My older sister Chris is the funniest person I know. She always has been, and always will be. The reason why is because she has had a lifelong belief that she is a fairy princess. She is so convinced she is a fairy princess, that every little girl that has come through her life (usually nieces) she has made to become "fairy princesses in training." The indoctrination process is rigorous. But she has been very successful in her training methods. Two of her nieces are now carrying the fallacy torch that they too are fairy princesses.
But when you look at the real facts, which I will share with you in a moment, you will see that there may be just a few reasons to doubt that my sister is a bonafide fairy princess.
Fairy Princesses Are Not Commanders-in-Chief
"So," you may ask, "why do you think your sister is off in her belief that she's a fairy princess?" Okay, I'll tell you why. First of all, from the minute I was born, a year and ten days after her, she decided that she was my commander - in - chief, a job for fairy godmothers, not fairy princesses. Case in point:
It was 4:00 a.m. I was three, Chris was four. She woke up and decided she was ravenously hungry. Knowing she was not allowed to roam the house before Mom and Dad were up, she woke me from a sound sleep.
Chris: Wake up, Lori. I'm hungry.
Chris: I said wake up. I'm hungry. Go out to the kitchen and get me some bread.
Me: I'm tired, go get it yourself.
Chris: Get out of that bed and get me some bread now!
Me: Mom and Dad will get mad if I wander the house and steal food.
Chris: If you don't get it, I'm going to ( fill in the blank)
The scaredy cat that I was, I padded out to the kitchen as soundlessly as I could, opened the bread drawer, and shoved my hand down the center of the loaf pulling out the innards of several slices and leaving the crust. I was shaking like a leaf, not because I was afraid of getting caught by Mom and Dad, but because I was afraid Chris might think I didn't bring enough. But I ran back to the room like a gazelle on a mountaintop and handed over the goods with fear and trepidation. She wasted no time wolfing it down. And do you think she'd offer me even the tiniest ort? Of course not. Instead of a thank you I got "Now go to bed, and don't tell or I'll beat you up." Well, I went back to bed, but I did not get back to sleep.
At 8 a.m. Mom said to us as we sat at the table waiting for our breakfast, "You girls want some toast with your cereal?" I got a sick feeling in my stomach, panic welled up within me. I snuck a look at my sister, hoping against hope that she would give me a look back that said, "Don't worry, she can't prove anything," Instead, she kicked me under the table and gave me a look that said, "Say a word and your dead."
So, Mom opened the bread and saw a massive hole in the loaf. "Oh my goodness, will you look at this loaf of bread. The insides are missing. Come here and look at this girls, have you ever seen anything like this?" Chris and I ran over feigning curiosity. "Wow," Chris said, "wonder what happened." I didn't say a word. Mom decided it must have been an air bubble that burst in the loaf as it was being made. My sister looked exultant as if she herself had planted that silly thought in my mother's brain. She then looked at me smugly as if to say, "See, I know what I'm doing."
That little scenario went on for some time. My Mom and Dad soon got wise and figured Chris was doing it because I was so quiet and timid. Chris was feisty, Chris was mischievous, Chris was cunning. But being the commander-in-chief of my life, she blamed it on me, her private infantryman. I don't know how my parents came to find out the truth, but they did, and the pre-dawn bread raids stopped.
Fairy Princesses Are Not Mothers, School Teachers, School Principals or Paul McCartney
My sister loved dresses, pretty dresses, and she still does. She loved shiny, patent leather shoes with lacey bobby socks, frilly petticoats, white gloves, and Sunday hats and purses that were frilly. She would whirl round and round in front of me and tell me she was a fairy princess. This is very fairy princess, yes but you must read on. I believed her, even though Mom always dressed us alike and I was wearing exactly the same thing she was. She didn't say I looked bad, or that I was an ugly doofus, she just insisted she was a fairy princess and gave me a list of whys.
I'm a fairy princess because:
- I have on a white frilly slip (same as mine)
- I have on a beautiful yellow dress (same as mine)
- I have on shiny patten leather shoes (same as mine)
- I have a white Sunday hat with a yellow ribbon (same as mine)
You get the picture. Because she was older, I assumed she must be smarter; that she always knew something I didn't. So, I believed that somehow, even though we were wearing exactly the same thing, she must really look like a fairy princess and I just looked ordinary. You see, I am the poster child for "GULLIBLE."
My sister and I, and eventually our little sister Jamey, often played house. Chris would be the mom, Jamey would be the little girl, and I would be the dad, brother, and many times the dog. I was so envious that they got to be females. But being the dog had its advantages. While Mom Chris was dressing her daughter (Jamey) to look like a fairy princess, I was sniffing around their feet and whimpering like a neglected puppy. Chris would wave a hand at me and say "Shoo!" I'd crawl away and come right back around and start jumping on their legs panting playfully. "I told you to scram," she'd say, and wave me away again. I'd come around for the third time and start leaping and barking...and barking...and barking.
After she would berate me, she'd say, "Why don't you be Jamey's sister." AHA! Victory. Just so she wouldn't figure me out, I'd say, "Oh, do I have to? I like being the dog." And there was some truth to that. It was the one time I could manipulate and annoy her deliberately and get promoted instead of demoted.
Another thing we often played was school. I'll bet you'll never guess who was the teacher...that's right, Chris. Instead of teaching us the ABC's, she taught us beautiful penmanship, dance, voice lessons, etc. My sister Jamey was an eager female student. I was usually a boy student, and once even the janitor. I hated being the boy until I realized once again, I could annoy her beyond bearance. I would make myself the class clown, the obnoxious, disrespectful pupil. For a while it worked quite well, but then she figured out she could send me to the principal. Guess who played the principal? She got her revenge alright.
On Saturday mornings, Mom and Dad slept in so my sisters and I would go downstairs and play the Beatles and Petula Clark records. We pretended we were the singers and musicians. When we played the Beatles, Chris always designated herself as Paul, the cool, handsome Beatle. I always volunteered to be John or George. If she was in a generous mood I was John or George, but if she was not happy with me, I had to be Ringo. One time I tried to use this to my advantage and banged the drums so loud I drowned out her solo song, "Yesterday." Before she could get her revenge, Dad came halfway down the stairs and told me to knock it off. Chris had the last laugh on that.
Big sisters are the crab grass in the lawn of life."
— Charles M. Schulz
Fairy Princesses Do Not Make Funny Faces
Another big reason I don't buy into the whole fairy princess theory is because fairy princesses don't make silly faces, and Chris rarely went before a camera without making a face of some kind. Take the first photo at the top of this hub. The little girl on the left, auburn hair in braids, sweet, angelic smile, a picture of innocence, that is me. The one on the left, eyes to the side, tongue out and to the side, that's the fairy princess. Clearly, I am the fairy princess in this photo.
To this day my sister Chris still loves to make funny faces in the camera. Her social networking profile photo is a classic example. It's the black and white photo to the right.
Fairy Princesses Are Not Violent
How many fairy princesses in the Disney movies did you ever see get physically violent? I can't think of one. They used their brains, their charm, friends in high places or their magic wands to overcome or get what they wanted. Somehow they always achieved victory.
When we were kids a neighborhood bully was trying to violate me. He had me on the ground and I won't say what his intentions were but Chris wisely beat him mercilessly with a rubber garden hose and had him running home to mommy crying with huge welts on his back and legs. This was a noble and necessary act on her part and I'm very grateful to her for doing it. She was a faithful avenger when anyone messed with me or our younger sister, Jamey. But if she was a real fairy princess, she would have just waved her magic wand. It wouldn't be near as fun to witness, however.
Like many siblings, Chris and Jamey and I had physical altercations once in a while. I remember our last one. I was twelve and she was thirteen. We were in the backyard playing tetherball. We began to fight over the ball. I don't remember who started swinging first but we got into it big time. My fists were flying furiously. I was really hitting her hard. I could hear her grunt when my fist made contact with her solar plexus. She however scratched, pulled my hair, kicked, and cussed. I was a good hitter and probably could have won the fight but she was so relentless I gave up. From that day forward we forged an alliance, though I don't know why.
Fairy Princesses Do Not Belch
You read right, world belching champion. That is my fairy princess sister. She can belch and say three sentences all in one breath. When we were kids, we went to some family friends' house often and played with their three boys. One day we had a belching contest. I was a lame belch-er so I didn't even get an honorable mention, but the boys gave her a run for her money. In the finals, she decided to pull out all the stops.
Jeffery belched first. He went for length, not volume. On a scale of one to ten, ten being best, I'd give him about a seven and a half. John went next. He went for volume and crudity. I think he rated about an eight.
Now it was Chris' turn. There was a very steep hill across the street from the house. My sister trekked up that hill. She called out to see if we could hear her. We could, but not well. I, being the facilitator of this little competition, cupped my hands and yelled my loudest up the hill and said, "Your turn Chris." Being up on a hill, the belching sound carried over the whole neighborhood. The earth shook, the leaves trembled and Chris was the winner. She got a twenty plus in volume, length, and crudity. Fairy princess, my foot.
Actress in Comedic Role
An older sister is a friend and defender - a listener, conspirator, a counsellor and a sharer of delights. And sorrows too."
— Pam Brown
Fairy Princesses Sing But Don't Swear
Fairy princesses have been known to sing, so in that respect, my fairy princess sister fit in that aspect. Chris took herself for a beautiful soloist. Being her best fan, I figured she would someday win a prestigious award on television. Often while we were in bed with moonbeams shining through our little window, Chris would sing me sweet ballads. My favorite was "Shenandoah." She sang it with such feeling it always moved me. When she was done, it was quiet as we basked in the afterglow of her moving song.
Sometimes, as soon as the lights were out I'd say, "Chris will you sing me a song?" "Sure," she'd say, "what'll it be?" Of course, I'd ask for "Shenandoah." But she had a great litany of songs. "Kumbyah," "Moon River," "Yesterday," and many of the top 10 ballads on the charts. To keep things humorous I am tempted to say she sang these songs to show off her vocal talents. But truth be told, I think she sang them because the lyrics touched her soul and she loved sharing that with me. Chris did have a tender heart.
The following role, however, is not a fairy princess trait. Here's the story:
Sometimes when we'd been naughty all day and lights went out, we both felt there was a little more vileness in us. I find this appalling now but I would say, "Let's play swear words, Chris, you go first." Chris would then say every bad word she could think of before the buzzer sounded. "That was really good," I'd say, so in awe of the power and color of her vocabulary.
"Okay, your turn Lori." I took a deep breath and let out the exact same impressive blast of expletives. It felt so wicked and I must say, it felt downright delicious at the time (what was I thinking?). Whenever one of us learned a new swear word or inappropriate term, we would play the swear game and tag it onto the end of our stream of naughty words. It was an evil bond we forged. I shudder to think of this activity now, especially when I envision my sweet little grandchildren doing it. I suppose it's just part of the curiosity and willfulness of being children.
We did have our moments where we talked about God. I remember very little unfortunately about what we said specifically, but I do remember we talked about the things we learned in Sunday school and the things our mom and grandmother taught us about God. I'll give her a few points on that note.
A Few Fairy Princess Points
After my sister and I entered high school, her charms did fully emerge. Like fairy princesses, Chris was a beauty as a teenager and had an outgoing personality. She was an expert dancer and the boys liked her. She was Miss personality plus. I was a nice looking girl but utterly failed to see it. We lived in a neighborhood with many teenage girls in it. We all became kind of a gang (a nice gang). We did everything together. We went to the beach, shopping, partying, smoking in front of our houses every night to chat. But in case you missed it, fairly princesses do not smoke or party.
I watched my sister closely as she interacted with people. I wanted to know how to communicate with people naturally. She was so hilarious, goofy, and charming all at once. She still belched proudly, improving her skills as the years went by. We all had foul mouths at the time. She was rarely without a boyfriend and had great fashion sense. She was always helpful in showing me what looked good and what didn't. Although I felt I was ugly because I was flat chested and had acne, and didn't have any boyfriends, she was very kind to me about it encouraging me and pointing out my best qualities. She is still very much that way. So there' a fairly princess point.
At one point I got my first boyfriend. A sailor who was close friends with her boyfriend. They were on the same ship in San Diego (why are parents let us date sailors several years older is beyond me). I finally felt like I measured up to the world's standard and my sister and her boyfriend kind of watched out for me - another fairly princess point. Sometimes we all four did things together. It was a time that I got closer to my sister.
When that boyfriend of mine dumped me my sister was so kind and compassionate. She let me know he was the jerk. She soon broke up with her sailor and that was that. I treasure to this day her support and kindness during that difficult time.
A sister is a gift to the heart, a friend to the spirit, a golden thread to the meaning of life."
— Isadora James
A Few More Fairy Princess Points
In 1974 my sister and her boyfriend Steve, and my boyfriend Ken and I all got married. Both Steve and Ken were older than us by about six or seven years. I personally don't understand why our parents let us date older guys, but that's water under the bridge. I was in my senior year of high school. My sister was making her way in the working world. She and Steve were engaged, the wedding was scheduled for May. We four hung out a lot together and had the greatest times. Well, guess who beat the fairy princess down the aisle? Yours truly. You see I made some unfortunate choices and was then in a family way. Three weeks before Chris and Steve marched down the aisle, Ken and I tied the knot with a very quickly thrown together wedding, and very inexpensive. It was a nice little wedding, but I was not ready. If Chris ever felt like I rained on her parade because I got married so suddenly just prior to her long-planned wedding she never showed it. She was my maid of honor and I was her matron of honor three weeks later. Another fairy princess point.
Chris and Steve and Ken and I lived in the same apartment complex and we hung out together a lot. Then our blessed little bundle came and I focused most of my time being a mommy. Through the years Chris became the greatest aunt who ever lived. Another point. She and Steve had their own little boy, Christopher Michael, but he went to heaven a few days after his birth. It was a sorrowful time for them.
It must have been so hard for her to watch me birth and raise four boys after her tremendous loss. But as I said, she became the worlds greatest aunt. My kids and my younger sister's kids adored her and do to this day. Now my grandchildren adore her. They love her because she laughs at their antics, makes them laugh with her own, teaches them how to belch, gives them unconditional love, and lets them know when they are not treating her sisters (Jamey and I) right. They respect her immensely.
Chris was a tremendous support to me during my tumultuous marriage and family years. She knew when I was hurting even when I tried to hide it. When I talked bad about myself she firmly and lovingly set me straight. She could always lighten my mood by taking me on retail therapy jaunts. It wasn't the shopping that made my day, it was her efforts at spending time with me, affirming my worth, and just a time to have fun (something I didn't have much of). If I had a special event coming up that required a new dress, she took me shopping and made sure I got the most flattering dress possible in my budget. She always told me how pretty I was. She always told me not to let certain people in my life push me around, that I had a voice and an opinion. Little by little I started believing her. Chalk up another point.
Chris, my other sister, Jamey, and I have all gone through some heartbreaking trials, as most everyone has. Through Chris' darkest hours, when her life seemed out of control, she was still there for us. Watching her go through the things she did and then rebound inspired me. Her perseverance never ceases to amaze me. I don't know that I was any help to her. Jamey and I have also suffered some pretty hard stuff and we all have been there for each other. We lost our Mom in 2002. When we got together we'd talk about her, cry together, and process it together.
We laugh now about the fairy princess thing. But on the rare occasions that I am around her when she is near a little girl I still hear her the familiar spiel, "Did you know I am a fairy princess? Stick with me kid, and I'll make you one too."
A year and a half ago a grand niece was born and not a sister will be here any day not. I am so happy she will have some new pupils.
Fairy Princesses Don't Put Knives to Their Spouses Throat, However...
Several years ago, Chris and her husband Steve decided to renew their marriage vows. They decided to go Hawaain in their dress and I heard it was a lovely affair (I was sad I couldn't be there). Steve (who is no longer with us) was as wild and outrageous as Chris so when they were cutting the cake, they got a little crazy. Chris was the ringleader of course and as you can see, putting a knife to your husband's throat even in jest is not fairy princess like, but super hilarious. I call this a post-nuptial agreement. They made a good match.
Chris has scored some fairy princess points but overall there are too many demerits on her record to qualify her. However, it's too much fun pretending so we will continue the charade until we kick the bucket.
Post Nuptial Agreement
© 2011 Lori Colbo