you say tomato and i say tomahto

my sister, sessie, called me the other day. her name is not really sessie because that would be silly. but my son couldn’t say leslie when he was little, so “sessie” was born. my son also couldn’t say ice cream and confounded us for about two weeks while he would stand in front of the refrigerator wailing “suppeee!” we were completely at a loss until one day it all clicked.  i was taking the ice cream out of the freezer when he came barreling over to me.

“oh,” i said relieved. “is THIS what you want?” everything finally becoming clear.

“yes!” he said smiling. “suppeee.”

“ok,” i replied. “suppeee.”

“no, mommy! not suppeee, SUPPEEE!”

when mommy says it, it’s not the same.

anyway, so sessie calls and she and my mom are having dinner and telling stories and sessie tells my mom a story she has never heard. so they decided to call me.

apparently, i had come home from school and told sessie that i had an assignment to teach someone a poem. unable to find a willing guinea pig participant, i decided to enlist sessie to help me. sessie was no more interested in learning a poem than the man in the moon, so i did what any big sister (or brother) would do. i sat on her until she memorized “the fog” by carl sandburg. now being that sessie and my mom were drinking margaritas, and the fact that i have no recollection of this incident whatsoever, i was certainly skeptical, although, it does sound like something i would have done, and she was able to recite it perfectly over the phone:

The fog comes
on little cat feet.
It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.

so anyway, apparently, i bullied my sister into getting some culture and 30 years later she still remembers this poem. so i say, no harm, no foul. at least there was a lesson learned, and that’s what childhood is all about, right? sort of like when my other sister dr. laura kicked sessie in the neck. sessie decided to teach her a lesson and pulled some sort of michael jackson thriller dance move like her neck was broken and made a bunch of gurgling noises. dr. laura ran hysterically through the house screaming, “i’ve killed her!! i’ve killed her!!!” dr. laura didn’t mess with sessie for a long time after that.

i think i’ll call mom and tell her that story.

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