I am the oldest of three sisters. I am nearly two years older than Kathy and nearly 5 years older than Julie. Growing up, we were very close because we had no choice. We shared one bathroom with an unlocking door. We each had our own bedroom, but they were within 8 feet of each other. I like to think we were fairly typical sisters. We shared reluctantly, played together often, fought occasionally.
It seems as if Julie and Kathy were always the closest pair of the three of us. When I turned 13, I distinctly remember finding them in Kathy’s room playing Barbies. I asked if I could join them. They told me I was a teenager now and therefore too old to play Barbies. And, that’s when things changed. I moved out at 18, our parents divorced, my sisters grew closer still. I got married at 27 while my sisters stayed single and hung out together. They’ve had more mutual experiences and spent much more time together. They simply have more in common. Even though I’m not on the inside of their bond, I like to think that we’re all close. Despite occasional hiccups and disagreements, we’ve remained good friends.
Currently, due to some extenuating circumstances, Julie is living with Kathy in her townhouse. Tonight Kathy called to talk to the boys. When she was done talking to them, I got on the phone with her. For a while she put me on speakerphone so I could talk to the both of them. Then, she took me off speakerphone and let me talk to Julie. I talked to Julie for a while and then realized slowly that I was talking to Kathy again. I thought it was a bit odd, but at the same time I know that through our lives we’ve often passed the phone back and forth and shared conversations when one of us has needed to take another call or let the dog out or whatever. Kathy and I talked a bit more and I realized now I was talking to Julie again. I paused. I heard some giggles. It sunk in. Oh holy hell.
“Seriously? Are you kidding me?” I was annoyed.
They were cracking up on the other end of the line. So pleased to have pulled one over on their older sister. Nothing funnier than an inside joke.
“Are you 12?” I sputtered in my frustration.
They continued laughing.
“I knew you two living together would cause me trouble somehow. I’m hanging up on you now.” And I did.
Funny how even 30 years later I am still on the outside of their game. I’d like to be angry about it or hurt, but I’m not. Truth is that I did (deep down) think it was a little funny. And, I’m clever enough to know that their little inside joke would be nothing if I wasn’t the big fat butt of it. It’s nice to be included.