My sister and I have a better relationship as adults than we ever had as children. This is fortunate. In addition to “maturity,” we both credit the identification and treatment of certain health issues in my sister. It is my understanding and belief that any compromise to cognitive ability such as by genetics, environment, abuse, drugs, alcohol, etc., can result in an adaptive narcissism. Her health issues and a different form of abuse that she survived explain a lot.
Neither of us had children. My decision was proactive; her decision was to delay until early-onset menopause made the decision for her. Both decisions were all for the best.
However, other than some commonality of childhood experiences and genetics, we have precious little in common. Therefore, our fail-safe conversational topics include ridiculing our father in absentia (it’s a ripe topic for humor), juvenile humor in general, and health and diet on which we mostly agree (thanks to my proactive efforts and research).
Intellectual discussion is not one of the activities that we can engage in for long. I can say from my standpoint that she is so steeped in cognitive dissonance that the exercise is futile; however, of course, such a view could be said to have it’s own bias. Ironically, she believes that she is more educated, more disciplined, and more intelligent than I am. I don’t disabuse her even if keeping up the pretense is painful, given that time and time again my “unpopular” views are consistently proven right. It’s not a “reality” that she is capable of accepting, of course.
Therefore, there aren’t very many activities that we can do together without inviting discord.
One of the ways that we amuse ourselves is by stumping age and weight-guessers at carnivals. Juvenile, of course, but, why not?
My sister (older, shorter, stockier, more-excitable) starts first and the guesses are always woefully underestimated. Then, cruelly, I step up, with the age and weight guesser now believing that he is primed because obviously being that we’re sisters, we’re likely to share these same anomalies. The first wrong assumption, however, is that given that I am taller, more somber, etc., that I must be the elder. I don’t correct this assumption.
Given that I am slimmer, I must weigh less.
The stupid little gifts that we win are, of course, of lesser value than the expression on the age and weight-guesser’s face when we each present our ID’s.
Sometimes, I defer my stupid prize in favor of ringing the bell, for a “better” stupid prize.
It is unfortunate that the sort of men who are impressed by these feats do not tend to interest me.
Making my sister complacently happy rather than shrill and annoying however is priceless.