Last weekend, I was blessed by a visit from my younger sister, Allie. Of course, by “”blessed,”” I mean I was driven completely insane and will never fully recover. Same difference.

    What you need to understand about Allie is that she is very concerned by how she looks. Mind you, she looks good — ask anyone with a penis. But she also cares how her mind looks, and this is where she runs into problems.

    Most of the time, my sister is so preoccupied with looking smart that she fails to take the time to actually be smart. In other words, she’s so busy arguing that she isn’t stupid that she sometimes fails to realize that she is, at that very moment, acting stupid.

    Not that I don’t love her. I do. But God help me, when she acts like that, I want to kick her ass.

    Friday night, after preparing a lovely bed fit for a queen (I put a pillow and blanket on our couch), I instructed Allie on protocol should she wake up before I did.

    Me (instructing very patiently): “”Allie, pay the fuck attention!””

    Allie (not paying attention at all, I can tell): “”I am!””

    Me (getting a grip on myself): If you wake up in the morning and you get hungry, this is the only cereal I have.

    At this juncture, I hold up a bag of plain Cheerios that my mother had sent me, even though I don’t eat cereal and I hate Cheerios. Whatever, it’s the thought that counts.

    So I am holding a huge bag of cereal Vanna White-style, showing it off to the best of my ability, making it clear that Cheerios are all that is on the menu in the morning.

    But, knowing my sister as I do, I must stress this point still further.

    Me (stressing the point and still doing a damn good Vanna White impression): “”Do you see that this is the only cereal you can eat?””

    Allie (getting vexed): “”Yes, Carrie, I see the cereal. I get it.””

    Me (still hammering the point home): “”I am going to put it here on the counter, so you don’t even have to look in the cabinet for it.””

    Allie (working up some serious sass): “”Carrie, I am not an idiot. I get it. Geez!””

    Me (just messing with her at this point): “”So, what you’re saying is, you don’t know where the cereal is?””

    Allie wasn’t amused.

    Now, I must point out here that I was not just really eager to get rid of that cereal. My roommates own several varieties of cereal themselves, and they get … let’s just call it “”possessive”” of their food. Not that I blame them. I just don’t want to get bitched out by a hungry woman because my sister can’t tell a cheerio from a lucky charm.

    OK, so all is secure. The cereal is on the counter. It is all by itself. There is no way Allie can miss that bag. Unless she is struck from behind and consequently blinded (which I totally would do, by the way), Allie’s gonna know where the Cheerios are.

    Fine. The next morning, I wake up and discover that Allie is still asleep, despite her protests that my waking up at 11 a.m. is “”way too late”” for her.

    I go to the rice cooker and start making some rice for sushi. (Oh yeah, baby, I can make sushi. I am a freakin’ gourmet.) Allie wakes up a few minutes later.

    We exchange half-hearted good mornings (she is groggy and I am annoyed that I have no cucumber).

    Then the moment of truth arrives. Allie gets up. She has that look in her eye that lets me know she is hungry. She moves to … the cabinet.

    I know it’s coming. I know she is going to make an ass of herself. And do I stop her?

    Of course not. What kind of sister do you take me for?

    Allie (pulling out the Corn Pops): “”Can I have this?””

    Me (remaining calm): “”Are you fucking kidding me?””

    Allie (whipping out that Sklar sass again): “”Carrie, I am sick of you treating me like an idiot. Can I have the Corn Pops or not?””

    Well, I lost it.

    You can’t blame me, really. I went out of my way to make sure she knew what cereal was mine, and it just popped out of that vacant little blonde head anyway.

    So I called her an idiot (and she was — admit it) and gave her the cereal, and then I made myself some sushi. And then I gave her some, too, because that is the kind of philanthropic elder sibling that I am.

    So basically, yes, my sister can be dumb. And yes, I call her on it. But the important lesson to learn here is really this: Never send me Cheerios. Just look at the trouble it causes!

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