During my afternoon nap, my little sister, my only sibling, called me to tell me her boyfriend had proposed this morning on their Minnesota vacation. I have been kind of reeling all day. This is a sharp reminder of how much I miss my family and the things I miss out on having moved away. I wondered about what was going on with my parents and how my mom was feeling. I enjoyed the thought of my big-kid dad having to keep this secret to himself for two weeks. This is the man who, unable to keep secrets or gifts under wraps, first let us begin opening a single gift on Christmas Eve. Then it was half of our gifts and now all gifts are opened the night before Christmas. Stockings are still saved for Christmas morning but I get the sense that even that is a trial for him.
Part of me is surprised because my sister is my little sister, now 20, and I'm sure she'll always feel like that to me. My great aunt, who's 86, still babies my grandmother who is 83. I guess that being a big sister never leaves you. Part of it might be my crushing fear of commitment, hell, I could only get myself to sign a six-month-lease on my apartment. I haven't heard any details about what they're thinking for a wedding. All I know is that she'll be a beautiful bride and I'll get hammered at the reception.
And I hate that there is even a single part of me that feels a pang of exclusion but that's how I feel. I am absolutely happy for my sister; her boyfriend is a really sweet guy and they're perfect for one another. At the same time, as a sort of pseudo matriarch of the family, a tiny part of me feels like an old maid. My family is in general well-educated but there is still a traditional sense of value in married life and children. The thought of people pitying me or making comments because she will be married first is exhausting. I know how those conversations will go b/c I've heard them over and over about other family and friends from back home. I know that we are very different people and I've had lots of experiences she hasn't because our interests and goals are so diverse. Maybe she thinks sometimes about moving away, I don't know. But it's not about me, it's about Kat.
Deep down, I just can't wait to see the ring. It sounds really beautiful.