We heard Dad taking the stairs two at a time as he ran up to find out why we weren’t asleep yet. I had a room of my own. My bed was a roll away and, on this night, we were pretending it was a pirate ship. The bar connecting the bed when it was folded up, was the ship’s wheel. We were laughing and pretending and having a great time. I was facing forward and, in my imagination, I was guiding our ship through rough waters. When I looked around, Sandy was gone and my doorway was filled with My Dad, all 6’1” of him. He bellered at me and asked what I was doing? Didn’t I know that I was supposed to be asleep? I started to explain when he stopped me and angrily accused me of not being truthful. He stormed down the hall to Sandy and Kathy’s room and called me to join him. Sandy lay sleeping peacefully in her bed. All he said was “Well?” “It doesn’t look like she was playing pirate ship with you!” My face turned beet red. I tried to explain. I said, “but Daddy.” He wasn’t in the mood for excuses and shortly thereafter, he and Mom decided that Sandy and I should share a room and Kathy should be given a room of her own.
So began a period of torture, arguments, and challenges in the shared room of Sandy and Judy. When Kathy was the older sibling in that room, she ruled the roost. When Sandy took over her place, she became like the persecuted party who becomes the persecutor.
I would come home to find all my clothes in the hallway if I didn’t hang them up the moment after I took them off. Sandy drew an imaginary line down the middle of our bed and instructed me that I was not to cross it.
This was also the room where Sandy would wait for me to fall asleep and would stick me with a straight pin just to see if I would jump. She would offer to cut my hair and then would turn my chair so I couldn’t see what she was doing. Then, she would laugh hysterically and would make weird sounds, and say things like “oops” or “oh, oh”, to make me think she had screwed it up! Finally, she would say it didn’t matter because it would go with my scabby eyes and big ears. This was a favorite attribute of mine that Sandy enjoyed referring to, usually followed by the giggles. When I’d get upset and tears would start, she’d try to convince me that I should know she was only teasing. Uh huh! Nice try.
Of course, there were also some fun times. I’m sure there must have been something….hmmm. Just teasing!!! I’ll have to think on that for another writing.
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Sharing the room was probably the torture