Friday, July 12, 2013

The lies my siblings told me.

A painting of us by my talented sis, Trici Garcia
I made out like five or six times at my 7th birthday party.

At least that's what I proudly announced to my preteen sisters and their side-pony tailed friends sitting beneath the weeping willow tree in our old backyard. I had overheard them talking about making out with boys. When I asked what that meant, they promptly lied and told me making out meant "making friends."

Face scrunched like the top of my tube socks, I insisted that I was telling the truth. I made out with at least four girls and one boy at my party, I pleaded. When they kept laughing, I went inside to cry and tattle.

As the youngest of four siblings, I got really good at the 'ol cry and tattle. I fit every baby of the family stereotype. I was gullible, hyper-sensitive, nosy and desperate to be included. Not a ton has changed.

Like any self-respecting youngest sibling, I was obsessed with ageism. Why do I always have to sit in the middle seat? Why can't I stay up to watch "Tales from the Crypt."? I remember tip-toeing out of bed to watch that gruesome HBO show through the crack of my brother's bedroom door. I would secretly watch from the hallway until the Crypt Keepers cackle would paralyze me with fear. Once I'd work up the courage to sprint back to bed, I'd hide under the covers and force happy thoughts. (I generally defaulted to dream sequences of walking through the mall with Taylor Hanson. We would hold hands while sitting on adjacent massage chairs at Sharper Image, or something like that.)

Growing up, my older siblings liked to tell me lies. Not big ugly lies, just silly little untruths. I was terribly gullible. I still am. So it was probably pretty good entertainment. Some fibs were motivational: "If you don't wipe after you use the bathroom your private parts will turn black." Some didn't make sense: "If you see more than two Star Trek characters on screen you'll have bad luck." Others were tried and true: "You're adopted."
Me, Trici & Celeste 

In their defense, I was often annoying, especially during my stint with kleptomania. When my sisters were at roller skate parties or Debbie Gibson concerts I was "too little" to attend, I would crack into their Caboodles to permanently borrow dangly earrings or (if we're really coming clean here) I would steal the most sophisticated teenager-approved underwear from their drawers so I could impress my friends at school while changing for P.E.

In my defense, my sister Trici regularly flipped over the computer chair I was sitting in if I dialed into America Online three minutes longer than she deemed fair. And my older brother Diego tortured me with "stop hitting yourself" slaps and hand caught farts in the face until he went to college.

Despite the teasing and the torment, I wouldn't change being the baby for anything. Siblings make life fun.

They introduced me to good music. They're the reason I had to see my school counselor the day Kurt Cobain died.

Diego & Me 
They made Santa, the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny very real for me. One Christmas Eve, my brother climbed on the balcony near my bedroom and stomped like reindeer hoofs. It convinced me for years.

They taught me how to look like a lady.  My sisters showed me how to tweeze, shave, pop pimples, blow dry bangs and apply a smokey eye. They styled me for every school dance, first date and job interview I can remember. Even today, they're just a photo text away from telling me that necklace really doesn't go with that dress.

They are absolutely the reason I held onto my virginity for so long. Catholic schooling, strict parents and an extended awkward phase were all contributing factors, but two chaste older sisters definitely kept my legs closed in college.

I love them and I'm grateful for them. I forgive all the lies.

Now, can I pretty please sit in the front seat.

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