clothes · fighting · girls · humor · sharing · sisters · Uncategorized

Whose Slip Is it Anyway?

I grew up in a family of 3 girls, and we were all about the same size in our teen years. Doesn’t sound like such a big deal until you realize that we could wear the same socks, shoes, slips, dresses, etc.

Perhaps this isn’t an issue for teenage boys, but for girls it is MAJOR. I did not want my sisters wearing my underwear or my jeans or anything else that was mine. And strangely they felt the same way. Although I was known to grab a pair of socks from someone else’s drawer on many occasions.

Arguments (that would be a nice way of putting it) in the mornings were constant, shouting back and forth from room to room, and my parents finally strongly advising us just to get dressed, regardless of whose blouse it was.

My mother, being the inventive soul that she was, tried several schemes to help us identify individual property. She assigned different colors of thread to each of us and then sewed the designated thread color to our socks, pants, etc. That wasn’t successful either because we would fight over who had what color, particularly if we wanted to wear something special that may belong to another sibling.

Dad tried to stay out of the fray since he didn’t have anyone vying for his shorts. But he did voice his frustration when he walked into our one bathroom and women’s under garments were hanging everywhere. He hated taking a shower with someone’s garter belt hitting him in the face. Didn’t bother any of us, but he seemed to be sensitive about it.

The happiest day in his life was when he converted a closet into a bath for himself. I recall he threaten us with bodily harm if we even thought about drying our panties in ‘his’ bathroom.

I think back on that time and wonder if clothing was just an excuse to fight and fuss. Did we really care who wore what? Or was it a way to express our anger about other misdeeds we thought our sisters had done? Those are questions that probably won’t be answered in this lifetime, but I wonder if families with multiple female teenagers aren’t having the same hassles today. They may be fighting over a hairbrush, a hair dryer, toothbrushes…who knows. But the fight is probably about your younger sister being prettier than you, or your older sister getting a car and you didn’t.

Brothers also fight over things, but probably not clothes. And their fights are far more direct, like a punch in the nose. I don’t ever remember having a physical fight with my sisters.

Oh, wait, that’s not true. Our parents gave my younger sister and me boxing gloves one year for Christmas and built a boxing ring in the basement of our house. We were allowed to fight each other only when our parents were home, so that meant we had to keep our anger in check until nightfall. That arrangement was a definite disadvantage to me, because by the time the folks got home, I had forgotten what I had been mad about 8 hours earlier. Not so my sister. She nursed that anger all day long, letting it bubble inside her until it would explode through those boxing gloves.

By the time we got into the ring, she was mad, I was in a good mood, and that further infuriated her. The madder she got, the more I laughed which made her even more furious. She would beat the heck out of me, and I never understood why we were fighting.

The powers that be would call a halt to the bout, she would claim victory, and I became a conscientious objector to violence, particularly if it was directed at me.

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13 thoughts on “Whose Slip Is it Anyway?

  1. This was brilliant Margo – what great stories! You had a smart Dad for getting his own bathroom.
    I had four older siblings – two brothers and two sisters. My sisters were several years older so we didn’t share clothing, but I did have to share a bedroom with one of them for about six years. She was much messier than me, and if anything of hers got on my side of the room, I hit the roof!
    Can you picture a six-year-old yelling at a teenager for being messy? 😀

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    1. OH I can see that. My sisters and I could fight and yell at each other for any reason. My mother commonly reminded, “just because you are sisters doesn’t mean you have to friends…but we will live in peace.”

      However, I don’t remember ever fighting over messiness.

      Thanks, Christine for your responses.

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  2. I had three daughters – all in their thirties now – and they fought bitterly when they were teenagers. By late teens/ early twenties they were the best of friends and remain really close. They have been known to ask me how on earth I put up with them when they were teenagers!!

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    1. Brian, what a nice tribute. Thank you. Have to admit that when I first read your response, I thought you were responding to the reblog I did on Celibacy, and had your tongue firmly pressed in your cheek!

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