Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Warning: sentimental schmaltz ahead.

If you don't like mush, you might want to tune out now.

See, this post should be about my Saturday, about how Anna Marie made TWO goals at her game - one for her team, and one for the opposition - and going to India Palace for lunch, and having Indian food for the first time.

And then going to an Asian market, and being nearly knocked down by the smell of fish, the likes of which I haven't smelled since I went deep-sea fishing off the North Carolina coast one summer during college. (MMM, chum.)

Instead, it's about my sister, Amanda. See, she's moving on with her life.

And it's killing me. Not so softly.

She's been planning this transition for a while now, but yesterday it became a reality.

Amanda works with me, and has for nearly three years. But she feels its time to move on, and yesterday she was (thanks to a co-worker who was looking out for his own best interests) forced to go ahead and give her notice.

Her last day is November 3. Then, she's going to England for a couple of weeks, and then, who knows.

(Oh God, I'm starting to tear up again. I've resorted to listening to my three Flight of the Conchords songs over and over to keep my spirits up.)

We haven't always had a good relationship. Growing up, I was really ugly to her. I mean, REALLY ugly. Did you know that once, when we were in school (she in first grade, and me in fifth, the only year we attended the same school) that I slapped her on the face, just because a friend dared me to?

Told you I was ugly to her.

But you know what? She's grown into a better person than me. Maybe if I'd had a big sister treating me like crap my whole growing-up life, I'd be a better person now too.

I tell her this all the time, but she dismisses me. She's got it so much more "together" than I do.

She knows who she is. I'm still searching, and I've got nearly a four year head start on her.

(Here come the tears again. Good thing she sits with her back toward me so she can't see this.)

I know we'll still be sisters, even if we don't see each other every day. It's just that we've gotten so close in the last few years, I don't want to lose that. She's the closest thing to a best friend I've got. I don't even trust myself to go shopping for clothes anymore without her input.

And, she's doing something she's always wanted - going to England. There are things I've always wanted to do, but my own fear and neuroses have held me back.

Did you know I've written a couple of books? And that I'm working on more? And that I write songs, including some very clever children's songs?

No, you probably didn't, because I've always been too afraid of rejection to do anything about them.

Did you know that Amanda is my weight-loss inspiration? And that she has introduced me to all sorts of cool things, like tofu and Indian food and Midtown Memphis?

And that when I moved back home, I dressed like an old lady, and she made me throw out all my clothes and get hip, new ones? She performed her own "makeover story" on herself and then did one on me.

She has a way of making her dreams come true. Like, last year she and some friends went to Nashville to hear Coldplay. Have I ever been to a concert like that? No. When Third Day came to Memphis last spring, I hesistated buying tickets until it was too late.

So here we stand. My little sister has a passport. She's going to England. She's quit her job here, which is something I'd love to do but of course I have responsibilities and she doesn't and my options are a wee bit more limited than hers.

(Grammer flashback! Fused sentences!)

And then when she gets back, she's probably moving to Memphis. Where she can go to Grizzlies games anytime she wants and eat Vietnamese food and do all that other cool stuff that a middle-aged mom doesn't get to do.

Good on ya, Amanda. Good on ya.


Anonymous said...

if i only had half the courage your sister does. kudos to her and to you for being so honest about the good, the bad & the ugly!

Melissa said...

That's sweet of you to say about both of us!

Yeah, she is brave! I've traveled by myself, but mainly between here (Memphis area) and Atlanta or Augusta, GA. Never "across the pond!" And she's going to be staying in hostels, which means she'll probably have roommates!

Oh, and paying for public toilets. That's just crazy!

Amanda said...

It's not your fault but I look 500 pounds in that picture!

I should've lost 10 pounds before England. Dang it.

Melissa said...

Pshaw, Amanda! And, we can find you one of those "quickie eat nothing but grapefruit diets" the celebs use.

Except, you probably don't like grapefruit.

Oh bother.