Corporate Peon: Family, Part One

Monday, July 11, 2005

Family, Part One

Since I've written a little about family lately, I've received some questions about my interactions with them. Thought I'd expand upon that a bit, but then I wrote far too much about my sister to include everything here. Look for Mom and Dad to come later.


She's 3.5 yrs older than I am and in a lot of ways, we couldn't be more different. She spends her free time running others political campaigns and wants to run her own at some point; I haven't voted in all the presidential elections I've been eligible for. She often complains about the 'little things;' I try not to. She's a socialist do-gooder; I'm, well...I'm a corporate peon and a shameless capitalist.

Growing up, I was always the social one and she was always the studious one. I had a boyfriend at 14; she graduated high school with high honors. Even now, she graduated law school with high honors; I graduated grad school. That was accomplishment enough for me. She was, at one time, fluent in French and speaks decent Spanish. I have no ear for languages. Her idea of fun is an activist parade; I'd rather shop for shoes.

She was branded 'the feminist' by dad when she was younger. Now, when I look at books on women's studies, I get told that those are 'her' books.

She currently leads a neighborhood law office that's tied to the university, offering legal advice and services to those who can't afford them. She believes firmly that helping one person is a small but necessary start. I see helping one person as not helping thousands of others. She's worked for non-profits and done policy reform work for W2, Wisconsin's poverty act.

Her comment to me about paying for her work was slightly tongue-in-cheek. I make more than she does and have for the past few years. She has her dream job; I'm working towards my dream paycheck. She, of course, finds all sorts of ways for me to spend my money, whereas I'm a little bit more frugal than she. That must be because it's my money.

She's always been my big sister in every definition of that term. She sends me cards when she thinks I need a pick-up. After one visit home from college, she left me little 'love notes' in random spots throughout my room. We talk almost every day. I used to wear her clothes and jewelry and break them, and though she never liked that, in the end, it was always okay. She never gave me her ID when I wasn't 21, because she didn't drink much at the time and never did when she was underage, so why would she aid and abet me?

She inflicts some guilt on herself for not seeing the 'rents that much, and I alternately try to dissuade that and heap it on. Yes, she has a much fuller social calendar and yes, it's not quite as easy for her to pack up and head home for the weekend. Not to mention, because of the distance, it's a lot easier for me to go for just a night, whereas for her, it doesn't make sense. (I live one hour away; she lives just over two.) I get that. I also think that our parents are getting up in age, and we should try to indulge where we can. Mom was kind of hurt that she wasn't there for her birthday.

Through it all, though, she's always one of the first people I call with good news or bad. She lets me be moody and silly and tries to help in every way she knows how. She is one of my biggest supporters, even though she doesn't really 'get' me all the time, and I am one of her biggest fans, as long as she leaves my paycheck out of this.

Powered by Blogger