My sister Joni is older than I am. She doesn’t look older, but let’s just not rub it in, OK? Anyway, we used to watch the Patty Duke Show together, and here’s how it went:
Me: Want some toast? (Toast was like, a big snack in our house. I don’t know how this got started, but it could be why I would basically give up one of my kids for a good piece of bread.)
Joni: Nah. I’m not hungry.
Me: Are you sure?
Joni: Nope. I don’t want any.
I would try and scramble during a commercial to get the Pepperidge Farm all toasty and buttery before Patty and her identical cousin Cathy would come back, but usually I missed some of the show, which Joni did not. When I’d come back with my toasty, buttery Pepperidge Farm, Joni would look over at it, then at me, then at it again. And here’s how it went (EVERY SINGLE TIME, EVEN THOSE TIMES WHEN I SAID,”I KNOW YOU’RE GOING TO EAT MY TOAST, WHY DON’T I JUST MAKE YOU A PIECE?”)
Joni (looking at me sheepishly): Can I have a bite?
Me (with a “what?” expression on my face.): I thought you didn’t want any.
Joni: I didn’t……..But it looks so good.
Me (EXASPERATED): Here.
Joni would proceed to eat the whole piece of toast, and I would proceed to go back to the kitchen and make more toast. This is how it goes when you love your older sister and would even give up your toast and favorite show because she’s paying attention to you. (Don’t even get me started on the inequity of the back rub situation. Talk about bait and switch, about taking advantage of your little sister’s total devotion to you. She owes me about 10 million of those…..)
Anyway, I thought of this today when I read the perpetually perky Patty Duke died. She was only 69. I would give anything for another day in the den at 88 Milwaukee Ave. making toast for my sister. Those were the days. Bye Patty. I bet Cathy is really sad about this.