Friday, January 25, 2013

I Know Everything Because I Am Perfect.

This is me and my sister. We like to sing about the fact that we are sisters while wearing casual outfits.
The great thing about being the oldest in a family largely made up of girls is the fact that my sisters often come to me for advice or comfort. The bad thing about being the oldest in a family largely made up of girls is the fact that my sisters often come to me for advice or comfort.

See what I did there?

Recently my Mom called me and let me know that my sister had called off her engagement. I immediately went into "big sister" mode and was packing a bag of booze and pajama pants before I even hung up the phone. "I'll be there is 3 hours, but I need to stop and get shrimp." I said, grabbing a stack of I HATE MEN mixed CDs I bizarrely have just hanging around the house.

On the drive there, while I watched the farmlands peppered with OSU and Jesus paraphernalia roll by, I thought about relationships and broken relationships and flawed relationships and the fact that I have used this blog to write about my relationship for the past year. I had hoped that somewhere along the line I would finally figure everything out. Maybe become a relationship expert. Happily dole out advice  from the safe and snug and everlasting arms of my marriage. People would want to hate me, but they would see the twinkle in my eye and the twinkle in my patient husband's eye as we gazed lovingly twinkle-eyed at each other. This gazing would maybe happen while I was holding a perfect roast or something AND THEY JUST COULDN'T HATE US BECAUSE WE WERE SO PERFECT.

Surprisingly, a year later, I'm still not perfect. And Brett isn't either. And I have no idea whatsoever how to prepare a roast. So, driving home to help put my sister's life back together made me feel like I was walking onto a construction site with only a half eaten bologna sandwich and a few q-tips. I didn't have the tools. I didn't know what I was doing. I couldn't even pack a proper lunch for this big assed project, for god sake.

So, I decided to just pretend to be perfect the whole time I was home.

My heart ached for her, but I never showed it. I would cook meals, pour champagne, smile and act like this was just a little bump in the road for her and so not a big deal. I encouraged her to buy red lipstick, I made sure I was perfectly put together every day while hinting she should put herself together too, and then I would lock myself in the bathroom and cry bitterly from frustration into my mother's hand towels. I told myself I was helping, because she was tiredly smiling at dinner, absently sipping champagne, never mentioning his name, and styling her hair every day. I WAS BEING AN AMAZING BIG SISTER! LOOK AT ME!

I was being the worst big sister ever.

I caught her crying in my cry space one night, and as I stood outside the door, wondering what to do, I decided to finally do what I should have done the first minute I stepped in the door. I held her. I let her cry and streak her brand new mascara all over my neck and (somehow) in my ear. I held her until she stopped crying. And then asked her if she wanted to get drunk in our pajamas together.

 Then I drunkenly and elaborately plotted the death of her ex.

And I finally got out those "I hate men" CDs and we danced to them wildly and stupidly and not-at-all-sexily.

And I told her that no love is ever perfect. No relationship is ever finely hand stitched together. No one has the answers at all, and we're all kind of figuring this out as we go.

And someone will come along who was happy to be perfectly imperfect with her. And they would argue. And he would be a douche sometimes. And they would never have all of the answers together.

And that's all I could ever wish for her. A totally imperfect life.


  1. "perfectly imperfect"! well said, you are wise and perfect in more ways than you know :-) <3
    auntie H