06 March, 2012

UPDATED X2(photo): If You Met My Family You'd Understand!

In the interest of being a little more open, I’m going to try to input some slightly personal stories into this crazy blog-thing. Don’t worry, they will likely still be nerdy enough to be “me”.

But before I get to the stories, I’d better acquaint you with the cast of characters. (Indulge me in my pantheon.)

Mom and Dad need no explanation. They are who they are, and I am them. All will be made clear.

The sibs. There are four.

The brothers: For the sake of “protecting the not-so-innocent”, let’s call them Zeus and Poseidon. They get along about that well. Zeus is my older brother. He walks on water, but doesn’t every girl’s big brother walk on water? Poseidon is younger than I. He has chosen to disassociate from the family, for reasons that are somewhat vague (which makes me more of a “baby girl” without anyone younger around). My S-I-L, Zeus’ wife – so, Hera? – and I both think that Zeus and Poseidon should be able to get along much better than they do – well, did until Poseidon got his knickers in a twist a few years ago. They are both musical (Zeus as a high school music teacher, Poseidon as a guitar player in a band), they both served in the military in the middle east (Zeus in Desert Storm, Poseidon more recently in Iraq), and they both quote Monty Python ad nauseum, with the accents exactly perfect (Zeus restricts himself to The Holy Grail – he does an amazing sorcerer “Tim”, Poseidon knows more of the sketches).

The sisters: (If I posted pictures of myself here, I would put up the picture of the three of us making mojitos in the hotel bathroom out in Iowa for Grandma’s 100th birthday. We each added it to our facebook pages, and we each – without consulting each other – captioned it with a quotation from Macbeth’s “Three Witches” scenes.) In the continuing Greek pantheon naming-vein, I must refer to my eldest sister as Hestia - goddess of hearth and home - because for as long as I can remember, that’s all she wanted: marriage and family. Hestia and I go for weekly Sunday evening walks, weather and schedules permitting. We each get out our cell phone and she walks her dog while I walk on the beach. My other sister, the Middle Child, shall be known henceforth as Diana, the goddess of the hunt…because she always has me in her sights. After about a day and a half in each other’s presence – two if you’re lucky – Diana will blow her top at me. I don’t know why. Usually nobody knows why and I get a lot of sympathy. I must just grate on her nerves so much that the effort required to get along for two days exhausts all her good will.

Case in point:
...See the one with the scowl? That's Diana. See the one grinning in her general direction? That's me. There are multiple photos like this. We are seldom both happy in the same photo. (Since Poseidon is in this one, I must be about 4.) 

Birth-order Pyschology – a case study (see? I’m still being a nerd)

Are you familiar with this concept? Allow me to enlighten you. Our family has it all: Eldest daughter (Hestia), eldest son (Zeus), middle child (Diana), baby girl (me) and baby boy (Poseidon). I make the gender distinctions because I haven’t met a parent yet that treats their daughters and sons EXACTLY the same. You can’t. We’re different.

Although Hestia is technically older than Zeus, Zeus has always been his own boss. So when Mom and Dad would go out, Hestia was left in charge, but Zeus was left in charge of himself. It was the only way it could work. He got into a lot of trouble, as I recall, but never took anybody down with him. So we have the two eldest being the “responsible” ones. Standard textbook birth-order psychology right there.

I actually do feel sorry for Diana’s situation. Classic birth-order conundrum: She is exactly in between Zeus and myself, but was usually lumped with me and Poseidon in the kids v. grown-up argument, yet given the “you should know better” scolding if we younger three got in trouble. She also was stuck with me tailing her around. Zeus did not have Poseidon tailing him because they are 7-years apart. I now know that I was just trying to emulate Diana – which I could never do because she’s always been a goddess at everything – but all she knew was that I was a pest. Whereas Zeus got himself into trouble on his own, Diana dragged me down with her – because she couldn’t lose me! I was easy to coerce into breaking into Hestia’s room, for instance. (...which is the last such crime I remember. I got a spanking and vowed never to go along with Diana’s schemes again.)

Poseidon usually teamed up with Diana against me. They both admit this. I don’t know if this is birth order psychology, but it certainly helped me learn to get along on my own!

Hestia SOOOO babied Poseidon. Because of the vast age difference, she is holding him on her hip in my 5th birthday photos. Responsible brother Zeus considers baby-bro Poseidon completely spoiled, whereas Poseidon feels abandoned for having to go to boarding school. We all went to boarding school, but Poseidon had a longer time with Mom and Dad to himself while we older sibs were away at school, so I guess when he went to school it was harder for him. I don’t know. For a brief period, when Poseidon and I were both living in the Chicago area as “adults”, we could hang out. I thought we had fun. It really hurts that he’s pulled away from us all, but there you have it: the “god of the sea” is stormy and unpredictable.

(Here endeth the lesson)

Finally, I’m adding to my cast of characters my best friend, who shall be called Aphrodite because she’s the lovingest, givingest person you could ever meet. Anyway, I added her as a “sister” on facebook, so she must be family! It’s important that I give her a name, because especially as I near my moving date, she will certainly figure into this blog with regularity. She’s the one thing – if anything – that has kept me in Delaware as long as I’ve stayed.

Now that you know the characters, there are several stories that can be told, but you have a voice: Is there any character in the pantheon of my life that you want to know more about? Any relationship? Or does anything I’ve said above pique your interest about…anything? Got a better suggestion for name selection?  Let me know in a comment and I will oblige as best I can.

UPDATE (suggestion of Bozo): A summary.
Mom & Dad keep their names "Mom" and "Dad"
Hestia = Eldest Sister
Zeus = Eldest Brother
 ~~~ Hera = wife of Zeus
Diana = Middle Sister
(Red remains "Red")
Poseidon = Baby Brother
Aphrodite = Best Friend


  1. I thought it was very clear - thanks! I'm interested to hear more about your friend - she sounds wonderful - and specifically, how are you going to keep in touch after you move? Is she such a loving person to everyone? Or are you her special friend as well?

    I would also love to hear more about Zeus... he sounds like a fascinating character and I feel pretty sure that there must be some good stories about him. Of course, you're already planning to give us the stories, so I'll just have to wait and see.

    Maybe something helpful, just until my slow brain has everything memorized, would be a character list at the start of the post:

    Elder brother - Zeus
    Elder Sister - Hestia

    and so on and so forth. It's not really needed of course - but it's easy to cement the names into my brain when it's like that lol


    1. Thanks for the feedback! Aphrodite, then Zeus.

      You're right, as cast list is usually a list. Maybe I'll add it at the end.

    2. Very helpful - thanks!

  2. Oooo, fun. Greek mythology stories involving family are always juicy :)

    1. Vesta, you were almost a part of it, until I double checked and found that Vesta is actually the Roman version of the Greek Hestia. (whew, right?)

  3. I'm just curious what names you will be using for your parents, since older brother got Zeus.

    1. Um...Mom and Dad. ...?... Sorry to disappoint, but I've already talked about them enough that I don't want to confuse anyone.

      I am wracking my brain over what to use for the EIGHT nieces and nephews though, if they come up!

    2. haha. Yes, we were a bunch of tow-heads, and now everyone is different. Diana still colors hers blond.

      Mostly, I was strawberry blond-ish, but I freely admit to coloring my hair now. I chose red to go with my attitude. I'm more of a stereotypical redhead than blond, so figured I should look like what I am!

      (Sorry if that's disappointing to you.)

    3. No, not disappointing. Just surprised. I guess I pictured curly red hair.

  4. I was almost worried I'd find Hades in your list of family members. I won't lie, that would have led for some interesting stories.

    That or a Kraken.

    1. Ha! I could almost have called Poseidon Hades instead, but honestly, couldn't remember if Hades was a place or the god of the place, and forgot to look it up before I packed away my mythology books.

  5. Love mythology. And I was thinking the same as Brett . . . shouldn't your parents be Zeus and Hera? But you cleared it up. However, if your entire family have Greek names . . . what is yours? I don't remember a greek god by the name of Red, but maybe my mythology is rusty. I did have to read it all in Latin, so that might be the problem. :)

    Looking forward to the stories!

    1. Hmm...never thought of giving myself a name, since I refer to myself as "Red" if I'm talking in 3rd person. What's Greek for red?

      Maybe "Aries" because Mars (Roman god equivalent of Aries) is the "red planet"?

    2. P.S. Love the added pic. It looks like you are trying to forcibly get your sister to smile with the power of your massive and directed grin. Ha! Priceless.

    3. I still have the same nonsensical grin.

      As my mom finds more of these, I'll have to add them to more posts.

  6. Diana(Roman) would be Artemis (Greek) and you should be Demeter- Love Hestia (no one knows about her)

    1. Well, yes, but DianaGoddessOfTheHunt is what springs to mind most easily. I was going to give you the Roman version of Hestia - "Vesta" - because at least then everyone has heard of the Vestal Virgins so there's some recognition, but I already know a Vesta in the blog-world (see "The Cowardly Feminist in my blogroll >)

    2. Your blog, your titles. I always did like more obscure names anyway. AND who wants to be a vestal virgin anymore?


I enjoy a good debate. Feel free to shake things up. Tell me I'm wrong. Ask me why I have such a weird opinion. ...or, just laugh and tell how this relates to you and your life.