I spent some time with my sister Kristen over the holiday.
My sister and I are wired differently. Very differently.
She is orderly.
I am haphazard.
She likes to have a plan.
I go with the flow.
She follows through on her plans.
I plan to follow through…
She is twelve years younger than I am and it took us a while to get to a time in our lives where we could be friends. When she was little and I was a teenager I was often the baby sitter. Sometimes I was a good babysitter and we would play charades, eat ice cream and watch movies. Other times I was a bad baby sitter and I would pin her down on the floor and tell her to go ahead and try to hit me.
I went off to college while she was just starting grade school. I had three children before she was even married. Our life paths were pretty far apart. Eventually it all evened out and I would say today that she is my best friend.
If we weren’t related I’m not sure we would get along.
As an example of how different we are let me share a couple stories.
When I need to make a list at home I use the back of an envelope, the corner of a magazine, sometimes a check. Basically whatever is handy. Sometimes I have a notepad at hand but most times not.
When my sister needs to make a list she uses a pad of paper that is labeled across the top with the current month. And she only uses January in January, February in February, etc. She has them stacked, in order, in a cupboard above where she keeps her pens. (You would think being such an avid list keeper that she would use a shopping list when she goes to the grocer but she does not and yet I do…)
See, we are just different. It baffles me that she could be so organized. I try to do these things but my mind just does not think like that. I can use my calendar for a week or two but eventually my organization falls by the wayside. Someone once told me that at some point in my life my disorganization saved me from a traumatic experience and that is why I cannot be organized. Basically that, instinctively, being organized makes me feel unsafe. I’ve been looking for a reason for a long time…I’m gonna go with this one.
We were all sitting around the table trying to figure out if we were going to cook on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving or go out. There was a little bit of wine being consumed so keep that in mind.
Kristen needs to know what is going on. Andrew and Bob are busy cultivating their
bromance newfound friendship by talking more sports. Andrew contributed to the decision by agreeing with whatever Kristen said and Bob said he agrees with Andrew. I am not a decision maker and would have been perfectly happy not knowing the plan at all…decision making is not my strong point. I am a Libra, we like to make everyone happy and can see how both options would be equally grand.
It’s been thirty minutes and we have discussed both options briefly, talked about FSU football, confirmed what food we are eating for Thanksgiving and suggested three or four restaurants we could go to if we decide to go out. We have also covered how Andrew would be cooking the steaks if we were going to stay in.
Bob keeps saying how much he likes steak, unless we are talking about a seafood restaurant in which case he says he likes fish too…making it easy for whoever makes the final decision. Andrew thinks Bob is great for being so cooperative. My sister continues to bring us all back around to our choices so that she can know the plan.
It’s now been an hour, we continue to talk about FSU football, we have covered the sleeping arrangements for Bob and I, Bob has been trying to show Kristen how to be a cat whisperer, we have chosen which restaurant we will go to and we have figured out that Andrew will marinate the steaks in a secret sauce prior to grilling. We have learned that Bob loves steak but is not a griller, I have confessed that I too struggle in the grilling department, my mom has explained how the Food Network tells you to cook a steak.
My sister stands up and says “What are we doing? I just need to know if we are going out or staying in.”
I think at this point we got out a piece of paper (which has ‘November’ printed at the top) and we were doing an hourly itinerary which Andrew thought was hysterical and my sister did not.
We think we want to go to Bonefish if we go out because the Bang Bang shrimp is good, my mom says she is making Bob and I Bang Bang Shrimp when we go to her house for dinner. Bob says he likes Bang Bang Shrimp and Andrew is trying to come up with a joke for Bang Bang. My sister suggests Mystic Fish is a better option as we don’t have Mystic Fish in Illinois and they know the owner and that they have the most amazing Hogfish dish ever. Bob is making a joke about Hogfish, Andrew says not to distract him, he’s almost got the itinerary done, I have never heard of ‘Hawkfish’ and can’t figure out why Bob wants to make a joke about it.
After about an hour we are all leaning towards staying in and having steaks but no final determination has been made. Bob is excited because he is a T-rex and loves a good steak. I am trying to use the cat whisperer technique on Cookie the cat, to no avail. Andrew is thinking there should be an itinerary app. My sister is trying to uncork a second bottle of wine while mumbling about just needing to know if we are going out or staying in and also that she knows right where to put Andrews itinerary. Bob thinks Andrew is a riot and they are now comparing Iphone apps and Bob explains to Andrew that the reason his battery is draining so quickly is because he has 51 apps open. Andrew compliments Bob on being so tech savvy, Bob likes Andrew even more.
My sister now has her head in her hands and is shaking it back and forth and looks at us all and says “I just need to know the plan.”
We all say in unison that we are staying in and having steak. Everyone is so happy to have finally come to a conclusion.
At which point she says it would really be easier for her if we went out.