Sisters, Sisters…Never Were There Such Devoted Sisters.


In the past few days, perhaps because of the subliminal effects that the Christmas season is having upon my brain, I have found myself singing  “Sisters, Sisters”, the song that Rosemary Clooney and Vera Ellen sang in the wonderful old holiday movie “White Christmas.”

Do you know it?

Sisters, sisters,

There never were such devoted sisters…

Caring, sharing,

Every little thing that we are wearing.”

(Note: it is o.k. for Jewish people, me included, to like both this movie and the song because (a) it is a lovely movie and (b) the music in the movie was written by Irving Berlin. Who happens to be Jewish, fyi)

(Further Note: Yes, I recognize that “White Christmas”  is an old movie. Released in 1954. And no, I am not so old that I saw it when it first came out.)

Recalling this song made me think of my devotion to and the devotion from my funny, clever (and only) sister who promised me several months ago that she would write a Guest Blog Post for me – but has not.  Despite Frequent Reminders.

Admittedly, she is busy. She works hard at her job, her kids are younger than mine, one in the throes of applying to college and the other in the throes of struggling through astrophysics (if that exists, which I doubt, that is his college major) and she buzzes around town with friends and volunteer activities. She also lives a few miles from our 91-year-old Dad and stepmother, and for this I am forever grateful, cooks a three course dinner for them every Wednesday night featuring items from the 1950’s culinary hit parade such a fruit cup, meatloaf and angel food cake.

But Too Busy to Write a Guest Post for your Big Sister’s Blog? Even though you promised you would do it?

I am not holding a grudge, honestly. I will just have to write the Guest Post for you.

If my sister were to write a Guest Blog Post, she might start by telling you that when we were younger I was not always the nicest of older sisters.

I did once, when we were teens on an early spring vacation with our parents at a golf resort lock her out onto the terrace of our shared hotel room. What can I say? She was bugging me. Then, as now, I like to hang out. She likes to do things. I talk a lot. She talks even more. I must have gotten annoyed by her and somehow tricked her into going out onto the outdoor terrace of our room in the high-rise hotel that overlooked the golf course below.

Maybe I accidentally locked the sliding glass doors and left her outside. Maybe it was purposeful. Who can remember?

What happened next was that our parents, off in the distance on the 16th hole or something, playing golf with a nice couple they had just met, heard very loud shouting. Very loud shouting coming from somewhere high above them on the side of the hotel that faced the golf course. Screams, girlish in nature. Where can those screams possibly be coming from, asked the nice couple they had just met? Later our Dad, after he had calmed down somewhat, told me that right away he knew what he was hearing. The sounds of my sister banging on the sliding glass doors and screaming at me to be let in. After a while I did so. She may still hold a grudge.

Perhaps I was retaliating against her for one of her earlier devious moves. The one when I was packing to leave for my first year of college. She tricked me into leaving my bedroom when I was in the middle of sorting through which sweaters to bring.

(You should know this about me: I love sweaters. I have stacks of them. While other women like shoes or jewelry, I collect mostly wool and a bit of cashmere.)

And my sister well knew about my sweater love. So when I came back to my bedroom and searched for my favorite fair isle cardigan and my new pale yellow cable-knit sweater, she feigned innocence. Nope, she had no clue where my sweaters were. So off I went to my freshman year of college without (at least) two of my favorite sweaters. Perhaps now is the time to reveal that at Thanksgiving of that year I did discover said sweaters hidden under her bed. I don’t hold a grudge.

When I wasn’t locking her out of hotel rooms and she wasn’t stealing sweaters, we did get along fairly well.

She was (still is) four years younger than I am. So she was entering high school just as I was leaving. Same with college. Our paths and friends didn’t really cross. I was the Susie Student Council type. The most radical thing I ever did was once listen to a “Jimmy Hendrix” record that an older boy gave me (I didn’t like either the boy or the record.)  My sister was more of the bon vivant type and to hear her tell it, had quite the social life while I was busy studying. But because she was the baby of the family, my parents looked the other way. Or so I thought. Of course, I don’t hold a grudge.

Our childhood memories differ. She remembers more about the old neighborhood and even older friends since she still lives nearby and I don’t. She bumps into people from our growing up days at the supermarket, at restaurants and at the movies. She will call me on the phone and tell me, “I  saw Bobby Lerner the other night, do you remember him, he lived around the corner on Curtis Terrace? He had a younger sister named Sharon. He’s married now, two kids. ”

I have no idea who Bobby Lerner is or was. But my sister does and she knows all about him now and will likely stay in touch.

What my sister won’t tell you in her Non-Existent Guest Blog Post is that she talks to everyone, anywhere she goes. Everyone.

Of course, she could tell you that none of the above is true. That I didn’t lock her out of that hotel room and that she didn’t “misplace” my sweaters. That she really didn’t get away with all sorts of mischief when she was in high school while I had to obey the letter of the law (a/k/a Dad). And that she really doesn’t talk to everyone she meets to the point where her own teenagers, who may have mentioned this to Aunt Nancy (me), once or twice, now refuse to go on errands with her because a stop at the CVS can take hours if she runs into someone she knows or even someone she doesn’t know.

She could counter all of these allegations if she wrote the Guest Blog Post for me. The one that she promised to write a few months ago. But is Too Busy To Write.

Let’s hear her side of the story, shall we?









Filed under Blogging, Family, Holidays, Relationships, Women, Writing

10 responses to “Sisters, Sisters…Never Were There Such Devoted Sisters.

  1. Sindy Malin

    Nancy, that is a priceless essay about you and your sister!. She has always will be one of the best talkers I know.


  2. Julie Poole

    very cute post-adorable sisters !!!!!!!


  3. If you haven’t already, do read Dara Horn’s “A Guide for the Perplexed”….sibling rivalry to the max!


  4. Suzanne Fluhr

    I was (am) the oldest of 3 sisters. My sisters tell me I was “parentified”. I think that might be a nice way of saying “bossy”.


  5. Yes, let’s hear her side of the story. I’m a middle sister and when I ask my two sisters about a childhood memory, the older sister remembers a lot and the younger sister doesn’t recall anything.


  6. elinwaldal

    Sibling torture. I remember it well as the youngest of 5 who was smothered under seat cushions, locked out of the house, folded into a cot in the middle of the night and God knows what else…And I have to say, I wouldn’t trade any of it. The war stories, largely “forgotten” by one of my brothers, make for a lot of laughs now. Great story. I’m guessing that post is in the works. 🙂


  7. Love that you wrote your sister’s guest post. Now she HAS to write one in response, right? And great pictures.


  8. What fun to have that kind of relationship with your sister.


  9. greg

    Nancy do something not nice? Never!! Judy may write a response so be careful what you wish for sweetness. As for my own childhood memories of you they really are quite good. I like sauciness and nobody can accuse you of mellowing with age.


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