Complete Opposites

Growing up with my sister Gloria was tough. I always thought she was prettier than me.

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We were complete opposites in appearances and personalities. She had long straight black hair, she was dark complected with dark colored eyes. Whereas I had long wavy brown hair, I was light complected with hazel colored eyes. Surprisingly we had the same father.

She was carefree most of her life as I tended to be a worry wart. She was very outspoken where I could be shy. I just recall wanting to be like her and look like her too.

Strangely, our mother used to dress us alike as if we were twins. I remember these dresses we had with flower prints on them. I had a yellow one and my sister Gloria had a blue one. They were dresses above the knee with baby doll sleeves. They had the cutest tiniest purse attached to the shoulder with a small chain connected to it. We either wore our hair down or we would wear pigtails with the hair hanging over the front of our shoulders.

As we approached our teen years, being fourteen and fifteen years old, we started wearing dresses called sizzzlers. It was the seventies! These were mini dresses with matching panties with various prints on them. They were made of silk material and the dress had a little flare to it, and as we walked these dresses swayed as if they were dancing to a beat. They were the coolest piece of clothing we had ever had. I guess you could say we sizzled!

To top it off, we wore knee high boots. We called them Go-Go boots. Remember the song “these boots are made for walking”? These boots were extremely fashionable back then. To really top it off, we had the most stylish hair-do of them all: the Farrah Fawcett hair-do! We all remember that hair-do right? We were young girls exploring our youth and being very fashionable.

Years later, Gloria met a guy named Freddie. She never married him but they became common law partners, being together for 25 years. They had two children, Lorraine and Raymond. She was a fine little housewife, maintaining household chores, involved in her children’s school activities, and cooking meals that could make your mouth water. (Her oozing red chicken mole was the best meal she ever cooked. So tender yet so spicy.)

On the other hand, I was the complete opposite. I was a party girl enjoying the single life, going out to nightclubs, drinking alcohol and meeting various men, and Gloria often worried about me.

Although we were complete opposites, we did have one major thing in common and that was we both were big fans of the “I Love Lucy” sitcom. When we’d talk on the phone, we’d laugh and laugh reiterating what episode was the funniest and we could never decide what our favorite episode was. Ah, the memories!

Sadly, my sister had been in an abusive relationship with Freddie for years. One day she just up and left him. My family and I were in complete shock.

Just about the time she was about to end her volatile relationship with Freddie, I was starting a life with Robert (my ex-husband). I had been married to Robert for a few years, then our lives took a complete 180.

She was then living a single life -- going out, drinking alcohol and meeting various men, while I was married, raising children tending to household chores, school activities and so on. Then I got the feeling of worrying about her. Ironically, years later in my life, I would come to realize that I, too, was in an abusive relationship. We were amazed of what opposite lives we were leading, and with that, it gave us a clear understanding that no matter how different we were and what we didn’t have in common, there was one thing that we never lost sight of, and that was we loved each other dearly.

In reflecting on my memories of my sister Gloria, and myself, and writing this piece, I realized, it’s not that I thought that she was prettier than me, I just simply thought that she was pretty! And even more so, that we were both pretty!

FeaturesYolanda Reyna