Does one ever get too old to gripe about their siblings? I doubt it.
Last night we had my husband's grandmother's pasta sauce for dinner. It's this nice, chunky sauce with ground beef, bacon, veggies, and I think I forgot the seasonings, but no one seemed to notice. We were going to have it on Monday, but my sister had class (I know, if you've actually been paying attention to the chronology, this doesn't make sense. She graduated from the MBA. She's also getting some sort of not-for-profit certification. That she's not done with). So we scheduled this pasta sauce extravaganza for Tuesday.
Yesterday morning, my sister even brought over her pasta (she has celiac disease, so she can't eat normal pasta). And then she never showed up for dinner. She claims she didn't get the message that dinner was at 6:45-7ish. Which is possible. But she's my sister. It's not like she needs a formal invitation to show up at my house. And it's not like we were eating dinner at a strange time. Isn't 7ish normal dinner time?
My sister is not the most reliable person you'll ever meet. She's fine for work...she always seems to get her job done and her schoolwork turned in on time, but I would guesstimate that about 50% of the time she doesn't show up for other things when she says she will. And that might be a low estimate. Maybe she's better with her friends. I don't know.
When I was in college, she would always say she was so excited when I was coming home (I went to school in Montana, we lived in New Jersey; I didn't come home that often). And then I'd get home and she'd want nothing to do with me. Then I realized: she doesn't really want to hang out with me; she just wants the option of doing so.
No doubt, this is the situation nowadays. Now that we both live in San Diego, she once again has the option of hanging out with me. Which, of course, means she won't really do it too much. My husband and I have actually gotten quite good at not being completely annoyed by this behavior. It's just become, whatever: maybe she'll show up, maybe she won't.
My mother, unfortunately, still gets terribly upset about this. Why didn't your sister call? Why doesn't she answer the phone? She is so rude! Yeah, mom, good luck taming this beast.
What's additionally distressing is that neither my my sister's nor my mother's behavior is likely to change. I kept thinking, but my husband and I are here. Don't worry about my sister. She knows where we are and she knows when dinner is. If she doesn't want to come, that's her problem.
I've always thought the parable of the prodigal son was crappy. I still think it is.