Monday, August 08, 2005

Sisters and the Fucked Upedness of Things I've Said to Them...

When I was in my twenties it was my mission to make sure that my sisters didn't feel embarrassed or ashamed of their bodies. I've mentioned before, but I'll mention again, for those of you who may be new to this blog 'o mine, that their pseudonyms are Hoot and My Belle. They are respectively eight and ten years younger than me. So, when I was in my early twenties, well, you do the math.

The thing is, when I was growing up, I wasn't so open with my parents about stuff like first bras and sex and la dee la. In fact, I remember being mortified when my Mom came home with my very first bra. I turned red as a beet, grabbed the Strawbridge's bag, and ran into my room to figure out the contraption I really didn't need. I wanted to wear it anyway, because the boys at school had just recently discovered the sport of bra strap snapping, and my lack of the proper game equipment had become glaringly obvious.

We were a bit tight-lipped about body stuff. I figure it's because I was the oldest, and we were all trying to figure out the kid/parent relationship gig. It's not that way anymore, and nowadays I tell my Mom just about everything. There is something about sitting your Mom and Dad down, telling them you've been raped and are presently carrying the asshole's kid, that makes you realize there is no point in pussyfooting around anything anymore. You've already told them something earth shattering, and they didn't have a heart attack or crumple to the floor, so everything else seems fair game. They really will love you no matter what.

But, before the dawning of that realization, I often felt weird about sex and such. I never had anyone I could ask, "Hey, so if I like, touch myself sometimes, is that weird?" I decided to be the older sister I never had.

"Make sure you masturbate. It's way less complicated than dealing with boys, and you still get to have a good time."

Hee. They were soooo embarrassed, but you know what? I'm glad I said it. I believed for a few years that I was a freak doomed to rot in hell or go blind, and I wanted to spare them that agony. The agony of worrying about it. At least if we were doomed to rot in hell for a little self pleasure, we'd be there together.

"If you have a funny feeling about a boy, overreact. If he's not a bad guy, he'll understand. And if he is a bad guy, you'll be glad you overreacted."

I once had a funny feeling about a boy, but felt it would be too reactionary to say, "Take me home now." I still wish I'd listened to the little voice in my head screaming, "Get out!" No one had ever told me before that that voice rarely cries wolf.

I'll leave you with a poem I made them memorize when they were eleven and thirteen. We can still recite it from memory today, almost ten years later.

By Nicole Blackman

One day I'll give birth to a tiny baby girl
and when she's born she'll scream and I'll make sure
she never stops.

I will kiss her before I lay her down
and will tell her a story so she knows
how it is and how it must be for her to survive.

I'll tell her about the power of water
the seduction of paper
the promise of gasoline
and the hope of blood.

I'll teach her to shave her eyebrows and
mark her skin.

I'll teach her that her body is
her greatest work of art.

I'll tell her to light things on fire
and keep them burning.

I'll teach her that the fire will not consume her,
that she must take it and use it.

I'll tell her to be tri-sexual, to try anything
to sleep with, fight with, pray with anyone,
just as long as she feels something.

I'll help her do her best work when it rains.
I'll tell her to reinvent herself every 28 days.
I'll teach her to develop all her selves,
the courageous ones,
the smart ones,
the dreaming ones
the fast ones.

I'll teach her that she has an army inside her
that can save her life.

I'll tell her to say Fuck like other people say The
and when people are shocked
to ask them why they so fear a small quartet
of letters.

I'll make sure she always carries a pen
so she can take down the evidence.
If she has no paper, I'll teach her to
write everything down on her tongue
write it on her thighs.

I'll help her to see that she will not find God
or salvation in a dark brick building
built by dead men.

I'll explain to her that it's better to regret the things
she has done than the things she hasn't.

I'll teach her to write her manifestos
on cocktail napkins.
I'll say she should make men lick her enterprise.

I'll teach her to talk hard.
I'll tell her that her skin is the
most beautiful dress she will ever wear.

I'll tell her that people must earn the right
to use her nickname,
that forced intimacy is san ugly thing.

I'll make her understand that she is worth more
with her clothes on.

I'll tell her that when the words finally flow too fast
and she has no use for a pen
that she must quit her job
run out of the house in her bathrobe,
leaving the door open.
I'll teach her to follow the words.

I'll tell her to stand up
and head for the door
after she makes love.
When he asks her to
stay she'll say
she's got to

I'll tell her that when she first bleeds
when she is a woman,
to go up to the roof at midnight,
reach her hands up to the sky and scream.

I'll teach her to be whole, to be holy,
to be so much that she doesn't even
need me anymore.
I'll tell her to go quickly and never come back.
I will make her stronger than me.

I'll say to her never forget what they did to you
and never let them know you remember.

Never forget what they did to you
and never let them know you remember.

The older I get, I cringe a little thinking that I was kind of a fucked up big sister, but they've since told me that they felt like they could come to me with any problem. Big or small. So, I guess I did okay. Hell, I never applied for the job of Big Sis anyway. I flew by the seat of my pants, because that was about all I could do.

18 Leg Humps:

Courtney said...

That was a rocking poem. I am SO writing that one down.

junebee said...

That is a long poem! I bet your sisters didn't even have TIME to think about masturbating and boys - it probably took all 6 years of their adolescence to memorize it!

My sister (6 years younger) says I was like that, explaining tampons and all that good female stuff but I don't remember it.

Get used to flying by the seat of your pants. You'll need it when you're a parent.

jules said...

Wow - amazing poem! Thanks! Do you mind if I direct people over to read it?!

Zube Girl said...

Courtney- I know. It was love at first read.

Junebee- I think they were just excited that their big sis said they could say Fuck around her. :-)

Jules- Absolutely! No problem. I'm willing to share the wealth.

Cary said...

great poem! the best poems are written from life, and you have had your share it sounds like. as always, an interesting read.

Storm said...


I wish someone had told me to get up on the roof and scream my little heart out.

Chickie said...

It's okay to be a kind of fucked up big sister. Join the club! I can see how some of the things my sister followed me around doing 15 years ago helped choose her path. Some of it good and some of it not so good.

You don't sound like you were too fucked up. Just honest. Nothing bad about that.

PaintingChef said...

That's PERFECT! I've copied that one down. Its just the kind of mother I want to be.

And now, at 8:57 in the morning...I'm fucking CRYING. Thanks man. Ugh...hormones.

Amy said...

Wow. My sister is 3 years younger than I am, so we spent more time arguing, I guess. I wasn't such a great big sister. My brother is 15 years younger than I am, and needless to say, he wouldn't be very interested in all this girly stuff. Which means that I have to be like this with my girls (10 and 19 months)... and as a parent - I'd like to be a cross between a mom and cool big sister. This was an awesome post! Sorry for the long comment!

Bonanza Jellybean said...

That is a PHENOMENAL poem.

I will keep it for my daughter and myself- thanks so much for showing it to everyone!

Blog ho said...

Make sure you masturbate...good advice.

mothergoosemouse said...

Sounds like you were an ideal big sister - honest and humorous.

I'm glad my girls will have each other; I hope that they will be close and share life lessons like you and your sisters did.

t~ said...

Hey zube girl... love the posts! You mind if i add you to my link list?

Zube Girl said...

Cary- I've certainly had my share of life! But, I didn't write the poem. Wish I had, though.

Storm- Me, too!

Chickie- I'll totally be in your club!

PaintingChef- Glad to have shared it!

Amy- I'm sure you're girls will be like that!

Bonanza Jellybean- You're welcome!

BlogHo- It is very good advice indeed.

Mouther Goosemouse- Thank you.

t~- Definitely. Thanks for the compliment.

zazzafooky said...

I don't have siblings but I still loved this post and the poem! Excellent.

my belle said...

i love you for that my colorado zubegirl- love always!!!-you're little new jersey zubegirl

Zube Girl said...

TJ- Thank you.

My Belle- You rawk sistah!

Karen Rani said...

That was amazing.....


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