My Dear Reader,
As the middle sister sandwiched between two very different women (namely, HermanaMayor and PetiteSoeur), I feel this particular situation lends some experiences on my part that you, Gentle Reader, may not share. Thus, I would like to periodically relate certain anecdotes of a hilarious or otherwise meaningful nature in order to communicate the nuances of my rather unique situation. I will begin with a story involving myself and PetiteSoeur:
A few months ago, Padre called us sisters up and surprised us by telling us that he had booked a cruise to the Caribbean for the whole family. We're not a family that can afford to go on expensive trips all the time, but this year my parents are going to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary, and that added to the fact that Padre is afraid that one of the girls will get married at any moment meant that they wanted to go on a cruise and they wanted to take us. Anyway, PetiteSoeur and I ended up sharing a cabin together, which was just fine by the two of us. We get along fairly well, which I believe is mainly due to the fact that we've fought so much in the past that contention has become tiresome. Once our hair-pulling days were firmly in the past, we discovered that PetiteSoeur was actually interested in a lot of the things I was and not just copying me in an attempt at irritation, as I had originally suspected. So in the same room we were placed, grateful that we didn't have to share a room with the boys, because despite all their redeeming qualities, they still smell awful.
In fact, sharing a room is something that PetiteSoeur and I have done for the majority of our lives, and that means that we know each other well enough to know how to respond to the quirks of the other. For example, PetiteSoeur talks in her sleep. Generally it's a kind of unintelligible mumbling, but with a little luck and the right stimuli, she can be the unconscious life of the party. I, on the other hand, don't talk in my sleep as much as I talk in the stage directly in between sleeping and being awake. And in contrast to PetiteSoeur's grumbles, I generally shout, and by that I mean yell nonsense phrases heavily influenced by whatever I was dreaming, whatever is happening in the land of the awake, and the confusion induced by an infusion of the two. My shouting generally comes in the form of a demand regarding random subject such as grammar, hygiene, or pancakes, so you can imagine the kind of ruckus it creates by the time I know what I'm doing.
So on the first morning at sea, PetiteSoeur and I arranged that she get up, take a shower, and then wake me up so that I can shower. If I hurry, we end up getting ready at about the same time, so it's a good system. This morning, however, I hadn't gotten a lot of sleep and was suffering from jet lag, which meant I was in the optimal conditions for Cecily's Half-Awake Shouting Syndrome, CHASS for short. On this particular morning, we experienced the roughest part of the trip, and as the boat rocked back and forth, I heard some loud noises that grabbed me from dreamland the way a teenage boy grabs the handle of the refrigerator. It was a very irritating experience, since I was not yet used to waking up in the place that I was, much less waking up as I was swaying from side to side.
The noises were a loud, sudden kind of thump, and I'm not exactly sure what I had been dreaming at the time, but my guess is that it led me to believe PetiteSoeur was to blame, and in my less-than-conscious state I thought that she was probably throwing something at a wall. Now, I was so tired at the time that I completely ignored the fact that I can't even recall the last time I saw her throw anything.
Anyway, I tried to be as patient as possible, especially since the cabin walls were fairly thin and I didn't want to be imposing on others. So I tried really hard, and managed to get a little closer to going back to sleep when the thumping got louder. I just couldn't stand it anymore.
"Will you stop THROWING things?" I finally said.
And then I defiantly went back to sleep for good. I'll show her who's waking me up.
Later, when I was good and ready, I woke up for the day and found out that the thumping had not gone away, and I was still a bit irritated.
"Hey, will you PLEASE stop throwing things?" I said again. By this time I realized that my patient efforts to continue sleeping were completely useless, and I gave up trying. I opened my eyes to find PetitieSoeur standing a couple of feet away from me, brushing her hair and wearing an expression that was a strange mix of curiosity and horror.
"Why were you throwing things?" I asked, "I was sleeping, and everyone around us probably was, too."
"I wasn't throwing things, Cec," she said, pointing to the dresser drawers a couple of feet from my head. I turned to see them violently opening and closing all on their own, victims of the turning and tossing of the sea.
"Oh." I felt pretty stupid by this point.
"Yeah," she said, "You've been waking up every five to ten minutes for the past hour and a half screaming at me. I kept telling you that I wasn't throwing anything, but you wouldn't listen."
And then I felt really, really stupid. CHASS strikes again, I guess.
Regards, best wishes, and restraint,