There are a few things you should know about my sister, the first being that, like the rest of my family, she is absolutely insane. She’s a bit of a tomboy, her clothes never match, and she always has energy to spare. Once, when we were little, she duct taped me to a tree in my grandparents’ yard. We’re total opposites.
But it didn’t take long for us to realize that, with two younger brothers and a house full of Crazies, if we were going to survive, we needed each other. We developed a strong and strange bond throughout our lifetime, and one year after she graduated high school, I followed her to University (Okay, so not intentionally—it was either University with Brittany or community college with the rest of my family).
Looking back, one of my absolute favorite stories between us has everything to do with the bond of sisterhood and everything to do with a potato.
From the time we were in diapers until the day Brittany left for college, we shared a bedroom. It was a renovated attic that split into two separate rooms at the top of the stairs. On the left side of the stairs was our brothers’ bedroom. On the right side was ours. The separate rooms didn’t have doors. We had a curved curtain that acted as a blind to give us some privacy, but that was the only thing that separated us from the two preteen boys whose relation we often denied.
One year, when Brittany was in 7th grade, she completed a science project in which she measured the electricity or volts in potatoes. When she was finished with the project, instead of throwing out all of the mutilated vegetables, she chose one to keep as a friend. She carried it upstairs and set it on a hope chest beneath the window, where it was bathed in sunlight every day.
It didn’t take long for me to spot the potato and corner Brittany, demanding to know what it was there for.
“It’s my potato,” she’d said. “Leave it alone.”
“It’s my room,” I countered back at her. “And I don’t want a potato in it!”
Needless to say, Brittany was older and stronger, and more defiant, and she often got her way; the potato stayed. It wasn’t long before the thing began to spout buds and eyes that grew long and ugly like twisted brown tentacles, and again I pleaded for it to be thrown out to no avail.
Eventually clothing and papers and knickknacks began to cover the hope chest, and they hid the potato from view. In a short amount of time, we both forgot about it.
It wasn’t until a month and a half later when Brittany decided to clean her hope chest that we found the potato again.
“What is this?” She pondered aloud. I stopped what I was doing to take a peek and immediately began emitting peals of laughter.
“It’s… the… p-potato!” I shouted, unable to stop myself. The thing had grown fuzzy with mold and its tentacle-y arms were a good six inches long. “That’s disgusting! HAHAHAHAHAHA!”
Brittany gingerly picked it up and examined it as it were the results of an interesting experiment and then proceeded to toss it in the trash without another word.I’m still not sure why this particular story is still so amusing to me; I feel as if it captures both of our personalities, and the challenges that we each faced in being so different and living together for so long. Insane or otherwise, she’s still my sister, and I wouldn’t change that for the world!
|That's Brittany in the green, and me in the reptile-print at jr-sr prom|