Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Life with Lots of Sisters

Hi! It's Rindi again.

My favorite slippers on a Sunday Afternoon!

I love telling people that there are seven girls in our family. After the usual, “Wow!” they always say, “Any brothers?” to which I say, “Yes, one…he’s the oldest!” It seems like I’ve had that same conversation a million times. And people always wonder what it was like having so many sisters in the same house. I’ve been reminiscing about that lately. If you have a lot of sisters then you’ll totally understand, but even if you only have one, it is the same…just really magnified!

My dad grew up with no sisters. I’m pretty sure he was totally unprepared for what was in store for him! My husband, Greg, also grew up in a male-dominated world. There are four boys and one girl in his family. I’m always interested in their stories, because I can’t really imagine having lots of brothers! But let me tell you a few things about having lots of sisters:

We used a TON of toilet paper at our house! I think every time I went in to the bathroom, I had to get a new roll. I’m serious…we went through multiple rolls a day. Our poor septic tank never was quite the same after all of us! My dad was forever begging us not to use so much toilet paper! Also, when a lot of women live in the same house together, their hormones seem to align! That made for a very bad week every month!! The hormone level in the air that week must have been almost palpable! Around the time of my wedding, I asked my dad to go pick up a dryer that Greg’s older brother was giving us for our new apartment. I think they were getting a new dryer and no longer needed the old one. So one day, amidst some errands, my dad drove the 45 minutes in his truck to my new brother-in-law’s house to pick up the dryer. My dad has just gone to Sam’s Club, but there was still room for the dryer. My brother-in-law, John, was helping my dad load up the dryer when he noticed the Sam’s Club purchases in the back of the truck. I don’t remember exactly what he said to my dad, but he couldn’t hide his shock at the cases of toilet paper and the CASES of feminine hygiene products! (Remember, my brother-in-law grew up with one sister!) He said something like, “What in the WORLD??” My dad just smiled and said, “Listen, when you have a house full of girls, you’ll understand what I have to go through!” I think we were the only family with a supply of feminine products on the shelf in the garage next to the food storage. My dad’s worst nightmare was a natural disaster with multiple women experiencing “the time of the month” and no supplies! Bless my dear dad for swallowing his manly pride and always keeping us stocked with the necessities!

When I was growing up, cell phones were not in the picture, but that didn’t stop us all from loving to talk on the phone. To keep the peace, we were all assigned phone shifts. I think I got the phone from 7:00-8:00 on Sunday nights. It was sad if no one called, but usually we all took our time to the minute. The pounding on my door would let me know that my time was up! We were fiercely protective of our time on the phone!!

Just imagine all of the showers that took place every day! We all used two towels—one for our hair and one for our body. My mom would wash all of those towels every day! It wasn’t until I got older that I realized that other people use their towels more than once before washing them. When I asked my mother, laundress extraordinaire, about why she didn’t make us hang up our towels, she said, “I couldn’t think of anywhere to hang up sixteen towels every day…it was just easier to wash and fold them!” Wow! That was a lot of work. I also remember the serious amounts of shampoo and conditioner that we went through. But the hardest part of showering was trying to not run out of hot water. It was a major rule that you had to turn off the shower while you shaved your legs! Try to shave in a cold bathroom with the shower off and hope that you don’t get goose bumps! It was tough, but heads would roll if you left the water on. We also had to very precisely schedule our showering and if you slept in and missed your five minute allotment: tough luck! Now, I love to soak in a long, hot shower! I have plenty of hot water, and I shave with the water on!

There are many things that I miss, however! I miss all of the clothes sharing. I got to choose from four or five closets every day! I had a huge wardrobe! Plus, my older sisters always had super cute clothes and they always let me borrow them. They would help me with my hair and share their makeup too. After I was married and I went home to visit, I still borrowed clothes, but this time it was my younger, stylish sisters who had all of the cute stuff. Even now, we still share clothes: baby clothes and maternity clothes! Ha! But I still appreciate the large supply that we pass around.

When we went on vacation, people always asked us if we were a volleyball team or something. Five of us looked grown up at the same time. Eventually the oldest ones started getting married and moving on, but then the younger ones moved in to fill the spots! For a long while, we were a house full of teenage girls. I miss those days. I miss having instant friends. There was always someone to work with, play with, go to a party with, go to the pool with, help with homework, give advice, or just laugh and talk with. Even though we sometimes got on each others’ nerves, we definitely didn’t have catfights and clawing fingernails. We loved each other and got along pretty well. I owe that to the way my mom intervened and taught us to be nice to each other…and it certainly must have been a large task! Even now I shudder to think of that many hormonal women living under one roof! :) Thank heavens for sisters!!

My dad also had to suffer through a long line of young men coming to ask for his daughter’s hand in marriage. I think he was getting bored of the whole charade by the end of it. To spice things up, he started polishing his guns, wielding his sword, and anything else he could think of to break up the monotony! He was known to answer the door for our dates like that as well. It must have been hard for him to send so many daughters out the door, but somehow we all got married, and all of our husbands survived my dad’s guns!

And that’s what it was like around our house. Very, very interesting.
Have a great day,


Jaron, Joni, and Family said...

Thanks for the walk down memory lane. I loved being one of the seven. It was such a good life. I think we all speak with pride when we tell of our seven sisters and one brother because we loved it! I still do. I don't know how mom and dad did it, but I am so glad they did!

Lisa Michelle said...

Very fun post! :) -Lisa (Judi's old BYU Roomie)

Anonymous said...

To all the world out there. I love having seven daughters. I have more best friends that I ever dreamed of. We have had a great life together and it continues on.

I love watching my girls growing into beautiful women and fantastic moms.

I couldn't even think of having it any other way.

I love you, Sunee, Katie, Rindi, Stalee, Joni, Judi, Millie and my very sweet daughter-in-law, Laura, who has meshed into our family so beautifully.

Love, Mom

Em Russ said...

I CAN NOT BELIEVE that your mom washed all those towels every day. Superwoman! And I miss those days too!

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