Thursday, January 17, 2008

Screw the Bright Side

WHY do people insist on pointing out the bright side to a situation that sucks IMMEDIATELY upon hearing the news? What is this pathological need to yank someone out of the blues, to even out an emotional valley? Let me wallow for, like, a minute please.

My sister is taking a job in Europe. For three years, maybe more. To put this in perspective, I am very close with my sister. She is eight years older than me, and in many ways has been a junior mother to me. She was my matron of honor, and is godmother to the Girl. She's given me buckets of guidance and advice over the years on topics ranging from family relationships to potty training. So, to say that she's a big part of my life is an understatement. We'll trade videos and e-mails and phone calls of course -- you can see I'm a fan of the written word, and verbal communication ranks almost as highly. But it's just not the same when we can't share physical space frequently. And it's especially not the same when it comes to kids. My kids and her tween boys don't really know how to talk on the phone. It's mostly grunting and awkward pauses.

I know there's a bright side, okay? I'm smart. Not like everybody dumb...I'm smart*. Here are the building blocks of the bright side:
  • I can go visit her and her family.
  • I will have a great time flouncing around Europe without having to pay for a hotel.
  • I will e-mail and call all the time, and may in fact share more than I typically would because I'm trying to make up for the fact that we aren't in the same room.
  • I can finally get a webcam.
  • This is a wonderful opportunity for her whole family, and there's nothing more valuable than stepping outside of your bubble and checking out how the other half lives.
  • Most families don't enjoy the geographical proximity that we have, so I should be grateful for the time that we've had together already. Anything more than the semi-annual visit is gravy.
But PLEASE, just let me be sad about for a little bit. I'm not veering into a depression. I'm not co-dependent with her. I'll just miss her, and I think it's okay to express that even though the emotions are kind of untidy.

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