Regardless of what I may have said when I was younger, I always wanted to be just like my sister. Oh sure, we argued relentlessly and swore we hated each other, but the truth is I wanted to be just like her. If she had something I just HAD TO have it, too. If she did something, I just HAD TO do it, too. Even though I would deny it with the blinding intensity of a thousand stars, I admired her.
She is cute and petite and tough. T-O-U-G-H. I have always heard the story of the time she chased down the neighborhood bully, tackled him and was sitting on him demanding he stop acting like such a jerk. She was half his size, but he was reduced to tears. It wasn’t that she was mean. You just didn’t mess with her. She had (and still has) such a strength of character that you knew better. If you are smart, you still know better.
If you combine the fact that I looked up to her as if she could walk on water AND part the Red Sea AND was OLDER with the fact that you just don’t mess with this petite spitfire, you can see why I pretty much did whatever she said when I was younger. She said JUMP? I would be saying “How high?” on the way UP. Are you getting the picture here? She was the boss and I listened.
Except for in the case of The Song. I totally disobeyed her (in secret, of course) when it came to The Song.
You see, she and I would sit for hours playing the same record over and over and over. (Yes, I said record. I’m old, remember? In fact, it was a 45 that we played on her blue portable record player.) The Song? The Lion Sleeps Tonight. However, I was NOT allowed to sing the lyrics. ONLY the chorus. And I mean FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THINGS MUSICAL ONLY THE CHORUS! I shudder to think what she would’ve have done if I sang the lyrics. (In all honesty, I am sure she wouldn’t actually have done anything. She just didn’t have to EVER “do” anything. The very look and thought that I would tick her off was enough to keep my little ass in line. Still is.)
But you see, she had to go to school ALL day. I only had to go to school half a day. Do the math. There was an entire half day where I could play The Lion Sleeps Tonight in HER room on HER record player AND sing THE LYRICS. It was such delicious rebellion. Oh how I relished the very idea that I was SINGING THE WHOLE SONG and she would never, ever, never know.
Yesterday the song was on the radio. (I was flipping through the stations. Quit looking at me like I listen to the old fart adult contemporary radio stations just because I am another year older!) I stopped at the song and listened. Then I found myself ROLLING up the windows so that I could turn it up and *gasp* SING THE ENTIRE SONG. As if miles away, in my home with the doors and windows shut down tight she would somehow be able to hear me and KNOW that I was DISOBEYING her direct order to never, ever, never sing that whole song. I giggled as if I was getting away with some huge conspiracy. Just like when I was 4 except this time I didn’t have all of my stuffed animals lined up listening to my concert. Just some middle aged man in a Chevy who stared open mouthed at the scary lady singing and giggling to the oldies music.
But really, don’t tell her, okay? I can do it. Just this once. It IS my birthday afterall. That should get me a Get Out of Trouble Free card. Right? I hope so because I did and will do it again even if someone hears me. But really, don’t tell on me.