Terri Kaiser

Now I have to tell you that the simple title of this article has my four sisters thinking “Oh, no, what is she going to say?! Will she tell about . . . or maybe . . . or the time . . .

Oh, just calm down. This will be fun. I promise.

I was raised in a house of five girls. Yes, five. And while that’s really not such a big deal, picture my Dad with all those hormones and one bathroom. Through the late seventies and early eighties (I was already out of the house by then) he had to wait to use the bathroom through all those big hairdos. Picture the tornadic winds of the blow dryers and the ghostly cloud of hair spray wafting from under the closed door. There were buckets of makeup and female items of clothing hung from the hooks.

When finally, there was a lull in the endeavor to primp and fluff, Dad made a beeline to the bathroom while he still had the chance. Can you picture him soldiering through the tailwinds of the dryers, taking a deep breath as he ducks through the hairspray cloud, while dodging and weaving his way through lace, hosiery, and other such intimates.

Okay, I exaggerate—a bit. But sometimes I wonder what his perception was of living in an entirely female household.

We were actually a progressive home, sort of. My sisters and I played with Barbies and Tonka trucks. Not the big yellow trucks, but a set of smaller trucks Dad brought home that I believe he bought at the Holiday Station. For once in his life, he just probably wanted to see what it was like to buy a set of toy trucks. We quickly squatted in the sand box and designed roadways amid imaginary villages for our trucks to navigate.

Speaking of the sandbox, two of my sisters, who shall remain nameless, had a habit of taking off all their clothes to play in the sand. And I mean all of them. Although, one of them kept her string of fake pearls on, as you know, some accessories are simply a must-have. That small act was certainly a harbinger of things to come (if only there were something like loyalty rewards for visits to the jewelry stores). Maybe there is. Anyway, I can still see Mom chasing them to get back inside. Or, she would call to one of us to check and see if the girls still had their clothes on. It took a little bit to break them of the habit. I can only imagine the rubbernecking going on as people passed by.

And as you may imagine, there were lots of catfights over clothes and use of the car, but the goofiest one was over who got the first glass of milk from the newly opened gallon of milk dropped off by Mr. Hartway, the milk man. Now, isn’t that just the dumbest thing you’ve ever heard? I don’t know how that started, but as soon as Mom hauled out a new bottle of milk, we’d start bickering. Then there were the arguments over whose leg was touching who’s in the backseat of the car and who crossed the demarcation line in the shared bedrooms when we’d had enough of our roommate.

Still and all, my sissies are my best friends, hands down. No one has my back more than my sisters because we share a history that is hilarious, competitive, just plain stupid at times, a bit naughty, and so sweet. I am so glad they are mine I could just burst!

Give me any guff and they will take you down, wash your face in the mud, and kick your can into the next county. They are that good. Just sayin’.

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