To Holly (otherwise known as Heelya):
Today we are the same age, which used to annoy me when we were kids. I liked being older and Dad knew it, so he used to aggravate me by reminding me of this fact for two days. Two WHOLE torturous days.
“You know, you and Holly are both 10 now.”
“No we’re not.”
“Oh, yes you are.”
“No. I’m older.”
“Nope. Not today and not tomorrow. Today and tomorrow you are the same age.”
This would infuriate me.
When we got older people called us Irish twins, although we’re neither Irish nor twins. We’re just sisters born within 12 months of each other.
After Joe and I called you at midnight to perform our acoustic (and painfully soulful) happy birthday song, you (as usual) said some unintentionally hysterical things, so hysterical and characteristically unscripted I’m certain the details would amuse many Lance readers. However, when I asked you if I could write about them, you hesitated and replied, “Nah. You’ll embarrass me.” And I was cool with that.
But then you sent me a text message at 12:25 a.m. that read: “Ok, u can blog about me, but only if its a birthday blog and doesnt embarrass me too much.”
So I dug up this old photo of us dancing at our 1999 prom. You were a sophomore and I was a junior. I can’t remember what song we were waltzing to, but I do recall we owned the dance floor that night – even though the evening started off on a sour note.
When we arrived at the prom, a female classmate snarled behind my back that I looked like a fat pig in my dress. You don’t even know it, but you saved my life that night. When I think back on my junior prom, I remember crying for 10 minutes in the bathroom and then spending the rest of the night dancing blissfully with you.
Heelya, I’m so proud of you. You bought your first house this week! Anyone who has ever hunted for and purchased a piece of real estate, shares in your joy and frustration. It’ll all be worth it this summer when you’re sitting on your porch, sipping iced tea and reading smutty magazines. Believe me.
You’re an excellent teacher; the best teacher I never had. I get misty-eyed when I read the letters your students write me. Sure, I’m proud of the kids, whom I know are learning disabled and struggle through every word. But I’m also proud of you.
Growing up we were inseparable and now we live too far apart, but I’m not one for drama, so I’ll just leave it at this:
You’re a good sister. I’m lucky to have you. You’re playful and thoughtful. You’re a good cook and an even better grocery shopper. No other Myrtle Beach resident can pull off a pair of fuzzy winter boots like you can. You have good taste in boys. (Ahem, Brian.) You make me laugh every time we talk and I miss you terribly. I couldn’t possibly embarrass you on your birthday. That’s what the other 364 days of the year are for.
I love you and I’ll see you in two weeks.
PS. Question for Mothership: did you stick baby’s breath in our hair for every prom?