This was a spur of the moment trip and the reason it was spur of the moment isnt important. We were able to spend a lot of quality time talking, eating, reminiscing, and listening to records (thats not a typo, actual records).
My little sister and I have always been different. When we were small, she was shy, I was outgoing. She was cautious, I was daring. She excelled in academics, I struggled. She had perfect hair, while I was cursed with a frizzy birds nest full of cowlicks. Even as adults we are different. She likes scary movies, I DO NOT! She thinks reality TV is a waste of time, I feel the same way about her over priced, totally organic laundry detergent. She regularly reads up on social injustice all over the world and I read up on the social injustice of Lindsay Lohan and Kim Kardashian. She was my first best friend. We are only 19 months apart and Ive never known a world without her. And I wouldnt want to.
Portland is a beautiful city; perfect for my sister and her husband. Everyone eats really well, everyone recycles, the city even provides its residents with a countertop compost bucket, and most importantly, they are all really nice. Not nice like people are in other parts of the country where as long as you follow an insult with phrases like, No judgment or Bless or You didnt hear that from me, youre just being a concerned friend. These people are really happy to be here. I didnt get it at first. Its 40 degrees and raining. What in the world were these people so damn happy about?
Everyone has this air of coolness around them. We were sitting at a caf eating lunch when the table of 20 somethings next to us were having a conversation. One girl was talking about her dads recent visit and how he was like a kid in a candy store when she took him to 2nd Avenue Records. 2nd Avenue is one of the oldest record stores in the US. A title that cant be hard to attain since most record stores have been replaced by itunes. So the girl starts telling her friend in a very I live in the Northwest which makes me so much cooler than everyone else tone,
I just said, dad this is Portland. We are cultured and know whats important. We keep what the rest of America throws away. Thats why everyone wants to be like us.
The only thing I could think was, You keep whats important and out of everything you picked vinyl records?
Its the last day of our trip. And once again, its 40 degrees and raining. My older sister is near breakdown when our West Coast sister suggests Indian for dinner again. Weve had it twice this week already. We had walked almost everywhere in the rain and missed the season premiere of Mad Men. I was ready to say,
We get it, youre cool. We know we arent as cool as you! I consider myself very progressive too but that doesnt mean I need to walk around looking like a member of Weezer. I need sunshine and an iPod and reality TV. I am all for saving the environment but I refuse to apologize for using chemicals to clean my house. Vinegar and water doesnt cut it for me. But before I could verbalize this little meltdown, my little sister whom I love very much said, Do you guys want to just order pizza and watch Bravo?
She was taken aback when her two older sisters were near tears hugging her. We were going to eat pizza and watch bad TV. It was perfect. A few minutes later, we were all in our pajamas waiting for the pizza. Right before Top Chef started, the pizza arrived. I didnt care if it didnt have any cheese or meat or if the crust was as thin as a saltine. On that rainy Monday at that very moment we werent that different at all. We were three sisters eating, laughing and making fun of each other.
Becky Andrews may be contacted at email@example.com.