Because it sure is surreal sometimes

Because it sure is surreal sometimes

Monday, April 28, 2014

Blurred Lines

Sometimes, the lines that define the relationships around our house get a little blurry. Like a recent Sunday morning, when I served up a hot breakfast, including cinnamon rolls, to my husband and daughter. Breakfast for three. Easy, right?

The patrons sat down at the table, side by side, eyeing one another’s portion of potatoes, looking disgruntled. She stared at his plate out of her peripheral vision. Knowing what she was up to, he did the same thing to her plate. I ignored them. Until this:

Dad: You got more sauce on your cinnamon roll than me.

Landry: No I didn’t.

Me: I poured the sauce myself. It was exactly the same on both.

Dad (under his breath, head ever-so-slightly tilted toward Landry): Well, you did.

Landry (louder than necessary): Did you hear what mom said?

Me: Really, you two? Were you siblings in a past life?

It was a rhetorical question, but I knew the truth: they were siblings in a past life; they were a mutant brother-sister combo that spent the majority of their time planning ways to one-up the other. No plot was too wicked. No insult too petty.

It wasn’t the first time I suspected they’d met before.

A few days before that, one of them stood at the sink doing dishes, and the other sat at the counter (see if you can figure out who was where), I walked into the kitchen and heard this:

“Would you just stop and let me win for once?

“Would you just stop and let me win for once?”

“Gosh! So stupid!”

“Gosh! So stupid!”

“I’ll tell you what’s stupid.”

“I’ll tell you what’s stupid.”

“Your face!”

YOUR face!”

Having a hard time figuring out which one is the kid and which one is the adult? Welcome to my world.

“Aren’t you going off to college soon?

“Aren’t you going off to college soon?

“I already went off to college.”

“I already went off to college.”

Unfortunately, the abuse they inflict on one another does not stop at verbal. Here’s a transcript of what happened recently, when I returned to the cuckoo’s nest after attending an AA (Alcohol in Abundance) meeting at a local wine bar with my girl friends.

“I’ve been getting beaten all night!”

“So have I!”

“She’s hurting me!”

“He started it!”

“She’s strong!”

“He’s got wimp-alitis!”

They can’t even walk by each other in the hallway without provoking a situation. The really frustrating thing is that it always starts behind my back, or out of eyesight (but within earshot, unfortunately). Like the other day, when one simply tried to pass the other in the hallway near my office. He did the head fake and foot shuffle, as if to make an aggressive move, and she pounced. Then comes the discussion that makes everyone stupider just for having heard it.

“Why is she so violent?” my husband pleaded in my general direction.

“He started it!”

“I started nothing. I was simply standing here talking to Mom.”

“He shuffled his feet at me!”

“I did not. I was preparing to walk down the stairs.”

“You did too!”

“Did not!”

It’s not all bad, mind you. I quite enjoy their British “Tea Time” routine. Most recently, it happened on the way home from practice with my son, who finds their British schtick slightly less amusing.

“Dear brother, how was practice?”

“Shut up, Landry.”

“Father, I’m afraid poor Jackson has had a dreadful time at practice today.”

“There, there, my boy. Sister is just concerned about how your practice went off, as am I. Tell me, dear Son, did you have a smashing good time?”

“Shut up, Dad.”

“Oh dear! I’m afraid we’ve gone and poked the hornets’ nest now, Landry!”

“Father! (glancing in the mirror). Jackson is pointing the finger gun into his mouth!”

“Dear god, Son!”

“Dear Brother, don’t do it! Don’t use the finger gun!”

Click, click—Bang!

Ahh, if only it was tea with the Queen more often, instead of meth with honey badgers.

And they wonder why I lock the doors after they leave. They think it’s because I’m afraid of maniacal strangers wandering in. They’re partially right: maniacs, yes; strangers, no.

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