there are some things in life that we can't change. sure, we can always change our perspective, but some things are the way they are. your parents are your parents. your siblings are your siblings. your genes are your genes. some things can change with hard work, perseverance, timing, luck.
a few weekends ago, as i settled down to watch another episode of "keeping up with the kardashians", brian asked me why i watched the show. at first the answer was obvious - curiosity i guess. interest in how other people live their lives. wondering where they like to shop. no different, really, from why i read some blogs. but i thought about it a little more, and there's another reason, too. it's really the only thing in life that briefly arouses pangs of jealously whenever i see it - the relationships the sisters have.
you see, i have a sister. we grew up across the hall from one another for the first 18 years of my life and we played with barbies and legos, but as we got older we grew farther apart. we had little in common and even less when it came to our personalities. now, we talk about twice a year. we awkwardly hug at holidays. we tell each other we love one another because it makes my mom happy. we have nothing in common. we have nothing to say to each other. we don't talk about boys or make-up or clothes or cooking or careers. we talk like acquaintances.
how are you?
catch that football game?
yeah, this stuffing sure is good!
my mom says when we have kids we'll be close, we'll be friends. my parents, both from big families, have close relationships with their siblings and are saddened that we don't. i think sometimes they blame themselves. so they tell themselves we'll be close, one day. i think they see something i don't. or something that just isn't there.
so, yes, a part of me watches the kardashians for that. for all the vapidness on the show, kourtney still stops at kim's house before she goes to the hospital to have a baby. kim and khloe go to the doctor together. they shop together. travel together. i watch as though i'm straining to get a glimpse of what it's like to have a sister. then, of course, i remember that i do have one.
our relationship can't be dissected in a post. like any close family member there are layers and layers that explain how we got to where we are today. but no issue is as insurmountable as the realization that when i sit across the table from her, the two times a year that i do, i have nothing to say. we won't have spoken in eight months and still - we can't think of anything to say to one another. there is no quick fix, no apology, no forgiveness, that can change that. it just is what it is.
i was talking with my college roommate about this a few weeks ago and she reminded me that i am in no shortage of close female friends, which is true. i have made very deep and meaningful relationships from each stage of my life with girls, now women, who mean the world to me. whose houses i can stop by before i have that baby, or who can go to the doctor with me, or shop with me, or travel with me, or cook with me, or discuss career strategy with me. but still. it nags at me. it tugs at me. i have a sister.
and yet, i don't.