It's like Marie, but with a "T"
My sister and I have a deal.
If she is ever comatose, I promise to go the the hospital at least every other day to pluck her chin hairs. She promises the same for me.
Tarie (her nickname due to our brothers inability as a child to say "Marie") and I are in our 50s. Together, we're getting age spots and crows feet and moustaches. Our conversations are a running dialogue on what is happening to us and how to make it stop! It didn't help that Tarie's doctor recently told her that her hands were going to look exactly like our mothers in due time and there was nothing she could do about it. Our mother is the most attractive 80 year old I've ever seen, but her hands look like they've been run over by a semi. Sorry, Mom.
We are as different as any two sisters could be. Tarie worked her way through a prestigious college while holding down a full-time job and raising two boys. She found time to coach soccer and sit on the Board of the soccer association. If you've ever volunteered for THAT duty I don't have to tell you about the overwhelming amount of time and work involved. I sort of skated through those years, obtaining neither a degree or a career. I raised three kids and took art classes and had it pretty cushy until my husband of twenty years left me. Cushy went out the door with him.
My sister got divorced around the same time my marriage fell apart and coped beautifully, while I floundered. I had no idea how to take care of myself and my children alone, something she had been doing throughout most her marriage. We always enjoyed each others company, Tarie and I, but we had little in common. I was always a little flighty and moody, she - cerebral and steady. The tortoise and the hare. When my husband left, my friends were beyond supportive and pissed-off at my spouse with me, but it was Tarie I turned to when I needed real guidance. I had a lot to learn, and I needed to learn it quickly.
She helped me get a job at the same place she'd been working for twenty years, though I barely knew how to turn on a computer. She introduced me to a great attorney who helped me through my divorce. She attempted to educate me on finances, never my strong suit. Even after she started dating the man who is now her husband, she indulged me when I wanted to go to to nightclubs in an attempt to try out a little post-divorce partying, never a good idea when nursing a broken heart, but along she came. Looking back, I think her participation was more about keeping an eye on me than any desire to get her party on. Tarie knew that I was going to make mistakes in my post-marriage confusion, but she made sure she'd be at my side when I made them.
Thirteen years have passed since my world was turned upside down. I'm on the other side of divorce and can look back with more clarity and less blame. I'm still employed at the firm where my sister works and under her watchful eye I've learned more than I ever thought I could. As the less adventurous sister, I've learned be not so afraid of trying new things. She showed me how great it is to sleep on an air mattress under the stars in Mexico, something this indoor girl would have never tried, though I'm still working up the courage to hop aboard the Banana Boat. We are very different women, my sister and I. I will never aspire to run around a soccer field all weekend and she would just as soon avoid hour-long visits to a salon and shopping marathons...but I know this: In this lifetime, we are truly prosperous if we have found one person we can truly rely on, and I have that. She was right under my nose the whole time! (Oh, it would be so easy to go full circle with the whole moustache/under the nose thing here, but I will try to be wise and end this with a heartfelt thank you rather than a pun.)
Thank you, Tarie, and I am there for you, tweezers in hand, if ever the need arises.
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