Today i watched my sister cry from boredom. We are in Italy, in a village named Dicomano 20 Km south of Florence. We drove here from France to spend Christmas with her best friend, her best friend's husband and their two girls. We have so far been to Florence twice for walk a around and coffee and very light site seeing, done the Christmas things as in gone to husbands parents house and sang, ate, slept by the fireplace and unwrapped presents. As everything is shut, mainly shops which are my sisters temple, today we decided to stay in. I was tired from all the driving and running around as this is my first trip since i was idle for three months and as i know the next few days will be insane i opted for staying in where it is warm and full of infants.
I have been living alone for two years. Every time i went home my sister would talk to me with the perception that Europe is one big party, you step off the plane and you suddenly don't know what to do with yourself, in her comprehension of my life she as well thinks that as i live in France i know everything there is to know about every European country. How to get everywhere, where to go everywhere, who to hang out with everywhere... etc etc... When i tried to to explain to her before she came she went to my mother crying telling her that i don't want her to come.
So back to today, my sister has had her foul mood face on all day, i on the other hand, have adapted quite well to the infant life style, i am watching cartoons and making puzzles and playing with the girls' helium balloons that i bought yesterday. When they eat i eat, when they nap i nap, and at night i park myself cosily on the couch next to the best friends husband and we talk movies, or geography, or life, as i sip my wine and he thanks the heavens for his two hours off from the girls. Meanwhile, my sister has burst into tears, she is bored and feels like she is wasting a day in Italy in the house, i watched her best friend explain to her what there is to do if she is that bored, The avalanche came after i stated that i will be taking the train to Venice for a day at some point. My sister doesn't want to go to Venice, and she can't drive my car as the roads scare her here (rightfully so). So basically she wants me to not go to Venice so she wont be alone, i watched my sister's best friend draw a map for my sister to the train station into Florence and all around Florence and i watched my sister lose interest as soon as the pen hit the paper. I watched her thinking that there is no way she can do that alone, i watched her dwell in her self pity that she is going to roam the streets of Florence alone unaccompanied for a day. And then she started crying. Did i mention that my sister is eight years older than me?
Surprisingly, i did not get annoyed with her today. I have a very short fuse with my sister, all the time, i cut her no slack ever, and i have been passive aggressive towards her for 14 years straight. I will spare you the details, but at some point we managed to not have a conversation for four years while living in the same house with rooms directly facing each other. We have a character conflict, lets leave it there.
Today however, my blood did not boil at her self pity, i did not clench my teeth at her non existent faith in herself, and i did not just get up and exit before i said something harsh. Today i got very concerned about this girl, how is she ever supposed to be happy?
I contemplated for a minute, do i change my plans for her? Do i take her by the hand through every situation during this trip and every personal dilemma to come? This is so against what i believe in. I am so anti-dependency, from the bottom of my heart i believe i would be doing her much more harm than good, i will be contributing to her lack of self esteem. I can't do it.
My other option is to wait till she learns, till she gets the guts to leave the house and find the train and pick where she wants to go. Till she gets the courage to apply for a job and understand that not getting the job doesn't render her worthless. To stop asking questions she already knows the answers to just to portray need. My other option is to wait for her to get there herself. My sister is eight years older than me, can i really watch her waste more years being unhappy till she gets there? It's taking her too long, and my inability to help her breaks my heart.