Sunday, November 16, 2008

Oh, Mandy

Today is my Dad's birthday. He is 107 years old. It is also my sister Mandy's birthday, which I think she did on purpose, so she can always have one up on me. My birthday may be close to Mom's, but she went the extra mile and actually shares Dad's. And she wonders why I had to cross out the word "Mandy" on my parents Barry Manilow's Greatest Hits 8 track and write in "Libby." Just imagine what a hit it would have been if that were the title. They probably would have made it the national anthem.

My sister and I actually get along very well. When I tell that to people who knew us growing up they are always amazed, because they always assumed we would kill each other. Or at least that Mandy would kill me, but only because I had provoked her. God, how I provoked her. Growing up with someone you learn all of their buttons, and I used to push all of hers. I would steal the things she loved, and if she really loved them, I would break them. Anything she liked, I instantly hated. I didn't listen to the Cure until I was in my 20's because Mandy liked them. I made fun of her relentlessly. Her hair, her clothes, her patterns of speech; all of them were targets. I remember once she decided to start spelling her middle name -- which is Jane -- Jahyne. I don't think I let that die for years. Actually, I might start teasing her about that again.

Mandy responded to my teasing by beating the shit out of me. She hit me, she kicked me, she threw glitter glue at me, and, in one memorable incident, tossed various kitchen implements at me. There was a knife on the counter, which my friend Emily moved before she could reach it, and for that I thank her forever. I used to always feel victorious when Mandy hit me though, because I knew I could get her in trouble. Yes, I was a devious little shit.

What is weird is that while I teased Mandy, and saw her as my nemesis, I tried to emulate her as well. I remember how badly I wanted to be able to wear black, and eyeliner, and make my hair really big. Also, I wanted to be able to dance. Mandy was a club queen. She looked good moving on the floor. I looked like I was having a seizure. So, I went the complete opposite way from Mandy, so people wouldn't think I was trying to copy her, and failing miserably. I became a granola, and then a grunge kid, and finally my frumpy self. She still looks good. I was recently describing how I wished I dressed, and realized I was describing the way Mandy dresses every day. Damn her.

I don't know if age and wisdom is what finally made Mandy and I try to stop killing each other, or if it is because of Luke. After all, that kid is one of my prime reasons for living. Anyone who created something so wonderful can't be that bad. That isn't to say that we don't still have out moments. Both of us can be pretty bitchy when need be. We have risen above the scratching and hitting though, which is probably good because Mandy is much stronger, and I bruise like a peach.

So, Happy Birthday Mandy. Believe it or not, I am glad you are my sister, and I love you. And no, I didn't say that because Mom made me.


Emily-Ione said...

But you'd have been so much fun at the clubs!!! All we really did was drink and make fun of people. You'd have excelled at that!
And yes your sister Rocks!

an ordinary Saffa girl said...

Is your dad really 107!!!???? ;)

'So, Happy Birthday Mandy. Believe it or not, I am glad you are my sister, and I love you. And no, I didn't say that because Mom made me.'... I LOVE this statement... so true! I have to say I also have a love/jealous relationship with my own sis at times... but atthe end of the day we love each other madly.

Amanda said...

Thanks Libby - I like that you are my sister too.
Thank you for the wonderful entry - although I am still a bit miffed that you crossed out Mandy on Mom & Dad's 8-track.