Category Archives: Family

Alumni of Gynee College

Imagine two sisters, maybe 13 and 15 years old. New to puberty and experiencing all the excitement and anxiety on the road to becoming young women.

Imagine my younger sister, Sheri, and me on a Friday night, trying to stay up until our ticket alarm clock clicked to the magical moment of 11:11 pm. That seemed to us to be the epitome of late.

We were getting silly, giggling about cute Tony in my Science class and mean Kelly on her soccer team. We began talking, as girls often do, about some of the weird, crazy things we’d learned in 5th grade sex ed.

Randomly, we began to name doctors. Sheri grabbed a shoe and talked into it like a microphone. “Dr. Varry, Dr. O. Varry. Please come to the operating room right away!”

We squealed with delight at this new game. I grabbed the shoe.

“Dr. Taurus, Dr U. Taurus. Come to the ER, stat!”

Sheri’s turn: “Dr. Tube. Dr Phillip Ian Tube. You are being paged by OB-GYN.”

Me (in a British accent): “Paging Dr Vic. Sir Vic’s wife is on Line 2.”

Sheri: “Dr Doverenkopf, Dr Ben Doverenkopf — you are needed immediately in Proctology.”

The game may have gone on awhile longer, but the names are lost to me now. I remember, though, that we both wet our pants that night and our tummy muscles hurt the next day.

It remains one of the fondest memories I have of childhood.


When you find yourself in times of trouble…

When you need help, you run across two different types of people.

  1. People like me have to figure out a path from here to helping you before they can say, “Sure! I’ll be right there!”
  2. People like my sister, Tami, say “Sure!” first and then figure out the how.

Yesterday, Tami called me when Gino was about to be released from the hospital. I had her car with Dominic’s carseat and Gino’s wheelchair in it, since I had been watching Dominic much of the weekend. Her car is the only one that fits Dominic and both of my kids.Roger, Tessa, Reed and I had just sat down for dinner at an Italian restaurant. I am embarrassed to say that I asked if we could eat first before exchanging cars with her. I just couldn’t see how I would get a hungry family out of that restaurant without eating.

She didn’t need the car seat or wheelchair immediately, so it wasn’t really a problem. The problem, to me, is that I didn’t immediately say “Sure! Be right there!” I am just not built that way.

Tami, on the other hand, is famous for saying, “whaddaya need? I’m leaving right now.” Then she’ll wake her son from his nap (those are sacred!), cancel his gymnastics class, stop at the grocery store and bring exactly the right items you didn’t even know you needed, and show up on your doorstep with a smile.

I’ve always told myself I’m the Selfish One of the family. I am the eldest, and I am the only one of the three of us to experience being the sole center of my parents’ universe. It’s only recently that I’ve been able to put a new spin on selfishness, thanks to an intuitive reading from my other sister, Sheri: I’m not selfish, I just have healthy boundaries.

So, when someone needs you, are you more like Tami or like me? Explain.

And what’s the difference between being selfish and having healthy boundaries?


Looking for the Barren Bi+ches Book Brigade book tour stop? Continue to the next entry below.