Last night, as I was clamoring to tie my running shoes and head out to the New York Sports Club (that's right, "King of Pop"), I received a delightful phone call from my twelve-year old sister. Catalina, as I prefer to call her, is a precocious blonde vixen who currently resides in a small town in Southern New Jersey. An aspiring musical theater actress after my own heart, Cat called to discuss her imminent trip to New York, in which she and I will see Wicked and subsequently sing show tunes in Times Square until dawn (look out when the soundtrack from Mamma Mia is on - we bring the house down).
Cat and I hadn't chatted in quite awhile, so I excitedly listened to her recount the details of her young life:
- On friendship: "My best friend and I have decided we will have a double wedding and we will live with our husbands together in a house made of cheese. Also, as she will probably go to college in Pittsburgh, we decided that before we leave for school we'll need to take a trip together. We're thinking we'll just spend a week in Disneyworld, you know, going on all the rides we want."
- On love: "I just adore Orlando Bloom, Sis. He has my heart. Forever."
- On college plans: "I want to go to Yale and major in drama, maybe minor in French. It's the strangest thing, but I have always wanted to be bilingual."
- On Harry Potter: "I just can't imagine why Rowling would kill Potter off, but we'll just have to wait and see. By the way, one of my friends absolutely loves Daniel Radcliffe. Sometimes I think he's cute, but other times, I feel like he is trying too hard to look cute. And that's just not cool."
- On suburban living: "I have decided that I am, in fact, a city girl. Nothing ever happens here in the suburbs."
- On Grandmom's incessant calling: "We have caller ID, so anytime Grandmom calls, Meghan [our 8 year old sibling] will take one look at the phone, look at me, look back at the phone and say, completely seriously: 'Cat, it's for you.'"
I adore this child.
And of course, speaking with my baby sister forces me to recall what my own life was like at twelve. I reluctantly realize that Cat is remarkably more astute and self-aware than I was in 1992. Let's just say, I certainly wasn't pondering Yale Drama. If I remember correctly, I was obsessed with the fact that I had not yet gotten my period, when many of my friends had. They developed boobs; I was affectionately dubbed "The Wall." (Or "Pink Floyd," like, haha, very clever, O'Connor!).
Come on, you'll sing along to Bohemian Rhapsody too.
It was a simpler time, in which The Real World had just premiered on MTV, and new best friend Koos and I donned Wayne's World caps at the theater while seeing the film that year. In October, I played the role of Bush Sr. in a makeshift political debate at our modest Catholic grade school, and lost to an ever-charismatic governor from Arkansas. That November, we watched the Presidential election unfold much the same on Channel One. Thus, I retired my political aspirations and settled for writing plays and novels, as well as reading R.L. Stine books, attending sleepovers, taking trips to the mall sans parents, listening to what is now referred to as "old-school hip hop," walking around the neighborhood like bad-asses past curfew, and alternately pining for Luke Perry, Jason Priestley, and Darren Daulton.
All of this two years before my lovely, intelligent, hilarious sister was born. Here's hoping her future is bright and wonderful, that she makes only fortuitous mistakes, and that someday, somehow, her dream comes true and she resides in her very own house of cheese.
Oh, Walsh. We miss you.