Tuesday, May 20, 2008

secret sister society

This weekend two friends in two different conversations talked to me about their secret sisters' club. If you don't know what a secret sister is, it basically boils down to sending gifts and cards to someone (your secret sister) who doesn't know who you are. At the end of the year, there's usually a banquet or such where the secret sisters come out of the closet, revealing their identity.

These conversations brought back memories of my year-long stint in the society of secret sisterhood. I was barely out of teenage-hood, but since I had a baby, I was invited to join the women's clubs of the church. I joined the Satanic Secret Sister Society. (It wasn't really Satanic, I just said that for effect and to subtly imply my thoughts on secret sister clubs.)

Gung ho with excitement, I was an amazing secret sis. An overachiever, no holiday went by without my sis getting something. St. Patrick's Day, Valentines Day, birthday, anniversary, Hanukkah, Martin Luther King Day -- they all were commemorated by this secret sis. (Hanukkah was a bit of a lie, but you get the idea, right?)

It didn't take long for the disappointment to settle. Whoever had drawn my name was a pathetic secret sis. Thanksgiving - no card. Christmas - no card, much less a gift. New Year's, anniversary, April's Fool Day, - nothing, nothing, nothing. My secret sister got Gloria Vanderbilt cologne from me for Christmas. I didn't get so much as a hohoho. On her birthday, she got a bouquet of flowers. The injustice of it all was blowing my young mind.

As the holidays slipped by, I got mouthier and mouthier about my disappointments with my best friend Debbie. Debbie got good stuff from her secret sister too. That didn't help my aggravation and growing disdain for whoever the louse was who drew my name.

Debbie and I lived on the same street. On my birthday I was at her house when a flower delivery car drove by. Ever hopeful that my secret sister had turned over a new leaf, I enthused, "Maybe that's something from my secret sister." I jumped off the sofa and ran to the street to see if the flower delivery guy stopped at my house. Dejected, I slumped back in to announce how my secret sister couldn't be worse if she tried.

Months went by. I never heard from my sis and I regularly defamed her to Debbie. The whole secret sister thing grew sour. I couldn't say "secret sister" without snarling my lips in disgust.
When the end-of-the-year banquet rolled around, Debbie nagged me terribly to go with her. I refused. Why humiliate myself? What could I possibly say to my revealed secret sister, "Oh gee, it was you? I never would have guessed, you low-life-turkey-tit." It was best to stay home. However, I couldn't wait for Debbie to find out who my pea-brained secret sis was.

Debbie had strict orders to come to my house immediately after the banquet. When she walked in the back door, she started laughing hysterically as she announced she was my secret sister. She had relished every malicious thing I'd confided about my scum-bag secret sister. She had begged me to go to the banquet with her because she wanted so badly to see my expression when I learned who my secret sister had been. To her, it had all been very hilarious.

I've not joined a secret sister club since my novice run at it. Surely Debbie was the lousiest secret sister ever, but she was an amazing real friend. I truly miss her.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

What better friend could you have!!!! I haven't thought about that in such a long time!!! Oh how I wish I could be your secret sis again- I would make up for it like crazy. We have about 5 hours of catching up to do..Wish we could hang out for an afternoon chat!!!
Love your best secret sis Debbie

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