Saturday, March 28, 2015

Six degrees of my sister and Martha Stewart

You’ve heard a little bit about my sister before, and the fact that we are nine years apart. For the most part we lived very separate lives as kids. Except for singing together (and washing dishes while singing, which made our parents insane when they were watching television in the next room), there wasn’t much we had in common until we were both adults with families of our own. Once that happened the age factor disappeared.

I may have also pointed out that I have not one stitch of craftiness in me. That’s because my sibling sucked it all up before I was born.

My sister can paint, design, make beautiful jewelry, and have perfectly coiffed hair and matching ensembles at all times. She is a fantastic cook and has been the consummate holiday host over the years for countless family gatherings. She even made my wedding dress.

It’s just not fair.

I don’t do any of those things other than whipping up a pretty good meal. That ability was, thankfully, passed down from our mom to both of us, though I have had my share of kitchen mishaps.

I did sew a pair of pants once when I was in school during what was called Home Economics back in the Stone Age of my youth. The inside seam somehow got sewn to the outer side. And paint? Forget it, unless you’re talking about painting a wall – and even then The Spouse (i.e. The Obnoxious Perfectionist) is apt to paint over an area that I just finished.

My hair is almost like a science experiment, or a toss-up between windblown and “What the heck is that?”

Yes, we have come to find more in common as adults, but there is still one major way we have never been alike.

My sister has to be six degrees or less from Martha Stewart.

Maybe you’ve heard of the Six Degrees of Separation, the theory that we are all no more than six steps away, by way of introduction, from any other person in the world. Of course, there is also the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, the theory that you can name any actor and they will be six degrees or less to the Footloose alumnus. I tried it. Kevin Bacon knows everyone.

I am convinced on the day of her birth my sister was showered with a Martha Stewart-esque aura. I would entertain the idea that they are somehow related, but that would mean I should also have a tiny flicker of craft-worthiness, and….well, NO.

Bearing in mind this knack my sister has for all things coordinated, I asked for her assistance in preparing for First Born’s upcoming wedding shower. During my recent visit to Connecticut where much of our family still lives, I took advantage of her warehouse membership to consider some food options for the day. We went together to the hall where the event will be held, measured tables and discussed the setup. I left for my trip home with complete relief, knowing things would fall nicely into place.

The next day I realized I couldn’t find any of the three lists I had been scribbling bits of information on while my sister rattled off recipe ideas and decorating suggestions. I’m not entirely sure I could read my own handwriting even if I do find them anyway.


Now I have to either dig through the recycling (did I leave them on the kitchen table, aka Area 51, which gets recycled in bulk?) or call her up and ask her – what did we decide for the size of tablecloths? Where are we putting the dessert? Should I bring my coffee pot?

You’ll notice there is a lot of “we” involved here. It has become a joint project because I really doubt I could have pulled this together without her input and vision. She just has to be within six degrees of Martha Stewart. And I, my friends, am closer to six degrees of Jimmy Stewart.

My amazing sister and I must balance each other in what we excel at and what we may need a little assistance with. I’m not sure what area I could possibly assist her in, but one of these days I’m hoping she asks me for help and I can come through with glorious results.

In the meantime, I will be in the recycling bin.

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