Yesterday was National Siblings Day, I don’t know if that is some sort of semi-officially designated national holiday, or something Twitter invented, like “Zayn Appreciation Day” but it did cause me to pause and think about my sister, and one incident in particular.
It was 1994. I was 5, she was 3. We had family in town that we didn’t get to see often, and I was in awe. Their kids were slightly older than us, and I followed them around starstruck. Their family is very musical, and every time they would start singing, or hammering chopsticks into my Fischer-Price toy piano, I would explode with a combination of glee and envy.
We were all at Price Club one night, and I spotted something I had to have: a Beauty and the Beast recorder set, with a little recorder and songbook sealed perfectly in a plastic clamshell package. My Mom tried to shoo me away, because I didn’t know how to play the recorder, but her friend stepped in and offered to buy it for me, in a gesture to nurture whatever musical abilities I had. (If you play two Nickelback songs back-to-back my Mom literally cannot determine they are the same band.)
I had no idea how to fucking read, let alone read sheet music, but I laid that songbook out and was determined to figure it out through sheer willpower. I was going to stare at it and make sounds until it made sense.
My sister was in the living room with me, rolling around on the carpet, watching TV. Abruptly she decided she did not appreciate my desire for self-betterment, and proceeded to drop-kick me in the face. Like a tiny Anthony Pettis, she made a direct hit with the end of the recorder, ramming it into my face and knocking out both my front teeth.
I remember having to remove the recorder embedded in my face, seeing something that moments before was such a symbol of hope and happiness, streaked with blood, as I came to the realization that I no longer had teeth.
It was my first musical memory.
So Happy National Siblings Day, Allison. It’s been 20 years and you’re still a bitch.