Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Happy Birthday Sami!

For those of you who don't know, this is my lovely sister Jenny. The character of the foul-mouthed but loveable electrician, Sami, in STAND BY YOUR HITMAN is based entirely on her. And she turned 40 today. Sweet.

This is the photo that appears on my phone when she calls or texts me. I took it at the family dinner table. At Easter. She was actually in one of her mellower moods.

Now, when I say that Sami is modeled on Jenny, what I'm really saying is that Sami IS Jenny. Mr. Assassin read HITMAN and the first thing he said (well, after he said my dialogue is improving) was that he was astounded by the way I put Jenny's words on paper exactly as she says them. Of course he understood that I had to hold back and censor myself somewhat. I don't think I can legally write everything she says.

Jenny loved the book. She texted me every five minutes while she read it (which made for a very, disruptive week last fall). She came to my signing and sat with me and took it to the IBEW local picnic this summer and told everyone about how she was in my book.

I've been waiting for a long time for Jenny to turn 40. Let's just say she really ENJOYED my 40th birthday. So this morning, like the good sister I am, I sent her a text. This is an exact transcript of what followed. I am not making this up.

Me: Happy Birthday Bitch! (I thought I should get into the spirit of things.)

Jen: Thanks Dumbass! (It should be noted that this is an improvement over my previous nickname of "Buttdart." It should also be noted that apparently I've gone up a notch in her eyes. After all, she calls Mom "Dumbass.")

Me: And how are you celebrating today?

Jen: Working, then taking my friend's dog 2 get cremated.

Me: Wow. How can I get in on that action?

Jen: Smartass. At least I have presents to open when I get home.

Me: I don't know. I'm not sure that can compete with cremating a dog.

Jen: Fuck off. See you tomorrow night!


Probably my favorite Jenny story (and there are many, many charming, Jane Austenesque stories), happened a couple of years ago. We were on the way to a family 4th of July thing. We were in the same car because I was the designated driver (it was eleven in the morning). Anyway, there had been a photo of me in the paper recently and Jenny told me that the guys at work were all talking about her lesbian nymphomaniac sister. This gave me pause. Nymphomaniac, I asked?

"Oh sure," she said. "Whenever the guys at work tell me how much fun I am, I tell them, 'You think I'm fun - you should meet my sister! She's a nymphomaniac!'"

"Um, you told them I was a nymphomaniac? WHY?"

"Dude! Because it's funny!" She laughed. "It's a funny thing to say!"

I then thought of an incident that happened a few months earlier, where I ran into two of her male, electrician co-workers and they were really, really, really, very friendly (which was weird because most of her friends tease me because I can read and can't open a beer bottle using my eye socket). I asked her about this and she laughed and said, "Oh yeah! They probably wanted to get into your pants."

When I asked her how many electricians in the Quad Cities she had told this to, she punched me in the arm and said, "All of them, Dumbfuck."

I turned to Mr. Assassin for support. He winked and said, "Oh yeah! Men think I'm married to a nympho/lesbian!" I left him alone to recalculate his now astronomical status in the caveman community and asked Jenny why they thought I was a lesbian.

"Cuz you got short hair!" She answered. It should be said she had long hair at this time. "Dumbshit! Everyone knows lesbians have short hair."

When we arrived at the party, I told Mom what Jenny had said about me. Mom frowned and looked at my sister...her youngest...her darling baby, and asked, "What did you tell them about me?"

Jenny laughed, "Nothing!"

Mom crossed her arms over her chest (wearing a cute little Mary Englebright jumper and ballet flats), "Why not?"

I had lunch with my cousin, Wendy two days later and told her the story. Wendy said, "There are a lot worse things than having several hundred area electricians think you are a nympho. And besides, I'm impressed. Nymphomaniac is a really big word for Jenny."

I still get winks and knowing grins when she introduces me to any guy she works with.

Oh well. Happy Birthday Jen! Love you!

The Assassin


Jenyfer Matthews said...

She can't be so bad - not only do she and I share a name but her birthday is *really* close to mine. And from the sound of it, she's got a great sense of humor :)

Happy Birthday, Sami!

Jana DeLeon said...

What do you mean you can't open a beer bottle with your eye socket???? Woman, no wonder your sister is so hard on you - you are falling down on your southern duties. :)

Loved the stories and


Leslie Langtry said...

She isn't bad at all. I couldn't have written book 3 without her! Jenny makes me laugh and is always good for lots and lots and lots of material!

Sorry Jana. I've let you down. I'll work on that ;)

Keri Ford said...

Hey, girl. Think of that nympo thing as a plus. The lights go out, call one of them up.

"Hey, this is Jenny's sister...yes, the lesbian nympo, look my lights are out....

Terri Osburn said...

Your sister sounds like a blast. And other than the drinking at 11am, this sounds remarkably like my family. My sister sent me a birthday card this week (it was NYE, she was late) that said something about being touched by the hands of time over the years. Inside it said, "You must have been bitch slapped!"

The good thing is her birthday is in 10 days so I'll get her a card just as sentimental. LOL!

I love that your mom wanted her to tell them something about her. :)

Christie Craig said...

All these years I've always thought I missed out on something not having sister.

Darn, now I know what I'm missing!



Leslie Langtry said...

Sisters, sisters, there were never such devoted sisters... I love White Cmas!

Life would certainly be dull without them!

Jenyfer Matthews said...

In all my years growing up in the south I've never seen anyone open a beer with their eye socket. Am I missing something??

And yes, sisters are great. Even when they're telling their coworkers that you're a lesbian nympho ;)

Gemma Halliday said...

Happy Birthday Sami!!

P.S. Did I tell you what I found in my stocking Christmas morning? A copy of Stand By Your Hitman! Santa is so cool.


Estella said...

Youe sister sounds like a fun person!

Leslie Langtry said...

I'm not sure how the eye-socket thing works. I do know a guy who can use his wedding ring...much to his wife's dismay, I'm sure.