Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Sibling Memories: Affirming the DJ

The Black eyed peas
The Black eyed peas (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
At the wedding this past weekend, I had a chance to eat great food, visit with family, soak up some beautiful sunshine and surf, and I got to dance.  Dancing is not necessarily something that I go out of my way to do.  I'm terribly self conscious about my limited repertoire of moves.  One of my favorite memories from the weekend though, will be dancing with my brothers and sisters at the wedding reception.  Four of the five of us were a bit nervous that we wouldn't have anything other than country music to dance to.  The fifth sibling enjoys the country but was also the mother of the bride and in high demand.  The dj played several country songs at the very beginning and we sat nursing our drinks.  No one else was dancing either so we didn't really stand out as a protest contingent.  Then out of nowhere we heard the beat of the Black Eyed Peas (I think that was what stirred us from our seats) and we charged the floor.  We danced by ourselves through three quarters of the song while others were begging and cajoling their friends to join in.

We broke open that dance floor.  Perhaps people saw how much fun we were having and felt jealous.  Perhaps people saw my moves and realized that they could look really great in comparison.  Who knows.  We stayed on the floor for a couple more songs and sat when the country came on.  Everyone else sat down too.  We decided that we would have to make a commitment - we had to affirm the dj in playing non-country music (sorry sis).  Whenever he played non-country we would get up and dance and give him positive reinforcement.  It's been a long time since I was just goofy like that - just hanging out with my group and cutting loose.  It was an extra rare treat that my group was my two brothers and my two sisters, a great memory.

I was in high school when my youngest sister was born.  My youngest brother lived with my husband and I over his college breaks.  The wide age span of my five siblings has meant that our relationships have taken very different shapes and hues over the years.  There were times when I felt more like a mother figure than sister.  In the present day, we are a very adult mix of work, relationships, debt, and health concerns and our decade and a half age span isn't all that significant.  We all too easily put people we love into categories, defining and limiting them to a narrow template.  Sometimes we take a template that's been put on us and resist acting beyond it's confines.  Big sister or oldest in the family are templates that I've held.  The great thing about the dance floor at the reception was that the five of us were just having fun.  All the templates were set down and we were just enjoying each other.  I've always liked the Black Eyed Peas and now I have a whole new reason to appreciate them.

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  1. So glad you all had that time together. Nothin like a good wedding DJ to make a memorable time

  2. the other thing that stood out for me was how we have so many new ways to connect beyond our sibling relationship. All of us but one are parents and I remember commenting that affirming the DJ was like good parenting...look for good behavior to praise and highlight, downplay and ignore the bad behavior (in this case country music). It was also funny to see how crazy the DJ and photographer and videographer went when we were having fun. It was like we created a reason for them to be there. THey were snapping pictures and filming us and they were enjoying themselves. Happiness is infectious...loved being contagious with you!

  3. I seriously can't wait until those pictures and video are ready! Also - Jack is hurt that you don't consider me a parent.

  4. The best of times are when we are just be who we are with people who understand. Celebrated my friend Earl's 50th back her in So. Cal. Same group. Just 25 years older. Nothing better than "the people who knew you when" and will love you always.
    Hugs to you and the fam. And CONGRATS to the Bride!