Yesterday I walked out of my house to give my dad the phone and was stunned. My sister was behind the wheel of my car. The car’s engine was running. The car was moving. My car was moving and my younger sister was the only one in it. Logically, I deduced my sister was driving it – with my dad calmly giving instructions to her about how to drive.
Mind you, this was not Kiki the 17 year old – one of the safest teenage drivers I know. This was RJ. RJ who pokes herself in the eye when putting on mascara, who runs into the couch everytime she walks by it, who needs instructions on how to make a sandwich. Okay, so I exaggerate on the sandwich, but you get the idea. RJ is 14. She has been begging almost a year for driving lessons. She isn’t legally old enough to even get her permit and my father is using my car instead of the traditional Odyssey for lessons. I was overwhelmed with pissed off ness.

I think the mean streak comes from my father’s side. My mom very rarely does anything blatantly mean which could be construed as cruel. Except one time she nearly blasted the skin off our kittens with the garden hose – but that’s another story. Each of the children in our family has a little kernel of mean-ness that sits inside them like a bit of unpopped popcorn. Warm it up enough and it has the potential to pop open until it’s been spent and then shrink back down again. We truly are an evil breed. Call it a lack of emotional restraint or maturity, but whatever we label it, it’s there.

Part of this evil kernel manifests itself through the constant use of sarcasm to communicate. Cole, Kiki, RJ and myself are exceedingly sarcastic. My mother hates it and my father eats it up like birthday cake. And because my mother is weak in this area, we all surround her like a pack of hyenas and let loose. We belch at the table which she hates, we use twisted but somewhat correct logic to get what we want, we sneak up on her and scare her, and we employ the use of sarcasm enough to frustrate the Pope.My brother has had several friends over, as has Kiki, who all see this and comment on it. They’re surprised that we’re all “so mean to each other.” One of these kids has even deemed us the meanest siblings he’s ever met. I’m sort of proud of that in my sick little way.So when RJ was spotted driving my car yesterday, it was as if a challenge was issued – unspoken, but definitely issued. Kiki came out soon after me and made several exclamations, and Cole followed soon after that. Why was RJ the one driving when Kiki is 17 and hasn’t been taken to get her license yet even though she has a full time job? Why was RJ driving MY car when we all knew that in order to drive anything other than the Odyssey you have to earn it through many car washings and stress-filled driving tests with my mother, father and grandmother? Why was RJ receiving special treatment as the youngest – yet again? The kernel popped in all three of us and all out war was launched. Take cover.

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