notquiteold

Nancy Roman

Normal

Last weekend, my sisters and I (and our husbands) got together for an impromptu picnic.

I love spending time with my sisters. I can’t imagine there could ever be anyone more comfortable to be with than the two girls who tormented me in my formative years.

Actually, when we were kids, we did an enormous amount of bickering, but an enormous amount of giggling too. I don’t know which made my parents crazier. A tossup, I think.

My oldest sister’s husband built a cool wood-burning oven in their backyard, so we had a make-your-own-pizza party. I really like doing a kids’ kind of activity without any kids.

We got to discussing spoiled celebrities for some reason. I don’t even remember what spoiled celebrity it was – but you can take your pick.

I said, “The problem with celebrities is that their lives become so disconnected with reality, that they don’t even know how weird they are. And no one will tell them.”

I know. Duh. It’s obvious. And it was even more obvious sitting there with the two people who had dedicated much of their childhood to pointing out any peculiar behavior on my part.They made sure they wouldn’t be mortified by their strange little sister. I couldn’t help but grow up normal. I toed the line, because, thanks in good part to them, I always knew where the crazy line was.

My sisters were instrumental in ensuring that I developed into a rational, socially-acceptable human being, through their nurturing, gentle, and generous advice:

“What are you, NUTS??”

Apparently, not so with celebrities. They are surrounded by sycophants. Hanger-Ons who do nothing but praise all behavior – no matter how ridiculous.

“Sure, Elvis, you can date a fourteen-old-old. Sure, you can rent an amusement park so you can go there in the middle of the night. Sure, I can get you a prescription for that.”

“Sure, Britney, you look good bald. Sure, you can drive with you toddler on your lap. Sure, it’s okay that your dog pooped on the designer dress.”

“Sure,Tippi, it’s a marvelous idea to live with a full-grown lion – what a great experience for your 13-year-old daughter.”

“Sure, Kanye, go right up on stage and interrupt that acceptance speech.”

“Sure, Michael, why not have some more plastic surgery? You look great as a combination of the Tin Man and Diana Ross.”

But I don’t really blame these famous folk for being so nuts.

I blame their “friends” and family. The folks whose job is it to ensure that their famous loved ones still know how normal human beings behave.

How in the world can you be a well-adjusted socially-appropriate person without knowing what that is?  Without someone yelling once in a while, “What are you, NUTS??”

I wish someone had introduced my sisters to Michael Jackson back in the 80s. His future might have been very different if only he had heard those two girls say:

“No, you may NOT bring your chimpanzee to tea with the mayor of Osaka. What are you, NUTS??

jackson&bubbles

26 Comments

  1. To dear. I never had sisters. Makes me wonder about myself….

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  2. I remember a family picnic for Other Brother’s 40th birthday. It was a good get together in the New Forest with everyone bringing something for the table. We had complete strangers joining the queue for tea, sandwiches and cake thinking we were a mobile cafe!
    As for the Are You Nuts? Yeah, someone with the initials KK fits the bill. 🙂

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  3. I feel very proud now to know I was responsible for my little brother growing up “normal.” I made his life miserable with incessant taunting. Lucky guy! 🙂

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    • You were just doing your job as older sibling

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  4. Ray G

    The thing (or at least one of many) about sycophants is that they are trying to curry favor; they want the celeb to make something good possible for them. That wasn’t the case with your sis’s. They needed nothing from you, except perhaps you to be a verbal punching bag. And, it was a nice little backyard picnic.

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    • Oh, not a verbal punching bag at all…just your normal older sibling criticism. It’s their job. I certainly followed through with my nagging responsibility with my little brother.

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  5. I didn’t have sisters but my two older brothers made sure I wasn’t a crybaby sissy.

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    • Women I know who have older brothers are very tough indeed. Those brothers did their job well.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Christine

    In addition to having sisters and brothers-in-law whose company I enjoy, family get-togethers are good because you don’t have to put on airs. The family already knows who you are, so there is no point in trying to impress them. And it was fun to be able to talk without having to keep checking on what the kids were into.

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  7. I agree completely. Both that siblings tell you stuff that nobody else will, and that there needs to be somebody to do so for celebrities. Because, shit. They’re mostly nuts!

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    • Celebrities should hire someone to tell them, “Get over yourself, you jerk!” as needed. I would recommend either of my sisters.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ever seen the movie Local Hero? Happer’s abuse therapist fits the bill precisely, and should be running mass seminars today making millions. One of my absolute favorite movies.

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  8. One older and one younger sister. They both thought they knew better than me – you’re too young to understand from sister no 1 and you’re too old from sister no 2. But we all seem to have grown up without the celebrity surrounding sycophants and we’re best friends

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    • We often couldn’t stand to sit in the same room when we were kids. Now we can’t wait to be together.

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  9. Older siblings have a way of keeping us in check – I have one who wants to coddle me because, at 8 years older, she was the babysitter. The other still wants to pound me.
    We have fun together, but the middle sister and I? Not much in common and we tolerate each other for Mom’s sake. Oldest sister and I? Thick as thieves!

    What are you, nuts? Yes, probably so 😀

    MJ

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    • But when you have siblings, at least they provide you with a concrete definition of what NUTS is!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. In our family, I was the “responsible” Older Sibling. I wonder what my younger sibs think of me, now that we’re all grown up. Was I helpful? Was I kind? Was I a bully? I’m afraid to ask them.
    We did squabble a lot, that’s for sure. But these days, family get-to-gethers are my favourite social event in the Whole Wide World – and Universe – and Margate…

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    • There’s nothing quite as comfortable as Family.

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  11. Donald Trump comes to mind as someone used to having sycophants surrounding him. There are no truth tellers. Hence, some of the crazy rants he’s been coming out with. He’s used to hearing only “yes.”

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  12. Too right…although the contrary part of me says, maybe the whole idea of celebrities is that they represent the bonkers in all of us – the bit we’d like to display but are too socially appropriate/low level to dare.

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    • Interesting point. I do sometimes enjoy their insanity.

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