a required taste for the pretentious as all get out





words about sister songs by juliana hatfield and from white christmas
August 11, 2003, 8:55 pm

"Jess," she whispers on the phone, "I need you to bring me the following right now: a pair of jeans, four tampons, and a new pair of underwear. You'll find the jeans on my floor; they're Old Navy and they're flares. The tampons are under my sink, and the underwear is in the top left drawer. I want flirty ones, not the grannies."

I didn't want to go because I was in the middle of my ninth consecutive episode of Sex and the City from Season 4 (yay, late birthday presents), and Carrie had just told Aidan that Miranda was pregnant. Guilt won over Manolos, though. "Okay," I sighed, "I'll be right there."

I am the best sister ever.

I sometimes think my sisters and I have a good relationship, and the next thing I know, we're screaming over a pair of shoes that have been shuttled around so many Biensoul Sister feet that we can't remember who bought them in the first place. I wish I could say that I share everything with my sisters, but besides a home, shoes, and drinking stories, we really don't. None of us are ever home at the same time, and when we do hang out, I am mercilessly mocked for being a dork, Nicki is endlessly teased for having a boyfriend, and Christina takes sides but is never the victim of our wrath because she cries too much.

I try to mother them too much.

I don't approve of their attitudes towards our parents at times. I turn up my nose at their messy rooms (nevermind that mine looks like a trash pit). I get defensive when they go down to the stairwell to smoke, regardless of the fact that I have sneaked a few there myself during my parties. I borrow their shoes without asking and become furious when they do the same.

I think Nick is wasting her life and her talents waiting tables. I think Christina is taking too many things for granted and nothing seriously. I tell them these things and I am usually greeted with a scoff, a sigh, or a double fingered salute. They are quick to point out that not everyone can be the "perfect" daughter that I am in the most sarcastic voice they can expel.

We all empty and fill the dishwasher together. I always do cups, Nick gets the plates, and Chris handles the silverware. It has been that way since I could remember, and on the few occasions where we're all eating together, we still do it. Yet it always happens that I end up doing it myself because somewhere in the middle of the work, Nicki will excuse herself to go to the bathroom and not come back. Christina will take out the trash and escape, also. I am stuck holding a dirty coffee cup and I wonder what we'll be like with our own husbands, families, pets, and plants.

When Nicki left home, I felt like there was something missing from my chest for days; the hollowness finally gave way to anger (for months) and finally something just shy of forgiveness that semi-resides to this day. It only wells up when I hear my dad curse because the trash hasn't been taken out or because Nicki hasn't paid her car insurance. At that time, it was Chris and I against the world; two against one, just like it always is.

When Christina would get in trouble, Nick and I howl conspiratorially, waiting for her to get grounded or punished just so we could rub it in.

Nowadays I just feel their presence more by the pile of clothes left on my bed and floor because one of them was looking for a shirt to wear out, or by the absence of toilet paper in my bathroom because I know Christina has run out (again) and instead of walking downstairs, just stolen mine (again). Now I get random updates on their lives by walk-bys at 1:00am, when I'm just coming home or they're just going out, or when Mom says, "You know, Christina is moving out on Friday to go to college."

But, I wish I could spend more time with them so I can be annoyed by them. I wish they were picking up the phone and screaming "Jessica is in love with you!" to a boy that I like. I wish we all had the same neighborhood friends and spent hours making up stupid songs and dances and whatever else we used to do.

I want them to know that I may tell on them, but I love them. I want my sisters to understand that I may be perfect, but I'd trade places with them in a second. And although I'd never admit it, I trust their tastes in shoes and men more than my own.

I arrived at the restaurant with a plastic bag full of the items that my sister requested; she looked pained, upset. Holding a tray full of food, she squawked, "Follow me outside, will ya?"

She set the table up and grabbed the bag out of my hand, "Geez, took you long enough."

"Yeah, well, I had to finish the episode," I said.

"Which one was it?"

"Carrie just told Aidan that Miranda is pregnant."

"Cool. Hey, see-ster, thanks. I really appreciate this."

"No problem, kiddo. It's only because I'm awesome."

"I know."

"And because I could use your Converse this week."


"I love you."

"I love you, too. Now get out of here; your car is double parked."

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