Karen Peach—that’s my name, but it wasn’t always—it used to be Karen BUCK. Never was anyone SO thankful for the custom of adopting one’s husband’s name. This being said, having formerly been a “Buck” makes me one of “THEM!” There are 5 of “them”…us…and dysfunction is what we attain to. Someone had the bright idea to have a “sister” reunion; it’s never a good idea to put five “Buck Girls” in the same place without adult supervision. Why a family member—someone, anyone—didn’t intervene…
To give you a better understanding of the lurking calamity, let me introduce you to my siblings. There are 5 of us, all girls. I’ll start with the youngest:
For the purpose of this article we’ll call her “Erin,” you know, cuz that’s her name. Erin is the family wit; she’s funny, sarcastic and emotionally needy.
The 4th sister, in order of age, is Kathi. She is known as the family wit; she’s funny, sarcastic, and emotionally needy.
The 3rd sister, again in order of age, is Robin. Robin is known for her wit; she’s funny, sarcastic and emotionally needy.
The 2nd oldest sister is Pam. Pam is the family wit; she’s funny, emotionally needy and crazy. Normally, I would delicately refer to her as eccentric, rather than crazy, but she’d be disappointed; she’s quite proud of her title, and I wouldn’t deny her the acknowledgement.
Me? I’m the oldest and the family wit; I’m funny, sarcastic, and emotionally needy.
And now you see the issue.
We don’t have 5 separate temperaments and personalities that compliment each other, each with different strengths and weaknesses that pull together to create a strong team…Nope, we are all pretty much alike and that is, indeed, a volatile combination. To put it into perspective for those of you who know me, at one point in the trip I turned to my sister Kathi and observed, “Do you realize, that of all 5 of us, I am the most reserved?” She immediately began to protest, but midsentence she paused, thought and said, “You’re probably right.”
It seemed innocuous enough at first: book a hotel, make reservations, plan activities and excursions, catch up and…relive old times…and wait for the proverbial “other shoe” to drop.
Here’s my “Top 10 List” of what you can expect if you too, throw caution to the wind and decide to “relive the glory days” with your siblings:
- Random and frequent outbursts over unsettled disputes over who stole what from whom (and who actually refused to come clean about who stole the butterscotch chips and caused everyone to get repeated spankings).
- Recriminations over your sister’s insecurities just because you had her convinced from age 5 to 8 that she was adopted.
- Resentment on the part of the sister who never got to play veterinarian with the neighbors’ mangy cat, Lucky, cuz she always had to be the look-out for Mom and Dad to come home, so you had at least 3 and a half minutes to do the 2 hours worth of chores you had been given.
- Arguing over who Dad and Mom liked better. 7b. Arguing over who Dad and Mom liked the least.
- Continual “subtle” references to the excessive age and decrepit condition of the older siblings by the younger sibling, complete with references to random mole growth, audible groaning when you get up after sitting too long, and that long, lone, black chin hair.
- Hearing about your sister’s issues over small, dark places just because you maybe, occasionally locked her in the storm cellar, closet, cedar chest and blue Chrysler car trunk.
- Escalating annoyance as your tattle-tale sister fondly remembers all the evidence she would hold over you until she couldn’t milk it anymore and turned it over to your mom, anyway.
- “Not-so-occasional” reminders about the bed-wetting incident you may or may not have had during a sleep-over and the fear that she will go home and share it on Facebook with the entire free world.
- Hearing those spine-chilling words we all live in dread of hearing: “You looked just like Mom when you did that!”
- Getting in a slap fight over whose fault it was you all got pulled off a Disney ride by armed security.
If after reading this, any of you persist in believing a sibling reunion is a good idea, bring Band-Aids…and enough butterscotch chips to replace what you stole, ROBIN!