I was chatting with my sister on facebook the other day, complaining about the foul mood that I have been in for the past four(+) months, and, in an effort to cheer me up (as it seems I need increasingly more and more of that these days), she reminded me of the Bunny and Bear Show. I had not thought of Bunny and Bear since...since probably the last time my sister and I had begged our dad to perform it.
Once upon a time, when my sister and I were very young, we had two puppets: a scraggly looking bear and a bunny in a pink plaid jumper. One night, when my mom was at her League of Woman Voters Meeting--which was the one thing that she did for herself (as you can tell, my mother is VERY self-indulgent)--my sister and I became upset, so, to calm us down, our dad took the puppets, threw a blanket over railing to our stair case, hide behind it, and put on the Bunny and Bear show. And it worked! My sister and I laughed and laughed and gasped for breath. It was by far the funniest thing that I have ever seen; although, I can't remember any of the punchlines.
Thinking about the Bunny and Bear Show made me unbelievably nostalgic. And it made me miss my sister. So here, in no discernible order, is a collection of some of my fondest (randomest) memories of the two of us:
1. Once, at my grandparents farm, I convinced my sister that I was going to curl her hair...using a brush. It got so tangled that my parents thought that they were going to have to cut it out but then my grandfather, ever patient and composed, worked at it for an hour or two and got it loose.
2. My sister and I were always playing pretend but one particular afternoon, we imagined that we were pioneers on the Oregon Trail. We put on our bonnets (yes, we owned bonnets) and we sat together on top of the 1970s gold colored hamper at the end of our hallway. We played this well into the evening and didn't quarrel once.
3. My mom used to go make copies on occasion--I can't remember what for--and she would take me and my sister with her. The place that she went to was in the basement of an old building in downtown Ithaca. They were really nice there; they used to give me and my sister scrap paper (and nothing was or is quite as awesome as different kinds of colored and textured paper). Sometimes, my sister and I would sit on the stairs down to the shop and wait for my mom. The antique railings of the staircase were black and intricately detailed. There was a small hole in one of the post and my sister used to amuse us with narratives of where the hole came from and what lived in there (I seem to recall it having to do with a mouse).
4. I once went with my mother to pick out a birthday present for my sister. My mom explained to me that what we got her was meant to be a surprise; I understood but upon arriving home, I was so excited for her that I blurted out: "Genny, guess what we got you for your birthday: socks with unicorns on them!" I'm glad that if I had to ruin a present, that it was socks.
5. When I was in high school and my sister was in college, we went to a Charles Dickens Christmas Festival together in Pennsylvania. It was 30 degrees outside and I had forgotten my coat. We spent the majority of the festival hunting for hot chocolate and ducking into stores for me to get warm.
6. My sister once saved me from drowning. I was swimming in the pond by our house and went out too far into the deep end. My sister, who must have been no older than eight, saw me, ran into the water and pulled me to the shallow end. Only then did the lifeguard spot us. He picked both of us up and brought us to shore and saying something perfectly idiotic like: "Thank God I saved you both." Yeah, whatever dude.
7. My sister and I watched the Ang Lee film adaptation of Sense and Sensibility during a particularly tempestuous time in our relationship. We had rented it from Wegmans, our grocery store's video place and upon watching it, we realized: holy shit, that's US. My sister was the sensible Eleanor and I was the impulsive Marianne. We quickly took to calling each other "dearest" and took the first step in embracing each other's differences.
8. In keeping with movies, my sister and I went to go see Titanic in the theater. We saw it again in our hotel room on some family vacation. We also went to go see The Patriot starring Mel Gibson in the theaters on the fourth of July. I'm not sure why all that is memorable, but it is.
9. There is a video of my sister and I, when we were very young, one Christmas and we are at our Polish grandparent's house. My grandmother had bought our family a crystal bell and Genny says: "Grandma, do you know how crystals form?" She goes on to describe the chemical process in impressive detail. My grandmother, who barely speaks English, stands dumbfounded for a moment and then Genny asks: "Well Grandma, did you know that?" I saw this video again a few years ago and I nearly died laughing. That is CLASSIC Genny.
10. Because it's almost Easter, I will end this series of reminiscent vignettes with this final one: My sister and I got Easter hats and dresses every year; we picked them out at Sears. One year, for Easter, in addition to our usual chocolate goodies, we got these large inflatable bunnies (as big as we were at the time). My sister and I sat on the kitchen floor, in our Easter dresses, playing with these inflatable bunnies ALL DAY. It was so adorable that our dad immortalized it in a comic. The comic ends with us mischievously searching for scissors and glue.