One thing I can tell you about my big sister Jodi is that when I was a kid, she regularly let me stand up on the passenger seat of her powder blue Volkswagen Beetle and stick my upper body out of her sun roof as she drove me home from school. I’d throw my arms straight into the air and close my eyes as the wind blasted my face. I could have been killed.
Here’s something else. She took me to Disneyland once and dragged me into the “Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln” attraction. She waited until I was sufficiently bored before leaning over and gently whispering into my ear, “You better pay attention because they give you a test afterwards, and if you fail it they kick you out of the park.”
This one is good too: Jodi was officially the first person in the family who found out I had no interest in women. She was visiting at the house I shared in Beverly Hills around 1997 or so, and while at the dinner table my idiot roommate (who later became my idiot boyfriend for a few years) casually asked, “Hey Gary, do the people at your office know you’re gay?” I can’t imagine what my face looked like at that moment. (You’ll have to wait for Jodi’s blog to get the full report on that). Compounding the embarrassment was that Jodi was staying the night, and sharing my room.
There was no escape, no shell under which I could retreat.
But Jodi calmly re-assured me later that night as I was curled up in the corner of my room, wishing I could die, that she wasn’t really surprised by the news (are attentive older sisters ever surprised by that news?) and that it didn’t change anything between us. She also made it clear to me that it wouldn’t make a difference to anyone else in my family either, though it took me a while longer to actually come to believe that.
It was probably close to six months before I mustered the courage to come out to the rest of the family, but when I did, I knew no matter what reaction I’d get, I had Jodi in my corner.
My kitchen is small. Really small. If my apartment is the entire world, my kitchen is Malta. So I don’t generally like other people in there with me when there’s cooking going on.
Ask MG. He’ll tell you the best spot to interact with me while I’m getting down over the stove is seated on the bar stool on the other side of the counter between the kitchen and the living room – full access to the chef ‘s attention without eating up any valuable elbow room.
But when your big sister comes up to spend the Fourth of July weekend and wants to cook with you, and it’s the sister who encouraged and supported rambunctious childhood mischief (even if it was dangerous), happily had innocent fun at your expense (even if it was mean), and embraced you with love when you worried you might lose the support of your family (even if it was never even a real possibility), god dammit… you shove yourself over and make plenty of room!
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