Sunday, November 8, 2015

Look It Up

This was the week I learned a new word: sororicide.

You might think that since I only existed for a year and 18 days before being presented with the first of my five sisters that the thought might have crossed my mind previously, but you'd be wrong. You might assume that some time in the past 16 years of getting together for an annual long weekend with those five women, the weekend's events might have sent me scurrying to the closest dictionary.

But, alas, you'd be wrong there, too.

No, it was this year, a year in which it was my responsibility to choose the house and location for our get-together and do my best to make it as enjoyable a 48 hours as we are capable of having together, that I felt compelled to seek out the word that describes what surely has a precedent: sororicide.

Now that I think of it, perhaps the better application is the adjective: sororicidal. Why? Because apparently I have a sister who fights that urge when she's with me.

I'm not sure what, but something about me so annoys her on these trips that she begins throwing invective every chance she gets. The kind of person who when, in the course of a conversational game, is asked what the hardest part of the Sistertrip is and responds, "Not killing Karen."

Sets a bad tone, if you know what I'm saying. And I knew there had to be a word for it.

The good news it that the house I'd spent so much time choosing was wonderful. Set on 11 acres along Nomini Creek, with the Potomac River in the distance, it was a handsome, century-old house perched on a high bluff, with breathtaking water and island views and a dock.

The festivities got a delayed start when the only sister left to arrive called and said, "We've got a jumper." Sadly, just before she was going to cross the Potomac River, a person had decided to jump off the Nice Bridge. It was a bit of a bummer to start the weekend.

Besides the waterfront location, the thing that had sold me on the property had been the enormous screened porch, which had a fine brick floor and stretched the length of the house. On it was a table for ten at one end  - it'd be an ideal crab-picking location - and a grouping of four chairs and tables at the end closest to the water.

It was there that we began the annual rite of drinking, talking, laughing, reminiscing and arguing that fills the days and nights when we're together. This is where things can get dicey.

No one knows me quite like my sisters do - as my mother reminds us all too often - but since I've lived in another state from them longer than I lived with or near them, they really don't know much about me or my life at all.

Sometimes this becomes a problem, like when a sister slanders me with a less-than-factual story about me in high school. Come on, it's my life and I like to think I know what happened better than she ever could. Unfortunately, she states it as fact to the group, leaving me no choice but to correct her, which in turn causes her to act like the aggrieved party.

That kind of sister.

As children, Mom always said that the beauty of having a big gaggle of sisters was that there was always somebody to play with. As adults, the great thing is that one bad apple doesn't spoil the whole bunch. When one sister is a pain in the butt on a sistertrip, there are plenty of others to bond with.

Or walk down Memory Lane with.

This house came stocked with every game from our childhood: Twister, Go to the Head of the Class, Yahtzee, Monopoly, Life, but we didn't use any of them because we bring our own games.

Each sister conceives of a game or two, usually based on the family or traditions, that sort of thing. One sister did a matching game with images of places from our childhood like the library, the community pool and the building where we went to Girl Scout meetings.

Sometimes the game inspiration is more tangential, such as the sister who created a game where the objective was to identify the board game by its objective.

The objective is to be the first player to get all four of their color pawns from their start location to their home space.

If you weren't raised in a board game-playing family like ours, you might not know that describes the game of "Sorry." But most of us did.

What we don't always remember is the importance of using that word - "sorry" - when we're less than kind to those closest to us.

But after 16 years, I've learned such is the nature of sistertrips. Heaven help me.


  1. Your sister trip made my teeth grit.

    Are you in sister-trip recovery now?