Pippa is Seventeen!

I have a stomach full of chocolate cake, a new black cloche, and very tired feet. Pippa’s birthday has been celebrated with much pomp and circumstance.

The birthday girl:


Pippa Leaves for School

Pippa left for school yesterday. And yes, some selfish, wicked part of me was glad to see her gone. We’re like oil and water, we naturally repel the other, but there are times, like when you’re boiling pasta, when when we make an excellent team. There will be no more fights over the state of the bathroom. I won’t be able to call her vapid and petty for watching too much tv and not caring about current events, and she won’t be there to call me neurotic and lame. But she usually becomes my best friend when were in an unfamiliar situation or when one of us is afraid.

It’s kind of odd, but when Pippa is gone, I feel a lot more alone. The house is oddly quiet and still. The slightly metallic sounds of video chatting voices, muffled by the walls are gone, and I don’t hear the laugh tracks from comedies until late into the night. When I lie in bed now, it’s just me and the cats and the the faint chirping of crickets and cicadas. I don’t spend those restless minutes before sleep wondering what jokes are amusing the studio audiences so much.

So yes, I will miss her a great deal, but she’ll come home for Thanksgiving and call every few days with exciting news. It seems like every weekend the school has booked some stand-up comedian or there’s a big dance or a carnival with mechanical bulls or a bungee cord/trampoline contraption. (It’s hearing about those exciting sorts of things that make me think, Why did I not choose to go to prep school? And then I remember exactly how much I love my friends and school at home and just how much I ended up rather disliking the school when I went to visit–too many rich kids caught up in their own little WASP-y world who don’t understand that so much hardship exists outside of their sheltered lives, also there are too many uneducated conservatives who only support the Republican Party because of their economic policies that help the wealthy and big corporations and destroy small businesses and lower and middle class Americans.*) She’s happy there, much happier than when she’s at home.

I wish her much luck during the dreaded Junior year of too many APs and too little sleep, and may she find many more moments of tranquility than I did in eleventh grade.

*I believe that sentence wins the Ella’s Most Poorly Formed Sentence of the Week Award by a long shot.

And as always, you can also find me on tumblr at http://emleng93.tumblr.com/, if you’re into that kind of thing.

My Father is Actually Ten

Today, while riding in the car to the Swiss Pork Store, we passed a restaurant called “Tasty Crêpes.” My father turned to me and says, “Tasty creeps? Now there’s a store I’d want to avoid!”

In a annoyed voice, Pippa protested, “Dad! It’s crêpes, not creeps!”

And so began a banter of “Creeps!” “No, crêpes!”

Then, just like a ten-year-old boy, my father gleefully said, “Infinite creeps. I win!”

I just rolled my eyes and said, “Turn left on River.”

But on days like today when I feel so sad my stomach hurts, these little moments are just what I need for a pick-me-up.

Dinner Table Conversations: Part Two

Pippa arrived home tonight from prep school and immediately began bouncing off the walls like a human cannonball. After she finished chasing Maxwell Perkins around the living room in an effort to hold him, she plopped herself down at the dining room table. The following ensued.

In describing a friend, Pippa said, “She’s from one of the little Spains.” This was then modified, albiet jokingly, as “the one with the mushrooms.”

Later, when she was complaining about how she was the youngest and only non-Asian in her math class, my mother said, “You need to represent your race, Pippa! Caucasian pride!” This was met with a bemused and curious look from my father as he momentarily appeared from behind his New York Times crossword. I just laughed and shook my head.

It’s good to have Pippa home. I’m sure the shenanigans* will continue.

*Pippa just leaned over my shoulder and thought that said “Albanians.”

Having Ella As a Sister, A Guest Post by Pippa

In the next three hours I have to write a bill for the Senate Judiciary Committee, and all I know about said committee is that they always end up keeping liberals off the bench. It’s going to be fun.

So since I have no time to speak of, I asked Pippa to write tonight’s post. This is what she  sent me: (Everything is exactly as it appeared in the Word document: no spelling, grammar, or content changes. Scouts’ honor.)

Having Ella as a sister

Growing up with Ella has never been boring. In many ways we were like two normal kids. We had a large doll family that consumed most of our time. We dressed them every day and made up long winded stories about how Ella was the mom and I the eldest daughter. Though parts of our lives were far from normal, for example, two of our dolls names were Vittle and Elina, Ella’s creation of course, and we had “adopted” them from Finland.  Ella was always in charge of our games and practically every part of my life. I remember Ella would tell me how to spend my money, often times on gifts for her, and I would go along with it. It didn’t cross my mind until I was about 8 that I could say no and make my own choices.  But no matter how bossy she was I still love her and she will always be a better writer than me.

Top 10 random yet memorable things Ella has done

1.     Dumping all my underwear on my friends head because she was mad at me.

2.     Tripping and almost sitting on a dear that was running down my street

3.      Knitting during her middle school classes

4.      Hiding in her closet and almost calling the police because she assumed I had left for ballet and thought the fridge was the front door

5.     Incessantly trying to set me up with Audrey’s younger  brother so they could be sisters (she even sent us secret admire cards pretending to be us)

6.     Writing “fake” diaries to fool me with ( still not sure its fake Elie)

7.     Claiming that the ninth chapter of the first Harry potter book was too scary to read when she was seven ( so I had to wait a year until I could read them to myself)

8.     Sitting on my bedroom floor and staring at me when she couldn’t sleep ( that one gave me nightmares)

9.     Naming our dolls Vittle and Elina

10.   Always being the best sister ever

Love you Elie- sincerely Pipana