Have you ever noticed that your sister pushes your buttons in ways no one else can? My sister is a thoughtful individual who is incredibly loving, and I snap at her more than I do at anyone else. She told me this morning that for the past couple of weeks she’s been giving me a wide berth and the benefit of the doubt as I’ve been short with her. She knows I’m working on a 20 page paper that I am dreading writing, and have little confidence in passing, and so I appreciate her understanding. However, it’s no excuse for how I treat her sometimes. She rarely, if ever, tells me where to get off, which is exactly what I need sometimes. Instead, she takes the grief I give her and never gives it back. I’m scared that someday she’s going to have a breakdown because of me. My shortness of temper is definitely my problem, I acknowledge that. I’m not blaming her.
My mother is up visiting and mentioned she has a similar relationship with one of her sisters. He hypothesis is that we assume we should hold the same values since we’re sisters, and therefore can make the same assumptions about how the other will react. This isn’t really how it works though. My mom also said that with anyone else we’d sit down with them over coffee and try to figure out what makes the other person tick– we’d be gracious about our differences. But with family, we assume that that’s all already out in the open. Once again, apparently not.
Last night I had a bunch of people over to get haircuts, and my mom was up visiting so she came with my sister. My sister immediately made herself at home, looking around for a mug to grab and heading for the tea pot. I had just put in the tea, so I made a comment like, “The tea’s not ready yet. I just put in a new bag.” My tone could have used some work. And then she moved on to something else, I don’t remember what, but I basically felt pushed out of the way, so I spoke up. “You always do that you know,” and then made motions like I was pushing out of the way. “Okay, gotcha. Stay out of Maria’s kitchen.” Well, that wasn’t exactly what I said, but I can see how it was taken that way, especially as my words were clipped. It just bugs me when people make assumptions about helping themselves to things in other people’s homes. Truth be told, if you can make assumptions about things in others homes, your sister’s home should be the appropriate place for it. And yet…I don’t know, something about it irked me. I’m still thinking through it, and it’s a constant learning experience, as half the time I don’t even know what makes me tick. I say this with a sigh, and sign off before my rambling puts your to sleep or makes you think I’m completely nuts.