Monday, September 3, 2012

Star Light, Star Bright...

Me and my Star; Robert Moses Beach, NY; Winter, 1994
This past Saturday was my sister, Star's, birthday. She lives in Brooklyn with her love-toy and had plans of her own for the day, so I didn't get to see her, but hope to take her to dinner some time this week.

In another post I wrote about my Mom (and the cat face), and I did paint a picture of a fun gal, which she certainly can be. But these moments of whimsy were the exception, not the rule—growing up under her roof was a major buzzkill, more often than not. Through the eyes of a mother, I can now fully understand her parenting choices (though I'll never agree with them). She sheltered Star and me so securely as we grew up that we didn't live what I'd consider "normal" or "average" American childhoods and, as a result, missed out on a lot. (A LOT.)

Of course, first-generation kids in any nation can experience a disconnect between the ways their friends' families live and the way their own families get on, especially if their parents/guardians/whatevers are firmly attached to their homelands' mores. I geddit. But it's hard to deal with when you're a kid and you're not allowed to go over a friend's house, or do sleepovers or, later as a teen, go to the ubiquitous Mall, or dozens of other perfectly natural things kids do with their friends. I think the reasons she wouldn't let us do these things came from her unfamiliarity with American cultural norms as well as her inordinate fears for our safety. Like I said, I understand now what drove her, and I'm not holding a grudge (anymore). But I can tell it like it was, you know?

Anyway, the point for detailing all of the above is to illustrate the environment in which Star and I spent our formative years. We were stuck at home, like, ALL THE TIME. We definitely got on one another's nerves now and again, but we were one another's refuges, really. Whenever one of us got sick, Mom sort of flipped, growing irritable and worried and all smothery-like. So Star took to coming to me first if she had a headache or something simple like that, and I'd slip her some Tylenol or whatever, keeping everything on the downlow so Mom wouldn't freak out. When some weighty matter overwhelmed me, I didn't go to my parents but to my sis. I didn't expect her to do anything, as she's six years younger than I and was even less equipped to deal with shit than I was, but I needed to talk to someone I could trust and she was the only one who fit the bill. We trusted one another, implicitly, and she's still the one I turn to for a wise, honest opinion, or with a question regarding a point of honor, or justice. And she turns to me for fashion advice (for some unknown reason).

So here's to Star and all her sisterly support; I don't know how I'd have made it through without you. In fact, I probably wouldn't have. <3

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Fellow bloggers, please check back on Thursday, as I've got a blogfest announcement in the works!


  1. That must have been so comforting to have a "battle buddy". My mother was of the suffocating sort - no sleepovers or swim lessons. I was her only child so I had to come of age after I'd come of age.

    That looks like a rough winter in that photo.

  2. You were lucky to have a sister to turn to, and her lucky to have you too!! Like Henri, I too am an only child and while I was given latitude to go to the mall and sleepovers, my mom smothered me esp. when it came to dating. Like I have always said, it's not a coincedance that 'mother' and 'smother' are only separated by one letter.

  3. @Henri B. - Yep, though it was quite some time ago, I do recall that day being a blustery one on the beach. :-)

    @JoJo: "Like I have always said, it's not a coincedance that 'mother' and 'smother' are only separated by one letter." - ROTFL! :-D

  4. Nice post Mina - hmm that does sound a bit repressive, I think my folks were the other way "just go off and walk down the railway line' etc. It's true re the first generation thing. You saw it a lot with the Indian girls in the UK who weren't allowed to date etc. Bend it like Beckham etc.

  5. I think we all have people with whom we would have never survived childhood without. :) Happy Birthday to Star!

  6. @David: Yeah, that's a pretty good comparison. :-)

    @Juli: I really hope everyone does/did! And thanks!

  7. Oooh a blogfest announcement! What could it be? Something for Halloween perhaps? I shall return on Thursday. I'm also happy that you are giving some credit to those who support you emotionally :)

    1. Yessir, I give credit...and dinner! :-)

      The blogfest's name is a bit Halloweenish, I suppose...though things thought dead can return whenever they want, eh? ::evil cackle::

      PS: I downloaded Slipstream and it's next on my to-be-read list - really looking forward to it! :-)

  8. Happy Birthday to a wonderful sister! I hope she had a brilliant one. :) My sisters are certainly two of my dearest friends as well. I would not know what I would do without either of them. Funny, since growing up we really weren't in each other's lives as Erica is 5 years younger and Karyn is 9 1/2 years younger.

  9. Your sister sounds like an amazing lady, and you two are lucky to have each other! :) Happy birthday to Star!

  10. @Melissa - thank you! We're blessed to have our gals, ain't we? :-)

    @Trisha - And thank you, too!

  11. Becoming a parent certainly changes perspective for most of us. I think family is the best. I wish I could be around my brothers and sisters more often. We always have a good time when we're together.

    Wrote By Rote

    1. Sorry your sibs aren't too easy to get to. My sis is thinking of a cross-country move next year. I'm not too thrilled, but I'll be happy for her, of course.

  12. Geez Louise...this story sound familiar--even the cross-country move, which my sis did last year and has since returned.
    We call each-other the reason for our sanity (probably hers more than mine). I am not bashing my parents at ALL...they were just a TAD over-protective. Cough.
    And although I don't raise my son like they raised us--they did SOMETHING right. Many things.
    As for fashion advice--I would wear the same pair of shorts all summer and be happy as a clam. She simply shakes her head and buys me nice clothes for ANY birthday, holiday, Saturday--anything!--so she does not have to look at those white shorts everyday...


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