My Sister and I Don’t Even Like Pigs

This is a little different than what I usually post, but still in the same spirit. I was inspired by the Weekly Challenge from WordPress and wanted to try my hand at it. The challenge was to take something mundane and make it meaningful. Hopefully I’ve succeeded. Let me know what you think.

I was digging through my box of earrings this morning, thinking–as I do every day–that I need to be more organized about these kinds of things. I have a jewelry holder, but most of the time I take my earrings off when I ‘m done with them and toss them in the box anyway. It’s a habit I inherited from my mother.

Most days, I go through a few pairs to find the best earrings for my outfit only to decide on one of the same three pairs I always wear. Today, I went on an expedition in my tray of little-worn earrings because I had some extra time. As welcome as it is to be on vacation, I’ve found myself filling my boredom by playing dress-up (anything to stave off adulthood).

As I excavated the broken and forgotten jewelry in the box on my vanity, I found an old pair of earrings: dangling cartoonish pig heads.

It was the early 90s. That’s an excuse, right?

They belonged to my older sister when I was a kid. Every time I’d see them, smiling at me as they dangled on her tidy jewelry display, I’d grin. I remember anticipating the day when she would let me wear them.

My sister is seven years my senior, which made her much wiser–and bossier–than many older sisters. If we went to a store that sold glass figurines of any sort, my sister would keep her eye on me to make sure I didn’t touch anything. She also refused to let me borrow any of her jewelry, even after I got my ears pierced. My sister assumed I would break them or lose one. Although she may have been right, not sharing seemed wrong in my five-year-old mind. I never even liked pigs, but I wanted the pig earrings; it was probably because she wouldn’t let me have them that I wanted them so much.

I’ve worn them only a few times that I remember since my sister gave them to me almost a decade ago. By that point, they’d become an object of fascination more than fixtures of the jewelry collection of my dreams. I wanted them just to have them: my forbidden treasures.

I found it odd that my sister would own something that, when worn, would draw a comparison between two rosy pig faces and her own visage. It’s possible she just had a thing for farm animals. After all, her favorite stuffed animal was a cow named Plunket. He had a buzz cut and made a “moo” sound when we turned him upside down. My sister showed me how to shake him back and forth to distort the sound. We’d laugh at poor Plunket’s expense. That was our sense of humor back then.

Though I’m fairly certain my sister did not have an Old MacDonald complex, I also don’t believe she was concerned with the fashionability of her pig earrings. Instead, she wore them with a sense of humor. The same sense of humor that all my family members share. Like my mother’s disorganization, I inherited my sense of humor. My sister and two brothers helped me cultivate it throughout my childhood.

When I fished the earrings out of my jewelry entanglement this morning, I smiled at them. Because my sister lives on the other side of the country, I don’t see her very much anymore. My days of longing after her earrings and throwing a stuffed cow around are far behind me. All I can do now is play dress up with her earrings and pretend she’s chastising me for touching her things. But they aren’t her earrings anymore. They’re our earrings, our shared sense of humor.

Do you have any objects that remind you of someone?

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60 thoughts on “My Sister and I Don’t Even Like Pigs

  1. Thank you for sharing this story, your sister’s earrings made me smile too. If that’s what you’ll wit is like , than that’s awesome. ;)

  2. You have made pigs beautiful…
    :)

    I have the head of a decapitated Barbie. It’s from my daughter. She was 5 when she pulled it off, and it has resided in my home office ever since. She’s still only 10, but I know the decapitated Barbie head will always make me smile–and never be far from my computer screen. Because like you and your sister, my daughter and I share one HELL of a crazy sense of humor. And every time she comes in my office to check on what I’m working on, she picks up the head, laughs, shakes her head and toddles off. It’s a forever memory! :)

    • That’s a wonderful story. My sister and I had a number of decapitated Barbie heads between us, I’m sure. But it’s great to have a reminder of someone you love and, I think, the weirder the object the better.

  3. I can completely relate to wanting something you can’t have, just for the sake of having it. And I totally loved the part about Plunket ;)

  4. This reminds me of my naughtiness in childhood and howI stained her Guess jean jacket with ketchup after “borrowing” it without her knowing. I guess she will find out now who did it. Enjoyed the read.

  5. This was a great read! I have a younger sister and at 32 she stills raids my closet for things she can take. I always seem to have a belt or two missing after she visits.

    This made me miss her, I think I’ll call her today. :-)

  6. I have two older sisteres and when they moved out of the house, I treated their room like my walk in closet!

    Off topic but the earrings remind me of one of my favourite Simpsons episodes! During the episode with Lisa’s wedding, Homer presents Lisa’s fiance with a pair of pig bride and groom cuff links. I always thought the fiance would have just worn the cuff links if he had any sense of humour.

    • Haha! One of the benefits of being a younger sibling is that you get the run of the house after all the older ones leave. And pig cuff links would certainly take a sense of humor. I don’t remember that episode, but i may have to track it down now.

  7. I loved your blog. I also have a sister who is 7 years older than me. She’s never given me any of her stuff. I hated having anything that was the same as hers whilst growing up.He on the other hand, enjoyed bossing me around.

  8. What a great story! As the older sister by 10 years (she is 7) I can relate to the other side of this story. Every now and then we’ll clean out my jewelry box and nail polish and she’ll inherit a few things.

  9. My sister is seven years younger so I read this from your older sister’s point of view, lol, and enjoyed it very much … I also have sort of a pig collection so also loved your earrings. :)

    • Thanks! I’m glad you could enjoy it form the other perspective as well. I know my sister thinks she wasn’t portrayed in the greatest light, but I meant it in the most affectionate way possible. I know it’s not easy being an older sister either.

  10. This reminds me of how my younger sisters always stole my clothes and jewelry whenever I came home from college. Little pests! But now one of my sisters and I have matching unicorn key covers, just for the cheesy fun of it. I wonder if our other sister is jealous. great post!

    • Haha! Maybe I should send my sister one earring and keep one for myself. That way we could really share them. And even though I never stole my sister’s things, I certainly wanted to. Thanks for reading and I’m glad you enjoyed it!

  11. Hi! Congratulations for making it to ‘Freshly Pressed’!

    Wonderful post! Being 7 years older than my younger sister I also have many memories similar to yours, albeit from the ‘older sister point of view’. The only difference is me and my sister live close to each other so I see her everyday. Although these days I don’t feel much like the older one as she is the one who often tells me to ‘grow up’! :-)

    • It’s funny how many people seem to have similar experiences with their older sisters. Maybe there’s a secret handbook for sisters out there that we’ve all read without knowing it. I’m sure I’m guilty of bossing my sister around, too, but I tend to not remember those things all that well ;). Thanks so much for reading!

  12. i hate throwing anything out, so I have boxes of stuff which i have accumulated a horrible over 37 yrs. I have bracelet that my aunt bought me when I was five, never had the heart to tell her I didn’t like it but never had the heart to through it out. I will search for it and post a pic.x Enjoyed reading your post.

    • Glad I could drum up some memories for you. It’s funny how we keep things to remind us of people and it’s funny the things we decide to keep. But I’m sure you’ll have a great time going through those boxes one day.

  13. Pingback: The Right Way to End a Vacation | Reheated Coffee

  14. Your post was so heartwarming.

    It made me remember how much I used to idolize my my sister when I was little. She traveled to the UK once and brought back an ocarina that she couldn’t play, but it was this worn and somehow gentle wood that somehow connected me to her. She later gave it to me, and I can’t play it either. I have the book that’ll let me play some silly little songs, but it’s the memory of her that makes me smile when I see it hanging on the wall.

    Thanks for reminding me :)

    • You’re welcome! Thanks so much for reading. Your story sounds very touching as well. I love when objects can remind us of someone. It’s nice to be able to look around a room and see memories instead of just things.

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