Monday, April 19, 2010
the weird one.
i used to change this little beefcake's diapers, and now he's 21 and in college and a star basketball player or some shit. KILL ME. travis is fucking hilarious to me because we are polar opposites in our character and demeanor. i am: LOUD, jokey, silly, stupid, LOUD, bossy, extroverted, smiley, LOUD, laughing, ridiculous, too fucking much all the goddamned time. travis, on the other hand, is: quiet, reserved, soft-spoken, serious, contemplative, silent, and did i mention SERIOUS? i am the hot to his cold. take, for instance, this picture. he and my niece were trying to pose for a nice brother-sister photograph, and i ruined it by being a fucking asshole. i don't even know what my problem was, i just couldn't sit still until i messed it all up. and this wasn't when we were kids, this shit was in NOVEMBER. alexis, as you can see, thought my antics were HYSTERICAL. travis? not so much.
my sisters are old. i mean, not OLD. but old enough to be my mother(s). they are 20, 17, and 15 years older than i am. you read that right. my mom was super young when she had them and super old by the time i came around. that's how i was an aunt at six when ashlee was born. and again at eight. and nine! it was a BIG FUCKING DEAL when travis (whom i call "pee wee") was born. the lone scrotum in a sea of fallopian tubes. everybody was so excited when janie was pregnant with him. our first baby boy.
i cannot fucking believe that this dude is an adult today and i don't have a savings account yet. come on, sam. WTF is my problem? damn! i need a shot of get your shit together. for reals. right in the ass. all of these dudes are about to fucking surpass me, and that gives me the sads in a big way. ash graduated from fashion school and has an apartment with her girlfriend. yes, those of you who've known me my entire life and remember the time i flipped that bitch out of the crib and almost cracked her fucking skull and got in big trouble and tried to blame it on her even though she was only, like, eight months old, that teenie little nugget is all grown up with a college degree and lives with her romantic partner in their own apartment, and i had spaghetti-os for dinner.
alexis fucking started college here in chicago, decided that the shit wasn't right for her, then packed her ass up and went to dekalb to go to northern. just like that. she's all growed up and away at college, and the other day i used a shower puff to wash my dishes because i threw out my sponge without realizing i hadn't been to target to buy replacements.
and pee wee's fancy ass is at a private college in a wealthy suburb playing basketball and hollering at white girls and turning twenty-one, and earlier at the zoo i told sarah that i wanted to see the "triceratops" when what i REALLY wanted to see was the "rhinoceros." what a goddamned dummy.
i might be the only aunt in history who had to get a bag of candy and a book about "new babies coming home" starring a family of overeager cartoon squirrels so she could be okay with her niece's arrival. they brought ash home and i was flooded with rage and resentment. i didn't want my mom to touch or even look at her, and every time she'd say something about her i'd be all, "i'm cute, too!" which probably explains why, all these years later, these dudes don't call me "aunt samantha." because i'm half a smidge older than they are, yet half as mature. argh. whatever.
if you think having three sisters is totally awesome, you are TOTALLY WRONG. five vaginas in the same fucking house is total madness. i was lucky enough to not have grown up with these bitches (yes, lucky enough) because they were almost grown and out of the house by the time my enfamil and i moved in, but they still were around. jane used to change my diapers and put a baby seat on her bicycle and took me everywhere she went. so i got to miss out on all the punching and scratching and biting and hair-pulling, but they were old enough that i couldn't put up a fuss when they bossed me around. no one tattled on me or took a toy i wanted to play with or got in mom's lap when i wanted to be there, but i couldn't say "fuck you" and slam a door in one of their faces without being beaten within an inch of my life like you normal siblings can.
i was coddled and snuggled and babied and spoiled, and i never had to share a goddamned thing. EVER. which probably explains a lot of the things that suck about me, if you know what sucks about me.
my sisters have a complex relationship with one another, one that i could not even begin to explain, especially because i'd need four psychology degrees, a bottle of whiskey, and a lifetime of patience to start picking it apart. and who the fuck has time for that? they just sort of hate each other. but then they kind of like each other. and sometimes they talk to each other, but other times they don't. like, for WEEKS. they're really strange women who came from a totally damaged weirdo, and i inherited all of that strangeness. except in me it's magnified by a factor of ten.
i hate them as much as i love them and hold serious grudges against all three, and the four of us should probably go get some fucking therapy together. but that shit would devolve into spitting and fisticuffs before the therapist could even get comfortable in his chair. because while sometimes we can get our shit together and act like hallmark card sisters (when jane was in the hospital for five weeks fighting cancer we were all very sweet and civilized), most of the time we simply CANNOT. the four of us can't be in the same room for more than five minutes without someone climbing across the table to claw another one's eyes out.
when our mom died the fighting reached a level that was almost comical, considering the circumstances. but that's what a hatred like ours will do, blind you to your mother's impending death while you argue about dumb shit. i've written before about how my mother's last words to me were essentially "i don't love you" because carmen and i were at each other's throats during her last few minutes of life, snatching at each other across her hospital bed. SERIOUSLY. the morphine was dripping into her arm and we were pissing on each other and making a terrible final impression. "there you go, mom! take that to heaven! your stupid fucking daughters HATE each other! your last vision on earth is that of two bitches you shit out snarling and baring their teeth at one another. off you go now. byee!"
i disconnected once mom was dead. my 18 year old ass got a job and a place and didn't look the fuck back. it didn't bother me that our "family" wasn't normal, that i'd go months without knowing what carol was up to or how jane was feeling or whatever. i'd move and change jobs and switch phone numbers and no one would be the wiser. at one point janie would start all of our conversations with, "and where are you living now?" i think we all just figured that if something really bad happened, one of us would find out and let the others know. like when i was in the hospital that first big time, that two week stretch, i called carmen (i always call her first, and it makes the other two SO MAD) and she called them.
it's like we play some sort of adult version of the telephone game. if i see carol, i'll get updated on everything that's going on in her life and tell her bits and pieces of what i'm doing. then the next time i see carmen, i'll fill her in. plus or minus whatever i forget or whatever embellishments i decide to make. then she'll repeat it to jane. lather, rinse, repeat. and we like it that way. because the alternative is making regular phone calls or sending regular emails and not a single one of us would ever be willing to do that. and STOP LYING if you bitches are reading this and trying to pretend you really want to call each other twice a week.
carmen yelled at me a few weeks ago (aren't i old enough to skip the yelling? goddamn, another reason old sisters are BALLS: they yell at you all the fucking time) because they read something in my blog that i hadn't called to tell any of them, and i was totally dumbfounded. like, "i DID tell you. you read it in my BLOG." which apparently doesn't fucking count. but that's the nature of our fucking relationship! like facebook friends you can't remember why you added. except i happen to share a little DNA with these ones. because, sister, if i tell the UNIVERSE, i am essentially telling YOU, too. no, that's fucked up. i did promise that if i ever have some awful diagnosis or earth-shattering good news to share in the future that i would TOTALLY TRY to remember to tell one of them first.
i was at a florist in evanston last week, BUYING MY OWN GODDAMNED FLOWERS, when i was accosted by a woman who looked familiar in the way that all middle-aged black women look familiar. she stared at me for five whole seconds (which is a long fucking time for a bitch to be all up in your face) and then asked, "are you one of the cooper girls? you're the baby, aren't you? i know your face. yes, you're the baby cooper!"
a little history for those of you who don't know: #1 i am, in fact, a "cooper girl." our gram is the original cooper, mom was a cooper before she was an irby, and my sisters were coopers before they married assholes with different names. so while my drivers license says "irby," my blood says "cooper." #2 in a concerted effort to ruin my adult life, my family, in its entirety, has always referred to me as "the baby." this is not a joke. two weeks ago i was shopping with carol and we ran into a friend of hers, and that bitch introduced me as, "THE BABY." sometimes they'll say, "samantha, the baby," but usually it's "this is the baby." tell me how it's possible to carry on normal conversation with a person when you've just been introduced to him as "the motherfucking baby?" how?! what is an appropriate response, a gurgle and coo? and, of course, i'm immature so i get mad and start acting like a fucking baby. sighing and stamping my feet and rolling my eyes. ha.
she caught me at a really weird time. i had a lot of dumbass crazy shit cycling rapidly through my brain, and i wasn't really in the mood to be recognized. so i was like, "sure. that is me. the cooper baby." and i smiled and waited for her to ask me something i couldn't possibly know the answer to, like how my grandmother is doing in the nursing home or how many feet are in a yard. honestly, i don't know the answer to either of those questions. instead, she threw me this curve ball: "i'm glad to see you're doing well. we heard that you fell apart, what with everything that happened to your parents."
well THAT was the most glamorous thing anyone has ever accused me of doing! "falling apart?" wow. i thought that was something that only happened to aging pop stars and child geniuses. really, me? i'm flattered! i think she thought she'd offended me, because she hurriedly said, "i hope you don't take that the wrong way. i went to high school with grace, and i've known all you girls since you were young. and i know that you were the weird one, but when you shaved your hair off and got those tattoos i was really worried about you." kind of impossible NOT to take that the wrong way, don't you think? you decided, based on a haircut and a couple drops of ink, that i'm fucking crazy. how is one supposed to take that, with two lumps of sugar and a little cream? UGH.
so the assumption of a psychotic break wasn't really offensive, i actually felt like it was a badge of honor or something, but "the weird one?" i mean, have you MET those other bitches? I am the weird one?! carmen is "the nice one." i get that. because she really is nicer than the other three of us put together. janie is TOTALLY FUCKING WEIRD, all crazy emotional and intense, yet totally aloof. and carol should be a goddamned case study, because she is a FULLY FUNCTIONING SOCIOPATH who manages to walk around and have a seemingly normal existence. i love her and everything, but if i called her right now in tears, she would find a way to decapitate whoever had made me cry. and then she'd do some extra cray-cray shit like send the head to his mother's house or something. cook it and eat it. whatever. so jane can be "the aloof one." or "the one who beat cancer," because that is next-level awesome. and carol, OBVIOUSLY, is "the crazy one."
i may hate these bitches off and on, but i am irritated that there are people out there that label us in this way. "which cooper girl did you see at the flower shop?" "oh, you know. the one with the tattoos. the WEIRD one." fucking gross, man. can't i be "the funny one?" or "the one who didn't set some dude's car on fire?" jesus.
i guess "the baby" isn't so bad after all. waahhhhhh.
the weird one. and the nice one.
not fighting, for a change.
carmen lee, carla jane, carol anne, and samantha fucking mckiver. i even have the weirdest name. doomed from the start.