Tales from the Bermuda Triangle
In the realm of architecture and also spirituality, three is considered to be a number of strength and unity - in the realm of sisterhood... not so much. As I've noted before, I am the middle sister, with a sister two years older than me, and another three years younger. So we've all lived over half a century, and should theoretically have acquired a bit of wisdom or at least common sense by now, right? Well, one would think so anyway.
I don't invest a lot of time in my relationships with either sister, hard-learned lessons have taught me it's much healthier emotionally to keep them at arm's length. Communication is kept to a bare minimum with one, and in very general terms... the weather, etc, with the other. I'm sad (sort of) that it has to be that way, but otherwise I get sucked into far more drama and cross-fire than I want or need in my life.
I have always been the one stuck in the middle, trying not to align myself with either sister as one rails against the other, trying to mediate and keep the peace, and more often than not being the one that is under fire when communications blow up. I've long since hit the point of insisting "don't tell me what Z is doing" and "I don't care what X says about me." Either feels it is to their advantage to be able to claim my allegiance, which is never there to begin with. They cannot be trusted, and will turn on me at the drop of a hat. Our beliefs and values are far different, my life has travelled down a road far distant from theirs.
I blogged recently of a falling out with younger sister over a text that she wanted me to send to her son and I failed to comply with her wishes. When angry emails start flying, I have learned to back away and let things cool down, though it's hard not to respond in kind. So for the past few weeks it's been blissfully quiet with no word from either sister.
On Saturday I received an email from my older sister, sent to both me and younger sister, regarding a fund-raising effort to plant trees at the cemetery where my parents are buried. They are asking for families to purchase trees as memorials, and big sister wanted to know if little sister and I cared to chip in with her on a tree. I responded, briefly noting that it sounded like a nice idea to me and asking how much the trees cost, that I was fine with it as long as my part wasn't more than around $30. She sent me back a reply on Sunday night that the trees cost in the neighborhood of $80 and she was waiting to hear from younger sister, also wanted to know if I had a preference about what kind of tree to purchase, if we do.
Monday I get an email from big sister, sent to little sister and cc: to me, indicating that she hadn't heard from me yet, perhaps because I was busy learning my new job (what, six months later??) This kind of twisted spaghetti communication is classic with her. I promptly emailed back, with a cc to little sister, noting that I had indeed responded and indicating my willingness to participate in the tree purchase. I said just to let me know which sister to send my check to.
Big sister emails back saying that she is sorry for any confusion, but since she works during the day at a place that does not permit personal email or cellphone use, she could not have provided me with purchase estimate information, so I must have gotten that from someone else? (Huh??) I forwarded a copy of her email with the price estimate back to her without comment, and again noted that I am all for chipping-in, just do it and let me know what to send. I say that I am fine with whatever tree they choose.
Little sister chimes in with an email to both of us, stating that she doesn't want to spend more than about $25 and that she prefers the (Whatever name it is) tree with heart shaped leaves and blossoms in the spring.
Today's email from big sister to both of us lists two other trees that she prefers, one because of the pretty fall colors and the other because of it's weather resistance. One costs $90 and one $110.
Do you see what's transpiring here? There is now going to be a contest of wills over which tree to choose. WTH!!! I mean really, just pick a damn tree and plant it! Toss the names in a hat, whatever, I don't care.. .JUST DO IT!
We've had cemetery issues in the past, after Dad died, when big sister told little sister she didn't want to chip in on a seasonal flowers plan because Mom and Dad "aren't there anyway". That upset our very sentimental little sister greatly.
Then last year big sister decided she wanted to do a bit of decorating at the grave for whatever holiday it was, and little sister went ballistic because of the previous dis on cemetery flowers. No one was going to horn in on her right to decorate those graves!
So now, here we are, in the midst of the great tree debate. I REFUSE to get involved. Big sister has said she will place the order with her credit card as soon as the matter is decided, so I will be sending off my check to her. End of issue.
Normally, in times when little sister and I are communicating, by now I would have had ten or more "aside" emails noting what a "B" my older sister was being, and how unreasonable, and how she likes to decide everything, and on, and on, and on, wanting me to take sides with her . I have to admit that I'm glad we are incommunicado at the moment. My email box is blissfully quiet.
Plant a tree, or don't plant a tree, if Mom and Dad are anywhere near and watching this scenario unfold, I'm sure they are shaking their heads at a scene they've seen replayed a hundred times or more in our lives. Why does everything have to become a big issue? Is it really that hard for three sisters to just get along?
This is just one more reason why I want my remains cremated and the ashes scattered, it would break my heart if my children would decide to play war games over my grave... just saying. Sometimes I'm ashamed to admit I belong to that family.