When we were little and mom and dad made us unload the dishwasher or something, we would ban together, united by our mutual disgust at our parents lack of work ethic. I remember even being convinced that our parents only had us so they wouldn’t have to do housework. My sister agreed adding, ‘When I have kids, I’ll never clean the kitchen again!’ Back then, I had no idea how little I was actually doing. Now that we’re both in college, but still living at home, my parents have adopted a more ‘fend for yourself’ attitude. I like it, honestly. It means a lot more work, but I also stay on good terms with my parents as a result.
This week my parents are off celebrating their anniversary, so it’s just me and my sister. When it’s just the two of us, I often feel like the older sister. I’m three years younger, but it seems like almost everything falls to me. I end up doing most of the cooking and cleaning, and often whatever else needs to be done. Tonight, we had a movie night. We decided to have popcorn for dinner. When we went to the kitchen to make our popcorn, she looked at me and said, I always burn the popcorn. This is something she does. I call it her ‘you do it better’ con. It’s not that I fall for it exactly, I know what she’s doing, but it usually works. The thing is, in this case it might have been true. I’ve never actually seen her make popcorn. We don’t have a microwave, so we make it on the stove. We have done it this way for years, but I’m still not sure she knows how. So I made the popcorn. After the movie, she announced she was going to go to bed. But once I got up and said, okay, let’s go clean the kitchen and then go to bed, she was suddenly too tired. Too tired to do anything, including go upstairs to her bedroom. She collapsed on the sofa theatrically. There was something about this act that made me feel like her babysitter. I tried to get her to move, using some unorthodox (un-babysitter) methods, like poking her, and sprinkling salt on her. What? The salt shaker was right there. What was I supposed to do? But when she giggled and said I had aSALTed her instead of jumping up, grabbing the salt shaker, and pouring copious amounts of salt in my hair, I decided if she was that punchy, maybe she really was tired. So I left to go clean the kitchen alone.