You’re still one of us!” This was my favorite birthday card (the quotes were inside the card) this year, because it’s from my sister! The sister who usually sends cards so thick with sentiment they drip as I pull them out of their pink envelopes. Am I not so misunderstood after all? Not that I ever looked like that. On the outside. (Although when I last saw my father and greeted him with a morning hug, my short hair wet from a shower and tucked behind my ears giving the appearance of being even shorter, the first words out of his mouth were a wry “Here’s Lori No Hair.” ) Come to think of it, I have a jacket just like that. When I’m around my family sometimes I feel like my heart has a mohawk. I love them all dearly, I know they love me, we’re just different. Very.
I remember when I was three years old my older brother told me I was adopted. From the Adam’s Family. Not totally wise to (mean, nasty, life-changing) teasing I may have believed this for a while, as I grew to have a strong resemblance to Cousin Itt. Perhaps I was destined to be different. This same brother’s daughter stayed with us for a couple of days last week, and we left her on her own in the house because we had to go to work. Later I apologized, hoping she had found the coffee, the microwave (it’s in a pantry), etc. “There’s a microwave? I figured you two were just the type who wouldn’t have one.” Said very matter-of-factly. Well, we do. A hand-me-down behemoth from the office, with some questionable rust spots a bit on the scary side, but which pops corn and melts butter quite nicely, thank you very much.
The womenfolk of the family did not ask me to either the stage production or the movie of Mamma Mia, and I probably won’t tell them how much I loved the new Tarantino movie Inglourious Basterds.(Which I kept calling Insufferable Bastards, and when Joe bought the tickets called it Intolerable Bastards. Still don’t get the spelling of the real title.) In middle-school/junior high, I would sneak into my brother’s room and play his drums, his guitar, crank up his 8-track of Black Sabbath or Lynyrd Skynyrd and bang my head with abandon. My parents once tortured me on an across-the-state road trip to Spokane by playing Abba cassettes all the way. My mamma’s got a great voice, though.
Who knows. Maybe if my parents had been hippies living out of a van, and I danced around naked with flowers braided into my golden dreadlocks, and I was named Starr, I would have grown up and joined the military and be wearing fatigues right now, bellowing at the troops. Yeah right. Starr…hmmm. Nice name.