Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Jealousy in the Spokes

No insomnia last night.  I dropped into bed after barely making it there.  I took Taekwondo which kicked my A$$, and then I came home and pretended to read for a while.  The words weren't quite making it to my brain.  I was visually looking at them, scanning the page, but then gave it up and turned in.  I'll probably have to re-read that whole chapter.  Oh well.

I woke up thinking about my middle sister.  Because she's in the witness protection program, I'll just call her Delores in this blog.  Yes.  Delores.  Jealousy began rearing it's ugly head the moment Delores met me.  Or maybe it was vice versa.  I'm still jealous of her today.  For one thing, she has this beautiful head of flowing brown hair.  It always looks perfect.  And I got this:

Not the baby.  The bald head.  This photo endlessly cracks me up, by the way. 
Most of the time Delores and I just fought.  We fought and fought and fought. And we did some horrible things to her.: my sister and brother and I.  We locked her in the closet and turned out the lights, and she was so afraid of the dark.  We wouldn't let her in our sticker club, because her stickers weren't good enough.  My Dad made us disband the sticker club after that one.  We made it our job to exclude her.  Unfortunate middle child that she was.
But jealousy really reared it's head on one fateful day.  We took piano lessons about two miles from our house.  We would bike there and bike back home.  One day biking back home, Delores' bag hit the spokes of her wheel, and she went tumbling off her bike. 
I'll never forget the pitiful look on her face, as she lay on the cracking sidewalk moaning in pain.
"I'll go get Mom," I announced.  I could be the hero!
I rode my bike all the way home and burst into the house.  My Mom was in the den watching the news with my older sister Sally. 
"Mom, Delores is hurt!  She fell off her bike."
"Tell her to hop on her bike and come on home!" (My Mom to this day HATES this part of the story).
Sally looked up and said, "I'll come with you."
We rode our bikes as fast as we could.  By the time we made it back to Delores a small crowd of people had surrounded her.
"Where's your Mom?"  One of the ladies asked me.  She was still wearing her purple hat from her earlier outing.
"She told me that Delores could ride her bike home."
At this point one of our neighbors pulled up.  "Lauren, does your Mom know?"
Exasperated by now, I suppose I probably screamed: "My Mom says she can get on her bike and come on home!" 
The adults seemed horrified by this, but now looking back I GET it.  Kids can be seriously dramatic or melodramatic--take your pick--and falling off a bike usually doesn't amount to serious harm.  My Mom probably thought Delores had scrapped her knee. 
Finally our neighbor convinced my Mom to come.  When my Mom saw Delores' knee it had swollen to the size of a watermelon.  She blanched, her face took on the look of Casper the Friendly Ghost, and then she immediately called my Dad.  Delores was taken to the hospital where they learned she had torn some ligaments and would actually need SURGERY.
In the days that followed, Delores was propped up in the guest bedroom.  She could watch all the TV she wanted, something that was strictly portioned in our house, and eat candy in bed.  Basically she could get away with murder!  She smiled as complete strangers brought her balloons and presents, making the guest bedroom look like she was having a month long birthday party. It simply was not fair!  At this point, I felt it was my duty to be her mortal enemy and not help her at all. 
Cast all the way up to her thigh, she'd call out, "Lauren, will you refill my water?"
"Get it your own self!" 
I hated she was getting all the attention.  Seriously what had she done?  Broken her knee, endured surgery, and for that she was showered in presents.  Did people know who she really was?  Did they know how she tortured me?  Jealousy had reared its ugly head, and from that point forward it was there to stay in our relationship!
Delores is the one person in the world for whom I am endlessly jealous...STILL.  She has so many qualities I wish I had.  She's such a hard worker.  She seems motivated all the time.  Still, no one is perfect, and I know she is just a person who I love very much.  I have to remind myself, even at 34 years old, that being jealous is a stupid emotion meant to make rifts and not bring you closer to people.  I have to love my sister for who she is not for who I'M not.  Jealousy stems from low self-esteem, from comparing yourself and wishing you were better or more or just plain different.  That's all it is, and the target usually has little to do with the actual problem, besides maybe physically representing someone you wish you were or something you wish you had.
Delores and me.  1983ish.

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