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Before we went out to dinner, I didn't realize that "Rachel Getting Married" had come in the mail. It was set in my hometown, Stamford, Connecticut.
Spoiler alert: The best part of the movie is the relationship between the sisters. The saddest, between the mother and the youngest daughter. Since July, we've lived with two sisters, our cats.
Phoebe and Toonces are just like human sisters in essential ways: They play together and envy each other if either of their adoptive parents offers visibly more affection to one over the other at any given point. They must be more like twins, though, since they're the same age.
The older sister in the film touched me, and I thought of my own, oldest sister, who is nine years older than I. She used to bathe me when I was very young; I might have written here before that the way she got me to let her shampoo my hair was by putting a warm, wet washcloth over my eyes and calling it, "Magic Mask."
The sisters in the film were so great. And mine are, too. Two Sundays ago, my oldest sister and I sat at a food court off of the New Jersey Turnpike on our way home from our cousin Shirley's funeral in Bethesda, Maryland. I felt especially close to my sister then. It was such a treat to have her all to myself for 30 minutes. In the car, it was also just us, but there was traffic to watch and a road to concentrate on.
Both of us have our families always occupying us, and we haven't been alone together since my middle sister had breast cancer, which, thank God, she has survived. A few years ago when that happened, I asked my oldest sister to spend an afternoon with me. We went to the Frick Collection and she talked to a number of strangers.
I felt dissed. She didn't notice. I got upset. She became annoyed. We ended happily, but never since have done anything together -- just the two of us. The cancer-scare disappeared, thank God, and I suppose we went back to taking each other for granted a bit...and then Surarivka (aka Shirley) died...four hours in the car each way. The time went so fast, she agreed.
My sisters and I are so organically sympatico, ultimately, and I'm lucky we are one another's family.