” she responds. “But ALL of it is in the parking spot.”
That brings us to the reason of this post.
- Yesterday was VS’s big 26th birthday. I dedicate this post of love to her. If anyone wants to send her some blessings or money or artistic opportunities, I’m sure she’d appreciate it.
- The most recent story of “Why my big sister kicks ass and should write a book about it”
VS is at work with her co-worker, who has one of those ridiculously long and hard to spell hyphenated names. The co-worker wants to set up VS on a date.
VS debates over this for awhile. She decides that she will e-mail co-worker about the set up.
“Dear Impossibly long named co-worker,
I’ve decided you may set me up with your friend. However, he must be good in bed.
However, when she goes to send this e-mail, she can’t remember how to spell the really long name, which conveniently is the co-worker’s email address.
Quick thinking has VS finding the co-worker’s name on an office e-mail.
Yeah. She sent it to the WHOLE OFFICE.
I love you, big sis.
Happy Belated Birthday.
- Deconstructing Barbie (holykaw.alltop.com)
- Where is all that intelligence? . . . A back-to-school post (rebekahbowen.wordpress.com)