MommyJ and I are posting our own versions of this story concurrently. If you haven't already read her side, click here. And since this is about our childhood, MommyJ will henceforth be referred to as ChickyJ, and myself as InkChick.
When I was in the eleventh grade and ChickyJ in seventh, we got our first home computer that had a color screen and a non-dot matrix printer. It was great . . . way better than the green-on-black dinosaur we were used to using at home. I remember being so thrilled with myself because I used the computer to type up Advanced Biology assignments in various fonts. (Don't say it . . . I know what you're thinking. Did this girl actually have any friends?!? Yes, and some of them were even boys.)
We didn't have any fancy games, but we still managed to become obsessed with beating each other's high scores on the ones that came with the computer: Pinball, Solitaire, Minesweeper, and, best of all, Pyramid.
Do you know the game I'm talking about? All the cards are laid out in a pyramid shape, and you have to match up pairs that add up to thirteen until you clear the board. Not all of these games are solvable, but ChickyJ and I played it enough that we began to learn which ones were the easiest to complete and then race against each other's best times.
We would spend HOURS doing this -- hours of, I would argue, quality time because up to this point, ChickyJ and I had not exactly gotten along very well. I guess Mom didn't limit our play because at least we were doing something together, which was uncommon.
We whittled our times down second by second, one besting the other until, finally, I achieved what I believed to be the fastest time possible: 9 seconds. I was looking forward to serious bragging rights because, of course, you could record your name in the high scores, indelibly stored (not really . . . you could reset them) on the hard drive for all posterity to see. But rather than simply inputting my name, I decided instead to humiliate my sister, and I typed, "I love you, ChickyJ!" Or at least, I though that's what I keyed. What I actually typed was, "I loce you, ChickyJ!" I didn't notice the typo before ChickyJ who, quick as ever, hit "Enter", indelibly storing evidence of my imperfection instead of a record of my superiority.
Now that I remember all this, I wonder why I've kept saying "I loce you" all these years. It wasn't exactly my best moment, but it just sort of stuck.
That year of computer novelty appreciation was the beginning of the turning point in the relationship between InkChick and ChickyJ. She moved into my room, and we started having conversations that didn't start with, "I didn't say you could borrow that!" We began the VERY long journey of sisterly appreciation -- one that didn't fully come to fruition until years later when ChickyJ got married and we began to have something besides genetics in common.
That year, we started other strange traditions, like every time I would come home from a date or a rehearsal (oh, yes, the rehearsals) or whatever, I would lurk at the door to our room and, breathing through my teeth in my deepest James Earl Jones-esque voice, say, "Luuuuke . . . I am yohr fah-thuh"; and dramatic scripture reading that would have entertained all of you, I guarantee. We were only an orchestra short of a full on oratorio.
Now, ChickyJ is MommyJ and she is my very best friend. (Don't read this, CPod. Or InkySnark, who is our mother. No offense intended, but nothing beats a sister!) I cannot imagine my life without her friendship. On vacation last week, I didn't even talk to her once and I thought I might go through withdrawal.
So, here's to MommyJ, who I will, forever and ever, LOCE!