08 July 2009

In which I make fun of my sister a little bit and hope she can take it. Love you sis!

My family ties are really complicated. No, not that show with Michael J. Fox and Elizabeth Baxter-Burney (or whatever her name is...), although did anyone else have the odd crush on Skippy? Just me, then? Okay.

What I'm really trying to say is that I have a complicated family. I'll give you the short-hand version (if I can).

My mom and my dad had sex. My mom got pregnant. They were then forced by their conservative Baptist families to get married and nine months or so later, I arrived on the scene. I just want to point out here that my mom got married at SIX MONTHS PREGNANT and she had a 22-inch waist. Chew on that for a second. I don't even think I was born with a 22-inch waist. As you can imagine, that marriage didn't last long. They were children and all.

When I was four, my mom remarried. A year and a half later, my sister was born. She cried all the time and I wanted to put her back because I liked being the center of attention and she was sooooo taking that away from me. I still remember standing over her crib at night (while she screamed...endlessly) telling her to "shut up shut up shut up" because I had a rough day ahead of me in first grade the next day. First grade was tough, y'all. Also, in our house (at that point) "shut up" was akin to "fuck off."

Meanwhile, my father got remarried and presently has seven other children. I'm getting twitchy just thinking about it.

Mom and Dad #2 got divorced when I was 12 and Mom married her current husband about a year later. Dad #2 remarried and now sports his own seven children in Montana, though two of them are adopted (it's still seven mouths to feed, yo). Dad #3 already had one son, who is older than me. He's married and has three children.

If you were keeping up, you can see why the question "How many brothers and sisters do you have?" is kind of complicated in my life.

However, I really only grew up with one sister. She's about six years younger than me and we are complete polar opposites. In most ways.

We had a tumultuous (look at me, using big words!) relationship growing up, but we're friends now and I can't even tell you how happy that makes me.

Of course there are times when I just look at her and shake my head in confusion. Her move from one apartment to another a couple of years ago was one of those times. I actually didn't help out with this one, so I wasn't there for the move itself, but my mom sent me the schedule my sister wrote up for the move because she thought it was "too hilarious." I don't think that even begins to do it justice.

See, here's the thing. My sister is incredibly organized. It's possible she also has some control issues, but that's neither here nor there (I love you, sis, don't kill me). I could only wish to be this organized...except, well, I don't.

If you haven't read LiLu's post this morning about pooping diamonds, go read it. I mean it, go. Just don't forget to come back!

I can totally relate, because I always think I'm organized. But really? I'm not. My clothes are often found strewn all over my bedroom or closet (or both, let's face it). I'm forever losing my jewelry or my hair thingies or my left eyeball (okay, that never happened. But only because it's attached in there really well). But that's part of what makes me fun and interesting. Yes, I just called myself fun and interesting. Deal with it.

My sister reads my blog, so I'm kind of taking a chance here. But I just couldn't resist sharing her moving checklist with you guys. All pertinent information has been blacked out and I've omitted the pages that had train schedules and room layouts on them (because the room layouts didn't show up on my copy). So these are just five of the twelve pages...yes, I said twelve pages.

It begins with a note and a table of contents:

Isn't she adorable? And organized? Personally, I take the "how much of my crap can I shove into my car every trip" approach to moving.

That's possibly my favorite page. I love how she stated everyone's role as though someone might get confused and start trying to pay for things and a fight would break out and all her stuff would end up in Harlem or something. Just for reference, David is my sister's boyfriend (who I suspect had no clue just what this move was going to be like...), Ginger is our mom, and Dana is our aunt (Mom's younger sister) and also The Queen of all Things to do with Moving. Do not question the Dana.

Next we have the actual schedule. You'll notice that my sister has more faith in movers than anyone on the planet. Also, I have no doubt that she sent them this schedule and threatened their first born children if they were more than thirty seconds late (not really, she used to be a social worker and stuff. She would never threaten children. Testicles maybe...). Aunt Dana, on the other hand, will cancel your movers three hours before they're even supposed to be there because she just knows they'll be late and it would be easier to just do it ourselves. What? Your family's not neurotic?

Now, for the cherry on the cake. The "unpacking checklist." There was even a plan for David's underwear. Totally cracked me up.

I should also point out that this entire schedule was made by a 22-year-old. Not a 45-year-old, as you might suspect. At 29, I'm nowhere near this responsible and organized. The move, as you can imagine, did not go off without a hitch. But I think it was far better than her previous move, in which, after driving her stuff halfway across the country, they realized that not only would her stuff not fit through the doors or in the elevators to get it up to her apartment, it also wouldn't fit in her apartment. So she had to get all new stuff to replace the new stuff she'd already gotten. And her old stuff had to be driving back halfway across the country. Good times.


Travis said...

Ha! This is great stuff. I punched my brother in the nose one time when I was 6 and he was 3 because he wouldn't stop crying. Made his nose bleed. I STILL remember the beating I got for that. Also, tell your sister that I'd like to hire her for moving purposes. Sheesh.

Life in the Cube said...

She has a "little black dress memory board?" How many black dresses does she have that she doesn't remember where she wore them. If that is the use for the board.

Too funny!

Tony said...

Wow. Even Joanna's Moving Manifest (that's right. I capitalized it!) wasn't this precise. I'm actually a little frightened.

adriana said...

I think I love your sister! This is amazing - I wish I were organized like this. I make lists, but wow. :-) I hope your sister can appreciate how funny this is, and how awesome.

I think my favorite part is the table of contents. And I really wish I could see her diagrams!

Just A Girl said...

Um your sister? Is insane. Holy cow. My next move will probably consist of 1. Throwing shit in boxes 2. Moving those boxes through a combination of whatever friends I can get there 3. Unpacking things as I need to use them.

peterdewolf said...

Wait... She was serious about this?

It's not meant to be humourous?


Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness said...

Okay, you say YOU are not that organized - the checklist to land the Space Shuttle is not that detailed! That is insane but in a scary kind of way. I don't even want to see her fridge and cupboards. I lived with a guy like that in University. To this day I purposely mix the butter knives and the serated knives just cause I know somewhere it is annoying him.

Jay Ferris said...

Wow. Just wow. Can I hire your sister to organize my life? She just needs to know that I require at least two hours scheduled daily for BM's.

Joanna said...

Awww, this makes me feel inadequate about my wee little Moving Manifest. :( I wish I were as awesome as your sister. I bet she had a whistle. Hmph.

Joanna said...

Ahahaha, I just saw Tony's comment, and the synchronized capitalization was not planned. I really should have at least typed mine up on a spreadsheet...

Joanna said...

Oh, and also, btw, if someone handed me this and asked me, a volunteer, to unpack their clothing, etc. and place it just so, I would laugh hysterically and then leave and get myself a coffee.

No, I wouldn't. I would do it and then bitch about it for the rest of my life. Heh.

I'll stop commenting now. I just miss you a lot!

Sarah said...

Oh. My. God. This is the greatest thing I've ever seen in my life. You had an obligation to share it with us. I hope your sister understands that. I'm with Jay Ferris up there-I need your sister to organize my entire life. This is amazing.

alexa - cleveland's a plum said...

for once i'm speechless.

and impressed.

Thomas said...

How is my home state of Texas?

LiLu said...

"Also, in our house (at that point) "shut up" was akin to "fuck off.""

Oh, I remember those days. If only my mother could hear me now...

Oh wait, she does. Whoops.

shine said...

Travis: That was mean (what you did to your brother). I never took you for a meanie pants.

Life in the Cube: She's very fashionable. Little black dress for every occasion. Or it's just a picture board thingy shaped like a little black dress.

Tony: I suspect my sister would make you cry. Especially after you informed her that she's "not really...people." Miss you!

adriana: My sister is awesome. It's true. I hope she's still speaking to me!

Just a Girl: How did you get a peak at my moving checklist?!? I think we would be friends.

peterdewolf: In no way was this meant to be humorous. Stop laughing.

Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness: That's a long time to be getting revenge on the poor man. Cut him some slack...he probably has a permanent eye twitch because of you.

Jay Ferris: I don't really feel like you could handle it, frankly. You're too attached to your pubes and stuff.

Joanna: You, my dear, are so not inadequate. Don't worry your pretty little head, you are just as neurotic as ever. I think it's adorable that you and Tony synchronized capitalizations. I would probably have set fire to the checklist, myself. I miss you too! See you soon.

Sarah: I hope so too. I'm going to have to start asking her how much she charges to organize lives.

alexa: Speechless? Really? Wow...

Thomas: It's hot as fuck. With random hail.

LiLu: Right? I think I hear "shut up" less than "fuck off" now. It might be taboo again!

smh2141 said...

Hah. I know, I'm obsessed with structure, process and clarifying roles and responsibilities.

The only complaint was from the aforementioned David who was upset that he didn't have an "important role." But, you've met David. He's a genius (and I love him dearly)...but he can barely find his socks in the morning (and as you can see in this guide, they are clearly in the 4th drawer). The best part is that his own mother is so controlling that he thinks I am "laid back."

Of course, mom tried to deviate from the schedule, but you know how she cannot bring herself to operate in structure. I did have to refocus her at time, but overall I think the guide was useful...

I'm just shocked you didn't publish the Family Holiday Guide I wrote this past Christmas.....

Dana LOVED the guide! But, we are both kind of OCD like that...

Love you! I'm just shocked that you thought something I did was kooky/interesting enough to write about...

While you are right to point out that I clearly have control issues-- I just think that it is hard to hold people to expectations when you haven't clearly told them what you want from them. And, I wanted the move to be so organized that we could do other things while mom and Dana were in NYC so the motivations weren't purely self-centered.

David said...

This is hilarious.

In Sarah's defense, I should say a few things:

1. I was the one who requested the Memo. I asked her to make one modeled off my college debate coach's, who had sections on his Memos like "What Am I Doing Here?"

2. I'm the most disorganized, unclean person ever. Perhaps not ever, but I'm shockingly messy. Fortunately, Sarah has managed not to go insane. Since she does most (read: all) the laundry, and my only job is to successfully get my clothes into the basket (like I said, cleanliness is not my greatest virtue), I think she deserves leeway on such matters.

3. She read this entire post while cracking up. She can be neurotic, but it's also funny what she's NOT neurotic about... for example, she's terrible about putting things back in the fridge. Before I go to bed, I always make a run by the kitchen to put back the milk, chocolate syrup, and various other "keep refrigerated" items. She also has a thing about diet coke: throughout our apartment, there's bottles of opened and partly sipped diet coke. None of them finished. It's like the girl in Signs with the water. If aliens come, we're set.

Of course, if she sees this comment she might go ballistic and point out a few examples of my "contributions" to cleanliness... but that's for another day.

Your blog is hilarious... good material when taking a break from the Bar!

David said...

One more thing --- I do think it's ridiculous everyone else got a Title except for me, and I was actually pretty upset about that.

youshouldonlyknow said...

Oh my god. You win. By losing, but ... winning.