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Bossy Big Brothers and Ornery Little Sisters

Stanley and Eileen are my Dad’s siblings, along with my Aunt Edith and Uncle Ernie. And according to my Dad, from the time Stanley and Eileen were old enough to do so, they spent the better part of their time arguing, bickering, and fighting. This was still happening into their early adulthood when this scene takes place. Stanley, as the oldest sibling, usually had the upper hand. However, as anyone who has a little sister knows, we girls often find a way to turn events to our own advantage.

It all started with the older brother, of course. Stanley had picked up fifteen cents Eileen had left lying around, citing that tired, old saying which is the bane of forgetful people, “Finder’s keeper.” Nothing Eileen said, either threatening or pleading, swayed Stanley one bit. Since the disagreement was settled (he supposed) Stanley went on about his day, preparing for a date he had later that evening. (If this were a movie, you now would hear the music turn to a minor key.)

Emerging from the house later, happy and fifteen cents richer, Stanley headed for the car, ready for a lovely time spent with his best girl. But first, he had to face down another girl, his sister Eileen. Eileen—who was in the car and had the keys. Eileen—who had locked all the car doors. Eileen—who wanted her fifteen cents back.

Now it was Stanley’s turn to threaten and plead, the threatening getting more menacing and the pleading getting more pitiful as time passed. Finally, rather than risk being late for his date, Stanley agreed to restore the fifteen cents to its rightful owner. Eileen rolled the window down, just far enough for Stanley to push the money through. She quickly scooted over to the far side of the car, unlocked the door, jumped out and RAN!

Dad never said whether Stanley made her pay later, but likely, he did—because that is the way of bossy big brothers and ornery little sisters.

Note bene: Fifteen cents may not sound like a lot of money to cause such a fuss, but at the time (late 40’s to early 50’s) fifteen cents could buy a dozen donuts, a pound of apples, or a loaf of bread. Besides, it’s the fight that counts—or something like that.

Don’t miss the rest of the Stories My Family Tells as I Write 31 Days this October. Click here to check out the wide range of topics from a wide range of writers.

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