We’re usually in a semi circle, all facing and looking at the others, just us three. We try to keep it secret but someone usually starts pounding on the door wanting to join or talk, we then scream “LEAVE US ALONE WE’RE HAVING A YA-YA!” Four years ago is when this weird tradition of ours started, it just kind of stuck after that. It is a lot of fun and games, but at the same time we take each others opinions seriously and care about what the others are saying. We respect each other, we look up to each other, and expect that the others will help with advice. Around a year ago during a particularly in depth and thoughtful ya-ya we started to talk about the future and what it had in store for each of us. I don’t remember the exact time or place that this conversation happened but I do remember the jest of what was said. We, being my two sisters and I aged twenty three (Jenny), twenty one (Angie), and eighteen (myself) all single and all depressed with our love lives, careers/schooling, and such talked about what the next year had in store. We talked about how none of would be married. No way could one of us meet a guy, fall in love, and plan a wedding within one year with our luck. We talked about how we would all probably be at the same schools, at the same dead end jobs, living paycheck to paycheck, writing papers last minute for all of our classes. It gives me anxiety thinking back to that night and knowing that one year has already passed and how dead on we were, but also how far off. Yes, we may all be at the same schools procrastinating on our homework for our English classes and yes we maybe living paycheck to paycheck, but what college student aren’t? But we were wrong about some things. My twenty four year old sister met her husband in February, wedded in August, and they are already expecting their first child! Her life in particular is upside down compared to one year ago. And my twenty two year old sister is moving to the
The last ya-ya that we had was right before my sisters wedding reception in August, she was suppose to be doing her hair but instead we were locked in the bedroom together talking. As my mother, then my father, and then my new brother in-law all knocked on the door to ask what in the world we were doing and to tell us to hurry up because she couldn’t be late to her own wedding, we looked at each other and contentedly laughed. As Angie and I watched Jenny that night in her wedding gown, happy and beautiful, memories from the three of us growing up flooded my memory.
Jenny was about ten and she received a brand new pair of high-top sneakers. I’m quite sure they were made for boys, not girls. They were massive on here petite feet and she wore them happily and proudly. Well, they weren’t technically new. To us they were, but to everyone else they were worn and used. Our grandma loved bringing home giant heavy duty, black, trash bags full of others used and unwanted possessions from garage sales. Despite my mother’s pleas for here to desist, she continued. Without fail my plump Mexican/American grandmother would arrive at our house with our grandpa trailing behind her, arms over burdened with a large black plastic sack so big we couldn’t even see his face and she would proclaim an a Spanish accent,
“Mija, I bought you something!”
And my mother would sigh and mutter under her breath “not again.”
As Jenny tied her boxes of shoes to her feet and wiggled her toes around she decided she needed to test them out. Standing there watching her she called me over to her, she placed me right in front and with precise precision and with all her might Jenny kicked me square in the stomach. Being a six year old I can never remember before that point having the air knocked out of me. Lying on my back I remember wondering why, no matter how hard I tried, why I couldn’t get air into my lungs. I don’t remember what happened after that, if my sister ever got in trouble for craze karate kick or if it just slid by.
But things did change. Relationships grow and we grew up. Instead of wearing teenage boy high-tops we started to buy Steve Madden and BCBG high hill knock offs.
It was sometime in the month of November and we were in a hotel somewhere in Provo, Utah Jenny was laying next to me reading and I was thinking about how drastically her life was about to change tomorrow morning. To me she showed no fear, but I had enough fear for the both of us. Her example over the next eighteen month impacted me more than she will probably ever know. A year and a half later when we were at the air port picking her up Jenny was crying harder than when she left. She hated the idea of being home and I thought “Who the heck is this girl! And give me back my sister.” Day’s past and she adjusted I relearned who she was and realized she still was the same Jenny that when I seven convinced me to lick up ants because they tasted like lemons and made me chocolate pudding with rollie pollies in it.
When I was eight years old my mother announced to Angie and I that we were going to move in together and share a room. Angie hated this idea, so in turn I hated the idea. As the dreaded Saturday came that we switched rooms, Angie declared that she refused to live with someone that still played with Barbie’s. They were for babies and she was not a baby, so either I got rid of my collection, or I was homeless. After Angie was finished with her fiasco I gathered up my dolls, went to the bathroom, and proceeded to stuff them inside plastic baggies. For the next month they hid safely tucked beneath my bed, where Angie could not see them. I don’t remember how they were discovered or who ratted me at to my big sister, but I do remember how mad Angie was when she found them. She yelled and yelled, and then she threw them all away. I used to tell people she cut the heads off and then threw them away, but I don’t know if that is completely true… I just have told this story so many times I think I believe it now.
Since that incident with the Barbie’s, yelling, and decapitation, Angie and I have matured and put our differences aside, especially when it comes to dolls. We live in separate states but whenever given the chance to see each other I start counting down the days until till were together making comments that in my parents minds are inappropriate or unladylike, which would make my dad’s eyes ‘pop’ and my mom shudder with annoyance.
Airports seem to be a prime time for Angie’s and my humor. It’s already a stressful, crowded, annoying place to be, so our humor helps. One particular trip home from
I did not grow up being physically and emotionally abused by my older sisters, I’m not asking for pity, or trying to make them feel bad. Even though I will forward this to both of them and if I do receive an “I’m sorry” or an edible flower arrangement in the mail, I’m not going to complain. But as I look back through my memories in my mind, pictures of my siblings and I riding our dog Sam as a horse to dressing my younger brother as a girl in our dresses floods into view. Happy and sad ones standout, but overall I can see the changes in our relationships. Though I may be younger, one married, and the other is moving to the other side of the world we are bound together and our past experiences, which we now laugh at, bring us closer.