My sister Leah is pretty much the best person on this particular planet. She is all things WONDERFUL. She is understanding, kind, and compassionate to a fault. She is a loving mother. And she laughs a lot. And really, this is all it takes to reach fantastic status in life, according to me anyway.
However, she has in the last few months decided to task her body with the making of another human being. (She says it’s a human in there, but I have my doubts).
Since she began gestating, she’s been a little less compassionate. And she laughs a little less. Like almost never. Instead she makes an angry grunting sound that is I think supposed to be a laugh but causes those around her to flinch.
These peppery cynical barks only happen when she is not nauseated or experiencing “ligament pain.” It is a welcome respite that only happens when she is asleep (rare like unicorn) and about 0.006% of her day. But during her good moments, she usually has a three-year-old elbowing her boobs and stepping on her feet or errantly urinating all over the bathroom like a micturating Jackson Pollock.
Pollock called this one "Shimmering Substance."
This is also called "Shimmering Substance."
Her son tends to impede on her transient periods of good health, so we barely ever even hear her peculiar Siren song. I’m not really complaining. But she is. She is constantly calling life out for being the intolerable piece of shit it can sometimes be.
Her complaints are frequent to the point of incessant and are occasionally about things I can control, like the thermostat (easily adjusted). Or the quality of pickle (easily replaced). But other times they are about things I can do nothing about.
And this is what she did yesterday.
When Leah is without child, she is like one of us, and when the three of us get together (Leah, Mom, me), we mostly spend our time Deeming. We discuss, decide, deem and denounce. We are kind of like God in this way, or the holy Trinity possibly. We do this to movies and television, fast food restaurants and pie, coffee, coffee makers, salsa, etc. So maybe we are a three headed monster of Consumer’s Digest. I’m not sure what purpose this studied categorization serves, or why we consider ourselves the supreme authority over all things, other than that we leave our little pack feeling mentally adjusted and ready for the world again.
My theory is that it is somehow galvanizing to discuss at length the best type of hummus to buy so that when one is faced with the decision of which hummus to choose amidst an overwhelming sea of hummuses, one is prepared to make the best decision which leads to the best hummus moment. So our conclusions on all things, when applied later to life, will ultimately lead to the best possible future and the fewer chances of bad experiences. And there is that often underestimated comfort of having our family’s full support in our endeavors, hummus, movies, coffee makers, or otherwise. And woe be to the hummus that warrants our collective negative opinion, because it remains banished from our tables forever in some sort of hummus hell, pending new information of course, from one of our own.
(That basically means you have been weighed, measured, and found wanting ... in Bible speak).
So the reason Leah being pregnant is such a drag to our M.O. is that she throws all possible candidates into the fire. All of it. She allows no room for second chances or excuses. Everything fails. She is like the God of the Jews. Or more like Greek divinity with her capricious and tempestuous smiting of things. She smites food and appliances and will even smite her family with her foul stink eye. If you let loose a giggle or any other audible sound of merriment, even if you are at the grocery and she is still at home, she can smell it on you when you get back and you may as well consider yourself smote. She is like Lewis Carrol’s Queen of Hearts, stamping around in a “furious passion” denouncing our offerings and making irrational demands of the weather. And she cannot abide by losing anything. If she can’t find the toilet paper, she will loudly announce that she guesses her bladder will just explode all over the place. If she can’t find a fork, she will announce that she guesses she will just starve herself AND whatever it is that’s really in her stomach. If you giggle and call her Rosemary as a joke, her face will melt and she will punt you down the stairs.
She herself provided the following as an example of her extreme intolerance. She explains that she was just sitting there shaking her foot, a neurotic mannerism displayed by all members of my family. Anyway, there it was just innocuously shaking back and forth like a nervous puppy when it happened to touch her other leg. She was wholly offended by her OWN FOOT, her own foot that is incapable of any malintent whatsoever, and went into an irrepressible fury. She said it took all of her resolve to keep still from running around punching walls and overturning furniture. I think her point is that we should be grateful for her behavior because she is capable of far worse. Like we should consider ourselves lucky that she doesn’t set us all on fire. Like she’ll give us something to cry about. I therefore thank her wholeheartedly. I think it is in my best interests to do so.
Meanwhile I will quietly look forward to the return of my pre-Jabba the Hutt sister, and I will under no circumstances call her Jabba the Hutt to her face. I know this is just a temporary stage, and my fun loving, understanding, and sweet little sis will return. In interim, I leave you with her take on the new year. After I loudly counted down the new year and ran around the house yelling Happy New Year and hugging people and chugging Welch’s sparkling Grape juice, I passed her in the hall.