January 19, 2022

results of my challenge: choosing to find sisters entertaining vs irritating (part 1)

There are laughs to be had here, my friends - as you knew there would be. I chose to find my sisters entertaining rather than irritating. I succeeded, mostly. (insert image of me taking a bow). 

The car ride was fairly uneventful. It's really hard to explain my sisters. I'll try. For starters, they act older than their biological age. They are 55 and 53, but yet almost 80. They both speak in 'whine' mode, which makes me want to chug a glass of wine. 

Most sentences start with 'I MEAN . . . ' (followed by something exasperating) or 'WELL, I TOLD HIM/HER TO JUST . . . ' (followed by something exasperating).

Marie speaks in a fake voice, what I call a 'phone voice' - like when she answers the phone. I can't do that. Maybe it's just too much for me to remember:

 Who am I right now? Overly polite and sweet even though I was hollering at my kids 10 seconds ago? Or, hmm, trying to think if I have another persona that I'd be forced to switch from IF I bothered. Nope. Just the one.  


Thursday at 11:00 am, Ann and I drove to Milwaukee in my kids' car to meet up with Marie. Our minivan was in the shop. Translation:  the fam left with the Great White only. Ann wanted to leave her car home for her college age daughter, even though she wasn't sure she'd use it. 

Meanwhile the plan with our ONE car was to get people to the following:  Ed worked. Someone drove Reg to his final exam on Friday and Mini got to her exam on Thursday. And Coach was at work with a car. It's a riddle that only a true Shenanigan can work out. Don't try this at home. May cause mind explosion.   

Fortunately the minivan was done Thursday  - sooner than expected, so the car shuffling was manageable. Coach did text me that he had to ask the kids to pick him up from work on Thursday. He was like WHY DIDN'T YOU GUYS GO PICK UP THE MINIVAN BEFORE YOU CAME TO GET ME? and they were confused in general and then wondered where the gray car had gone. I AM INVISIBLE AND NO ONE LISTENS TO ME. LIKE, HELLO? I TOLD YOU I WAS DRIVING IT TO MILWAUKEE. 


On our drive to Milwaukee, I told Ann that I'd recently talked to her son, Prince. 


I explained the need to return the shoes he bought Curly. Well, I guess sharing this was not something I thought through enough. 

Ann:  (after I explained that Curly JUST got a new pair of basketball shoes and we weren't sure what size she'd be when this pair wore out) WELL, SHE SHOULD JUST KEEP THEM. HE WAS REALLY EXCITED ABOUT HIS IDEA. GOSH. JUST HAVE HER KEEP THEM. 

*as if the conversation between Prince and I didn't already happen. Trust me -  I told him what a great idea it was, etc. BTW Curly feels so bad she told me to tell him not to get her anything else. 


I hadn't felt great the few days before we left. Would my at-home test be positive? Maybe I was symptom-free but ill. Sometimes I get headaches that are more related to muscle aches, especially when I strain my neck during a workout.

I brought my laptop to the workout room at the
 hotel and managed to set up a sweet space
 to workout in and no one interrupted me.
I only did a 45 min class. No headache.

My shutdown daycare meant I'd been doing more hour long classes taped early in the pandemic. True butt-kickers.

Wednesday night I took the ornaments and lights off the tree. Coach had been quarantining in there, so the tree was left up longer than planned. I felt a tad dizzy. Maybe I hadn't eaten enough that day? (but, I like food). Maybe I was just tired? I was freaked out about testing in the morning.


WTF? Why would we do that? I texted back:  morning only. 

I felt like my eyes were sucked into my head and the bridge of my nose felt bruised. I wondered if I had a sinus infection. I'd been somewhat congested since Christmas. 

It has been a WHILE since
 I sat in a bathroom
 and waited to see how
many lines showed up
. I was rarely wrong, and I was
usually thrilled with
 a positive test.
Sign of the times.

I was ELATED when the test was negative.

From the car, I called my doctor to get an appointment on Saturday in case I had a sinus infection. They offered to do a phone consult while we drove. 

The doc thought I might have covid. She wanted me to take a PCR test when I got to Minnesota. I felt strongly that I didn't have covid. The antigen test was negative. I get that it isn't as sensitive as a PCR, but I'd had a head ache for a few days so if that was covid related, then I would've tested positive.

At any rate, I was in the car with my seesters, see that - I've chosen a fun nickname for my aging-before-their-time sibs. I had the phone pressed to my ear so hard hoping they wouldn't hear what the doc thought. AWKWARD. I assumed they had no idea that she wanted me to get a PCR, because they didn't bring it up or attempt to eject me from the car. 

Sunday 1/16th health update:  No sinus infection. I feel totally fine. I'm guessing it was a combo deal:  tired, stress, muscle aches. 

When we got to the wake, I put on my mask that Coach supplies me from his PT clinic with a cloth mask over it, which is not necessary. Marie had on an N95. She saw me and gasped:  OH, DO YOU THINK I NEED TWO MASKS? 

What? You have an N95. Settle, sis. Settle. Are you getting that settling down in not Marie's normal mode?


If there was a label we could assign dear Ann, it would be BROKEN RECORD MODE, or BRM. *I'd also label her as incredibly insensitive, but more on that in another post.* Her other issue that stands out is that if she wouldn't do XYZ, then anyone who would do XYZ is weird. Make sense? 

At one point, Ann asked why I was typing on my phone so much. I explained that I was responding to comments on my blog. She asked if I make money blogging. I told her:

I don't make money, just friends. 

Can I get that on a t-shirt? Maybe it's already been done. I'm not always on the cusp of things.

I will give Ann credit here, because in the past she's said THAT'S WEIRD, in regards to the fact that I even HAVE a blog. Perfect example:  she doesn't do it, therefore WEIRD.


This was part 1 of 3, but possibly more. I just got off the phone with Delilah and she jogged my memory a bit and I've thought of additional moments I might share. My favorite broken record moment is upcoming. 

*Please give a shout out to Delilah in the comments. She reads my posts even though she knows all the details - or most of them, after chatting with me for hours . . .  and while we're on the phone she puts up with me shuffling cars on the driveway, delivering laundry to bedrooms, waking up a sleeping Mini - LIKE, WHAT ARE YOU DOING? ARE YOU READY FOR SCHOOL TOMORROW? -(she had no school today and slept over at a friends), and all the rest. Please let me know in the comments if you'd like to follow me around via phone one night. Maybe it can be arranged? Check with Delilah before you sign up, it might cause dizziness and she might not recommend it. Poor Delilah is getting over covid. 


Nicole MacPherson said...

"I don't make money, just friends" - love it! Same same.

I laughed at "where's the grey car?" It drove to Milwaukee, Coach.

Hope your friend Delilah recovers quickly!

Colleen said...

So your family knows you have a blog but they don't ever read it - HOW? WHY? Are you so nervous that they are going to find it one day? Now I'm nervous for you - ha!!

Jenny in WV said...

I hope you stay Covid free Ernie and Delilah I hope you feeling better ASAP!

Have any of your extended family read your blog?

I don't make money, just friends. is a great line.

Following you around would likely be entertaining!

Ernie said...

Nicole - Ha. Twinning. Oh gosh, that car situation was so confusing, but yes ONE car was out of state. Delilah seemed to be on the mend. That dang variant - SO contagious.

Ernie said...

Colleen - Well, they sort of know I have a blog but they don't really pay much attention to what I do (especially if it is 'weird') so it isn't really on their radar. The few times it has come up they've never asked if they could read it/shown any interest. My mom once said "well I don't even know what a blog is." I've only shared my blog with a few close friends.

I am not nervous in the least that they will find it, since they aren't looking. I have a niece, Marie's daughter, who has asked me to share it, but I told her it's anonymous, because some of the stuff my kids do might be embarrassing if people they cross paths with were to read about it, although my kids don't embarrass easily.

I don't share it with them for a number of reasons. 1. They roll their eyes at things I do that are 'different' from what they do. 2. They don't/can't think outside the box, they tend to be narrow minded and judgmental, or in the case of my brother, he thinks he knows everything. He was raised that way. 3. I don't think they are ready for the kind of honesty I share here.

And if they find my blog at some point, then well - I'm not making any of this up. Sometimes the truth hurts. I've learned over the years to keep my thoughts to myself which is why on our drive when Ann said something incredibly insensitive I didn't say THAT WAS REALLY INSENSTIVE. There's a movement in my family to sidestep Ann's issues, and I alone cannot change that. I've learned the hard way. It's like POOR ANN, SHE GOT A DIVORCE FROM A HORRIBLE MAN. So, she romps on people and insists on controlling things and it is tolerated/endorsed. All of this is why Mini has asked me what I will do when my memoir gets published. I say, that will be a good problem to have.

Ernie said...

Jenny - No, my family has not read my blog. (see above for explanation). I have to believe that if I didn't get covid when it was in my house, infecting 3 of my family members then I am just not going to get it. At least not this variant. I will keep you posted on if my awesome line gets printed on t-shirts. ;) 'Following' me around on the phone does seem to entertain Delilah, but talking when family members are home and interrupting can make conversations long and get off track at times.

Busy Bee Suz said...

Your kids not knowing where you or the car went and also the sister with ONE child who MIGHT need a car VS your whole clan.
Good Lord! They are both a piece of work.
I can't imagine being so closed-minded OR acting so old.

Do you worry though, that they might try and search for your blog? Can you imagine the can of shit that would open when they ran to your parents? Well, really who cares. The truth hurts and it can be eye-opening. Right?

I also don't make money, but some really sweet people who I consider my friends.

Hi Delilah! I'm so sorry you've been sick as well-covid is a beyotch.

I don't know that I could possibly 'follow' you around on the phone as I'm not a big phone person; I tend to lose interest in anything anyone has to say after five minutes.
I'm a better texter.

Kara said...

Daughter 2 got Covid last week. She had a pretty mild version. She's vaccinated, but didn't get a booster yet. Daughter 3 had all of the same symptoms, but tested negative (also vaccinated, had Covid last year). Go figure. We did the home test with Daughter 2, and it turned positive right away, a very strong positive.

My sister and I refer to each other as Seester too!

I'd like to think that my kids are observant about what goes on in the house, but they aren't. My husband travels for work, and writes his trips on the kitchen calendar. Sometimes it takes until midweek for a kid to realize that he's not home that week (and it's not like he's not an involved Dad, he cooks dinner most nights and does the laundry!).

Beth Cotell said...

Glad you are finding humor in your semesters! That makes for better mental health, I would think!

Ernie said...

Suz - The car thing was especially frustrating, because when Ann chimed in and said that she was going to attend the services with Marie and I, I texted back and said OH THAT WOULD BE A HUGE HELP BECAUSE MY GUYS WOULD BE LEFT WITH ONE CAR. I assumed her youngest would be back at college as most kids were already back. So . . . she knew we were juggling a lot, but still asked if I could drive. I bit my tongue, almost clean off. Especially after she said her daughter doesn't usually go anywhere.

I honestly don't care if my sibs find out about the blog. I used to speak my mind more, but at this point I've just allowed distance to work it's magic. They know little about me. Ann was surprised to learn where Mini has been accepted for college and she had no idea Ed was dating someone. I prefer it that way.

My parents are aware of how I feel when it comes to the family dynamics, since I confronted them when my dad backed out of our years-in-the-making Yellowstone trip so he could travel with Marie - all of which ended up being cancelled. Once the black sheep, always the black sheep.

Your beyotch comment reminded me of a story I told Delilah last night about Joe. He once posted a video of himself shoveling snow while in his bathing suit in Minnesota. Caption was: winter is my bitch.

I don't blame you. The constant distractions are annoying. Our chats can get lengthy, looking at myself here, and my fingers might fall off if I tried to text it. ;)

Ernie said...

Kara - I am still totally baffled that I didn't get covid. We did a decent job of keeping the sick people away from the healthy people, but still. I think they are most contagious before they know they have it, so how did I not get it?

I am laughing at your kids not realizing till mid week that they're chef is out of town.

Ernie said...

Beth - My kids were dying at the imitations I shared with them when I got back. No joke, I do not understand how we are related. I've had this conversation with Coach. We all grew up being picky eaters (couldn't stand coconut or most fruit), being afraid of getting into trouble, and hard working. Where did some of us get to be so, well - FUN? and others get to be so OLD? HEE HEE.

Charlie said...

I knew there had to be a sisters in the car story coming! I really admire your restraint with them Ernie. I’m really not sure I could help myself with my replies.

Hi Delilah! I hope you are on the mend now.

Ernie said...

Charlie - Oh, yes. The two of them were in rare form. One of them coddles my very-able-bodied folks so much. She's the one that scolded me for telling my folks that Joe had passed away over the phone. What? Not like I could've gone in their house anyway. Imaginary hug through the window? I suppose if her act-like age is 80, then to her my parents are about 105.

When Lad was a freshman in college, I suggested during Thanksgiving dinner that we not pick names and exchange gifts for the cousins. It wasn't like the cousins were doing the shopping. It was just one more thing and none of the kids needed anything. She doesn't like change. She barked at me for suggesting it. I told her that it seemed silly to keep the gift exchange going just to suit her when the other siblings agreed with me. Then she asked me why I have to always be such a bitch. So, I decided to keep my comments at a minimum. Didn't want to be stuck in MN without a ride home.

Kari said...

Your positive test in the bathroom made me laugh, because those tests look EXACTLY like a pregnancy test. Only they are like, 150 times harder. Insert eyeroll.

I love the "I don't make money, just friends." If you make tee-shirts, I want one.

Ernie said...

Kari - Coach was sleeping on the couch in the living room - his quarantine space and I was trying not to wake him. I may or may not have taken a test in similar 'don't wake him' circumstances, but he wasn't sleeping on the couch at the time. I was so anxious about it, and I was afraid if it was positive I'd start wailing and wake the whole house. These tests ARE harder. I had the pregnancy type down pat. I will add you to my list of t-shirt orders, if I make one. Maybe it should say I BLOG, I DON'T MAKE MONEY, I MAKE FRIENDS. I think most of the general public has no idea that people still blog.