Every May, I spend the first week of the month visiting my sister in Florida. She lives in a rather pleasant suburb of Tampa, just north of Clearwater. The weather is usually perfect, and she and I get to be very silly together. My mother comes, too and she and my brother-in-law (God bless him), just sigh at our behavior, knowing they will never be able to understand the 'secret language' my sister and I share. Now, we aren't twins. In fact, we're six years apart (I'm older). We just grew up (as many of you did) in a dysfunctional family, and we coped by relying on each other for comfort and escape. One of us can say a single word and instantly have the other writhing on the floor in hysterical gales of laughter, leaving bystanders completely mystified as to what on Earth could be so funny.
It's always been this way. To do this day, there is no one I'd rather go to movies with, because I know she appreciates film in the same way I do. We both love the same kinds of movies and saw many of our favorites (Raiders of the Lost Ark; Poltergeist; Big Trouble in Little China - shut up - Gremlins; Pee-Wee's Big Adventure; Beetlejuice; Batman and countless others) together. We can both quote obscure Warner Brothers cartoons and even more obscure episodes of The Little Rascals. We both thought Pee Wee Herman and Emo Phillips were hilarious and we both love carnivals, fairs and theme parks (though she's a bit of a wuss when it comes to roller coasters and other thrill rides).
Oh, our childhoods were far from perfect. We often fought like cats and dogs. Like a good big brother should, I often tortured the hell out of her. And like a good little sister should, she often tortured me back and got away with it because she was 'the baby.'
She's a self-professed 'Disney Dork,' while I'd rather spend my time at Universal Studios. She's a self-proclaimed "Liberal Christian," while I consider myself a Secular Humanist. She's straight and I'm.... well, not. She hates kids and I love them (our poor mother will never have grandchildren and has long ago resigned herself to settling for 'grand-pets'). We both love animals (cats in particular) and neither of us suffer fools lightly. She's the only person I know who is actually more opionated than I am (can you imagine?) and she is never afraid to admit it. She's a complete "Type A" and I am a complete "Type B." Somehow, we meet in the middle. It's truly a sight to behold. But don't you dare try to get between us - we will eff you up, biatch!
We email and Facebook each other constantly and our mutual friends are equally astonished, disoriented and puzzled by the things we share with one another. We are night and day; yin and yang; Abbott and Costello. We still ocasionally (and sometimes vehemently) disagree, but we know that we are (and always will be) there for each other, no mater what.
So, I leave next Saturday to spend nine days with her, our mother and my brother-in-law. It is a vacation I need, desperately. And a chance to spend time with the one person who understands me more than anyone else in the entire world. And as of right now, I am officially counting the days...