Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Subscriber Spotlight: Crazy Mari

Readers, meet Mari. A special breed of crazy more commonly known as, “The Little Sister.”

She burst onto the scene 23 years ago today to steal my sunshine. Instead she stole my heart.

It was a very rocky path to such adoration, though. I have very vivid memories of the phrase, “I hate my sister” peppering my diary, and of the initial devilish grin that came across my face as I watched her fall from my bed and hit her head…right before I came to my senses and ran to her aid (hey, I was nine for chrissake! Who leaves a nine-year-old unattended with a baby?).

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I also remember the terribly, hysterically funny pranks she fell prey to at my hands: the hot spoon chase, the blonde dye job, me “dead” on the floor…there’s an endless list, and she’d fall for it every time.

But then a funny thing happened on her way to adolescence. She was no longer my annoying little sister who I had the misfortune of caring for and feeding everyday after school, social life be damned! She became cool to hang out with.

Maybe it was the endless hours we spent together the summer of ’94, swimming in the pool and watching Days of Our Lives with a trough of pizza and wings from Blasdell Pizza in front of us. Or our mutual hatred for OJ Simpson when NBC decided to pre-empt our show because of him. I mean, Marlena was possessed by the devil! We gave two shits about OJ!

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It could have been the way we bonded over the Radio Game *smile* and I would watch her squirm to keep up with me, never realizing that one day the student would surpass the master and *poof* before I knew it, she was winning.

We’ve managed to cram so many memories in our 23 years together, and her effect on me was the main reason I insisted on having a second child; I wanted K to have someone like Mari in her life, too.

Things that make me think of Mari and smile:
•stretch pants
•her wearing my doll’s clothes as a baby
•summers in Jersey riding our bikes by the Seaport
•the Brooklyn Babes winning their first Grammy (we live in a funky town…)
•martinis and champagne cruises in Key West
•her graduating from grade school, junior high, high school, and Cornell…I taught her well…

Things that make me think of Mari and fall out laughing:
•her falling out laughing
•the infamous Family Feud Incident
•the infamous Jeopardy Incident
•meeting Derek Jeter (Oh my god, no, I love you, no…)
•the show-down between her and baby N that summer she babysat for us in Riverdale
•her falling asleep at EVERY movie

The one thing that will make me forever love her to death that she doesn’t know about:
•being there to hold me up when the sight of grandma’s coffin being entombed was too much for me to handle, assuring me that it was just grandma’s body and not grandma that was in that metal box, when it should have been the other way around.

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Today she is someone I reach out to all the time and I’d like to think she feels the same for me.

I am her older, wiser, prettier, bustier sister after all.

*smooches…just for Mari today*
half of learning how to play
is learning what not to play
she's learning the spaces she leaves
have their own things to say and
she's trying to sing just enough
so that the air around her moves
and make music like mercy
that gives what it is
and has nothing to prove