there were never such devoted sisters

Recently, Katherine Center, author of Everything is Beautiful (a delicious must-read), posted a  home-movie from her childhood.  The movie is edited and captioned to be a love-letter, and shows her and her sister on what was likely a perfectly ordinary afternoon.

This is so very tender.

Having sisters is one of the greatest joys of my life.  My sisters were born when I was in high school, so I didn’t expect to enjoy them as friends.  When they first came into my life, my brother and I were more like a second set of parents to them, or a really cool aunt and uncle (or so we told ourselves).

Going to the mall or a department store was an adventure in misunderstanding.  I would occupy one or both of the twinks while my mother crossed off her to-do list.

When I walked around with Catherine, the older of the two, and I was spotted by a grey-haired grandmother-type,* she would look at my sister, then at me, and cluck sympathetically, “Oh, you poor dear, so young, but what a lovely child you have.”

A few years later (but still a teenager), when I walked around with Elizabeth AND Catherine, the same grandmother-type was not so sympathetic.  She was more inclined to mutter under her breath, “Didn’t she learn anything the first time?!  Young people today, hmmmmppphhhh!”

Over the years, my relationships with the girls have changed and grown, as we have.  Now they are best of friends to each other, and dear friends to me.  This year, we are scattered in three countries on two continents.  Thanks to WordPress, IM, Skype, and VOIP, we are never too far away from being in contact.

But it is not the same as being in the same room, riffing off each other, making each other laugh.

Catherine and Graham are coming home from Sweden for Christmas, and it will be a Very Good Thing.  Looking forward to it puts me in mind of White Christmas.  And this scene from the movie where Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye perform one of the Hanes Sisters’ dance numbers.

The original scene from the movie, with Rosemary Clooney and Vera Allen is here.  I used the guys’ version because it is funnier, and because we have a brother too.  We love our brother.

* back then, I said “old lady” – now that I have my own grey hairs, I am a little cagier about who I call old


listening to: The Fray, Never Say Never (official ABC video for “Brothers and Sisters”)


  • My walking around with evil eyes coming from “more experiences” women was with my baby brother. He was born when I was 14 and my mom was very ill so I was his primary caregiver and thus it was assumed by some that I had made a bad choice.

    Yes yes on the favourite xmas movie post.

  • Dr. K: shall we just keep a running list of the things we have in common, or is there NOT ENOUGH PAPER for that? One movie post in draft form now – being written in the five-minute intervals I am giving myself between “real” writing sprints, and competing with bathroom- and tea-time (related) breaks. Maybe by Friday?

    Just after uploading this post, I shared a Skype call with the Swedish-sister (which is more accurately written in-Sweden-sister, as she has not changed nationalities) this afternoon. This made me SO HAPPY. She made me laugh and blush, and we had a great chat about lots of things. More, please. I am feeling greedy.

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