I’ve written about my younger sister before, but I heard something on the radio that made me think about her today, and I wanted to share it with all of you.
Did you know that Sugar Ray, Everclear, Lit, Marcy Playground, and the Gin Blossoms are going on tour together this summer to play their greatest hits? It’s like 90s pop/rock heaven. Admittedly, I was more into Pearl Jam and Live, but I guarantee you I could sing the lyrics to every song at this concert. Which is the point. The only problem is, there’s only one other person I would want to reminisce about high school and sing “Someday” at the top of my lungs with. And that’s my sister.
Actually, I have four sisters. Three of them are much older than me. (And when I say “much older,” I mean it. I’m talking 12, 15, and 19 years older.) Zappa (as I’m now calling her here) is not quite two years younger. When we were kids, my mom would dress us alike, do our hair alike. When we were sitting down, people often mistook us for twins. (Then we stood up, and I was a foot taller than she was.)
In high school, she was popular; I was not. We roamed the halls of our school in different circles, but at home, we were best friends. And we still are.
After hearing about this concert, I fantasized that the two of us could meet (sort of) in the middle, stay in a cheap motel, and get our 90s rock on. It would be just the two of us, which is rare these days. It would be amazing. We would remember out loud how we had sung “Sex and Candy” in our bedroom (with the door closed so the parental units wouldn’t overhear–it was so risqué). And about how “Hey, Jealousy” will always be about one particular boy I knew in high school and beyond. And I would do my damnedest not to talk about anything infertility related.
The thing is, even my sister doesn’t understand what I’m going through now. She doesn’t understand that my husband has a medical condition and that no amount of “fun” sex is going to change that. She doesn’t understand why it’s so difficult for me to be around pregnant women. She actually said to me once, “You shouldn’t have to hide from pregnant women. That’s just sad.” Yes, it is sad. And I shouldn’t have to do it, but I do. To protect my heart and my sanity. And it hurts me that she can’t understand that.
I could list a hundred reasons why infertility sucks. (Perhaps another time.) One of them is that it changes your relationships. Some for better, others not so much. I’m not saying that I now have a bad relationship with my sister. It’s just that when she helpfully asks if we’ve considered having a lot of sex and seeing what happens, I feel the wall of infertility come up between us.
It makes me long for the carefree days of our youth. It makes high school seem not so bad.
We have this tradition. Every year we watch White Christmas together. Last Christmas, my 9-year-old niece stuck around and actually showed some interest in the movie. Zappa told her about how when she was younger, she wanted to be able to dance, just like Judy. I told her how I always preferred Betty, and that curvy girls were cool. We sang along with all the songs, especially this one:
Now I have a whole sorority of sisters. As a sorority, it’s the worst. Initiation sucks, and no one wants to live in this sorority house. But I finally have sisters who understand how I can be so crazy and sad and depressed and hopeful and jealous and miserable all at the same time. Because they’ve been there, too.