By Darlene G. Snyder
Me and Sis
“Stop it!” I screamed as I looked down at the blood streaming from the wounds on my arms. I began kicking franticly, she made me mad and I was determined she would not get in any more hits.
“Mama, make her stop kicking me,” she yelled as I grabbed a handful of hair and yanked.
“Girls, stop it right now!” mama hollered from the kitchen. “If you have enough energy to fight, you have energy enough to help me. Get in here – now!”
My sister and I were teenagers, fighting like children. This day, the fight was over my wearing her shoes. She hated it when I took them without asking. She always insisted I mistreated her shoes and scuffed them. I never admitted it, but she was right, I was hard on shoes.
Since our house wasn’t large enough for the four of us-my two brothers, my sister and I – to have a space of our own, the boys shared one room and we shared another. Our rooms were located upstairs in the old farmhouse.
Later that same day, after we retired to our rooms for the night, Paulene and I grabbed a book and sat with our backs up against the headboard on our full size bed. Both of us loved to read. Before long, her foot touched mine. This didn’t sit well with me so I kicked her. She reached over and slapped my arm. Another fight ensued.
“Stay on your side of the bed,” she barked at me.
“I am on my side. You are acting like a pig and hogging the whole bed,” I snapped back. “Keep your feet off me.”
We continued smacking at each other. I kicked and crawled my way to the end of the bed, stood up and was about to jump on top of her when suddenly; she kicked me with both of her feet. I went tumbling backwards onto the floor. I hit it with a thud and felt the room shake from the impact.
“Are, are you alright?” she giggled.
“Hey Darlene, are you ok? She asked I detected fear in her voice.
Motionless, I remained silent. I clamped my hands over my mouth, holding in the laughter trying to escape. I heard her moving in the bed. I knew she was crawling down the length of the bed to peep over at me. I continued to allow the silence to worry her, waiting for just the right moment.
“Aargh!!” I yelled as I jumped up and scared her. Laughing as I watched her fall backwards onto the bed.
“You crazy thing!” she laughed, “You scared me to death. I thought I had killed you.” We lay in bed and laughed until mama yelled up the stairs for us to be quiet.
She and I were not always fighting. We loved teaming up against our older brother. He was too serious about everything and nothing we did pleased him. Our favorite pastime was making his life miserable.
Danny was one year older than me. My sister was one year younger. Cecil Jr, was several years younger than the rest of us. All Jr. wanted to do was play. Danny on the other hand didn’t like anything Paulene and I did, and he especially hated it when we wore short skirts. Without fail, every morning before leaving home for school, he fussed.
“Mama, make them put some clothes on.”
We pranced around the room as he fumed.
Living out a long lane, we had to walk a ways to catch a ride on the bus. When we reached the end of the road, Paulene and I would roll our skirts up even shorter. We didn’t believe our skirts could be too short, but we didn’t want mama to see us even though we knew Danny would tell her. We received double satisfaction knowing we disturbed Danny. He would be furious by the time we got on the bus. Ruffling his feathers always left us satisfied.
Popping gum as we chewed it was another thing Danny hated. This was a wonderful discovery for Paulene and me. Each Sunday when all of us were in the car headed to church, we would plop a piece of gum into our mouths and by the time that we were well on our way, we had Danny riled.
“Stop popping your gum in my ear!” Danny seethed.
“We ain’t popping our gum, we are just chewing it,” one of us would reply innocently.
“Mama, did you hear that? They are popping their gum. Make them stop!”
The fussing continued until we stopped aggravating him, mama made us spit the gum out or we arrived at church, whichever came first. On other occasions, we found something else to get him going.
We learned he despised the strong odor of perfume. Of course, before we jumped into the car to go to church or anywhere else, we sprayed ourselves down in whatever cologne we had on hand. Most usually, it was Avon-good stout Avon. We smelled awful because she used one kind and I would use another. Mixing the two would choke anyone, but at least it served as a way to disturb Danny the most.
It’s a wonder Danny even speaks to us now.
I can’t say when it happened, but somewhere along the way, the fighting between my sister and I subsided. Our bickering slowed to almost non-existent. We even stopped harassing Danny. Surprisingly we liked him. We were all getting along; Paulene and I had become friends.
Soon we were shopping together, attending functions and sharing secrets about our boyfriends. I desired her opinion on what I should wear, how to wear my make-up and whether my shoes matched my outfit or not. I envied her having voluptuous breasts and long, thin, pretty, tanned legs. I was skinny, pale, wiry, redheaded, and short. My ears were too big and my teeth slightly bucked. I was very self-conscious of how I looked.
Danny soon married and moved away from home, I followed his lead and married a year after he did. Paulene was my maid of honor in my wedding and when I moved from home, she was lost and miserable. I missed her wretchedly. Before long, she began to visit- spending the night with us. She began staying with us more than she was living at home.
After she married and both of us had children of our own, our lives led us in different directions. Even so, we enjoy spending time with each other and love to reminisce about days gone by. As much as I love my brothers, there is just something about sharing with my sister. She has become my best friend and confidante. We continue to confide in each other, sharing our secrets. I value her opinion and still find myself envious of her beauty.
She is kind hearted, loving and encouraging. She never fails to complement me when we visit. My best friend is always just a phone call away.