Sisters are happy things. These are my nieces, but there’s a picture in our family history of my older sister and I looking kind of like this, only Felicity is pouting BIG time, and there’s a couch cushion pulled out behind her from where I have just discovered her Easter candy stash.
When we were in college Sarah Dunn came up with this great concept about Two Minutes. She was talking about the way it feels when someone is right in your face telling you that you messed up in some way or failed to do something you should have, etc. (Telling you in love of course). And then you want so badly to say, “Fine. Now go away – not forever, but for at least Two Minutes. I need two minutes to stop being mad about this, to stop wanting to defend myself and actually deal with it. So go away, please, and give me my two minutes.”
I was thinking about that the other day when I was thinking about my blog. My readers might get the wrong impression of me, I was thinking. Because I tend to be poetic and have a beautiful perspective on this messy thing called life. This my friends, is the beauty of writing. Not that I don’t have a great perspective on life. It’s just that – I don’t always have it right in the moment. I need my two minutes. Two minutes to rethink my initial tendencies. Two minutes to turn the traumas into humor and come up with one very big poetic But. (i.e., but I had cancer once, and this little trial doesn’t matter as much as it used to). Two minutes to ask myself, “What would Felicity do?”
And that’s how writing and Sarah Dunn and Two Minutes all ties in to sisters. Because so much of what I’ve decided about life is because I think it’s what Felicity might decide if it were her.
My other sister tried out for American Idol this summer. She got past the first horrible round in which they narrowed over eight thousand people down to about 150, by our estimate. I was so proud about that I could hardly stand it. She let us tag along to the second round and I was so excited by the mere experience of being that close to television-making, it was all I could do not to go up to one of the red t-shirted people and beg them to give me a job.
And here’s the punch line for today. Besides the fact that I really like sisters. Reality TV gets pretty mocked, I know. And in some circles American Idol might as well be called “Let’s all break the second commandment.” But for me, it’s a very happy, very moving memory in my role as proud and adoring sister. And, frankly, I wish I knew more people who had tried it. I wish I knew more people who had tried out for reality television than I know of people with cancer. That’s what two minutes has given me on that topic.