I can remember when I triumphantly unwrapped the VHS video album – I held the video tape up as though it were some sort of trophy I’d won and grinned at her, telling her that we’d be watching this indefinitely. That did not go over well. Robin was indeed the youngest in our house, and as such, she had my dad pretty well wrapped around her little finger. All she really needed to do was whine to him and he would invariably tell me to turn the videos off and let her watch regular TV. Preposterous!!
Occasionally, (very occasionally!) I would allow my sister to enter my bedroom. Without fail, she would start to look around the room and make comments about the band. “Why does Andy Taylor look like he’s got a raccoon cap on his head like Davy Crockett, Rhonda?” “Why do they wear eyeliner and make-up?” “Dad says they look like girls, Rhonda. Obviously this means they can’t even sing.” I don’t know why I ever expected her to enter my room and actually look at being there with some amount of awe, because that never happened. Her goal, with each admittance to my room, was to tease me about the band. They became a bit of my achilles heel when it came to my sister. She knew that, and used it to her benefit. Well done, little sister. Well done.
The final nail in the coffin as far as I was concerned, came while I was in college. I graduated from high school in 1988 and went off to Cal State Fullerton. At some point during my absence…my sister did the unthinkable (in my mind). She became a fan of New Kids on the Block. Now, now…before you all start sending hate mail…I know there are many Duranies that are/were fans of New Kids. I have quite a few friends that I’ve met through Duran Duran that are fans of them, and they all (coincidentally??) are the same age as my sister. I suspect those five years made all the difference as far as boy bands go, and that’s OK. But back then? I considered this just shy of treason. Had I not taught her anything? What happened to revering the older sister? What happened to wanting to be just like me?!? (Yeah, that never happened. Not ever.) What was an older, wiser, sister to do? I bought her tickets to go see New Kids on the Block at the LA Forum.
Yes, yes I did. I suppose a part of me (a very SMALL part of me) wanted to be sure that Robin didn’t miss out on seeing the band whose images graced her bedroom walls the way I had – in fact I didn’t see Duran Duran play live until 1989 – while I was in college. I winced, bought the tickets off of a co-worker, and then took her and a friend to the show. I actually waited outside for them while they saw the concert, because that my friends, is how wonderful of a sister I am. (*coughs*)
Robin told me several years later that she didn’t really love New Kids on the Block as much as I loved Duran Duran. “Of course you didn’t”, I declared at the time, “because that would be impossible!” She followed that comment up by saying she just knew that I hated New Kids, and so for her – that was all the evidence she needed that being a New Kids fan was the way to go.
Younger sisters are a pain.
My sister now lives several states away from me, in Chicago. She still loves to tease me every now and then – and the entire world can see this on any given day on Twitter – with comments about how I need to get out of the 80s and things like that, but we’re closer now. She’s actually gone with me in recent years to see Duran Duran, both at Voodoo in New Orleans and in Chicago, she’s hung out with me and some of my Duranie friends…and just recently she went with me to see Roger Taylor DJ at the Sky Bar.
I’d say my hard work and patience might just be paying off…