When my sister and I pose for a selfie, I look like a vampire standing next to a Hawaiian hoola dancer. I am glow-in-the-dark and allergic to the sun, and she is a sun-kissed goddess. She also had large, brown, Hawaiian eyes. Mine are iceberg-blue and squinty. Funny, because she was born in Hawaii…

Now I am wondering if we are actually related, or if my parents obsconded with the adorable Hawaiian baby they found in a bassinet on the beach there. It’s highly possible that the stress and frustration of their many failed attempts at getting pregnant could have led them to do something batshit crazy like that. But I’m getting off point. We have to be related. We share the “renegade gene.”

Yesterday, my sister texted me a photo of one of her teenage ducklings reading a children’s book – about ducks. The book was propped up in the lawn.

“Yellow duck yellow duck, what do you see?” The open page read. Her yellow duckling was standing 3” in front of the book looking utterly gripped by the story. 

“Showoff mom,” I texted back.

Today she texted me a photo of her sparse, brown-ish lawn with a neon-green smudge on in and the caption, “failed experiment. Cannot spray-paint brown grass green.”

“Looking good sis,” I responded with laughing emojis. “Your neighbors – the lawn-snob ones – will be baffled as to how you grew this particular shade of neon. They’ll be looking up expensive lawn fertilizers on Amazon tonight…”

This evening, our conversation went as follows:

Her: “After I saw the word ‘besmirched’ in an article it kept randomly coming out of my mouth at work yesterday. Everyone looked perplexed when I used it. The funny thing is, today I heard a co-worker use it in the hall, then my boss came into my office and used it. I’m pretty sure I just made ‘besmirched’ cool.”

Me: “I’m thinking that this is going to have to be a thing we do now. We’ll start using SAT words that NO one ever actually uses. We’ll pick a word, then make a point of saying it – with a totally deadpan face – about three times an hour. People will secretly look the word up on their phones assuming that it’s obviously a word, they too, should be using a lot.

Her: I’ve got one. Deleterious. At the next work meeting I’ll very somberly report, “They’re being very deleterious this week. We need to figure out a way to react to this deleterious behavior.” 

Me: “…This is bound to have a deleterious effect on the company.”

Her: “Exactly.”

Me: “What should my word be this week?

(I can hear her google-searching “SAT words that no one ever uses.”)

Her: “Chicanery: the use of trickery.”

Me: “I can work with that.”

Yep, we DEFINITELY share the same gene pool. 

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