Terry, Summer 2012

One night, a few years ago, we were all cleaning up after supper one night. Being the cook, I got to just sit and watch all of this unfold. Tracy was making the kids’ school lunches along with Matthew. Kate was washing dishes and Terry was drying. All three kids were teenagers complete with raging hormones.

Terry and Kate were arguing about something. I can’t for the life of me remember what and, in fact, what they were arguing about isn’t important for the purposes of this little tale. What’s important is the dynamic of their relationship. Terry is almost three years older than Kate. At the time, he was The Big Brother. Who’s always right. So don’t bother arguing with him.

Kate, on the other hand, is the little sister that’s been picked on when her parents weren’t looking. She knows there’s no arguing with her big brother. But she does anyway. And sometimes, I think so she can feel like she’s getting one over on him, rather than shout back at him, she’ll mutter her comeback half-under her breath. When she thinks he can’t hear her.

Kate, Summer 2012

And that’s what she did on this particular night.

Terry: “What?”

Kate: “Nothing.”

Terry: “What’d you say?”

Kate: “Nothing.”

Terry: “I heard you say something.  What was it?”

Kate: “It doesn’t matter.”

Terry (now getting mad): “WHAT DID YOU SAY?”

Kate (yelling back): “TERRY, IT DOESN’T MATTER.”

Terry: “Fine.  If it doesn’t matter, then tell me what you said.”

Kate (splashing dish water and throwing her hands up in the air as she whirls around to face him): “TERRY, WHEN I SAY IT DOESN’T MATTER, IT! DOESN’T! MATTER!!”

At this point, after quietly watching and listening to this exchange, both Matthew and Tracy started to laugh.

Both Kate and Terry glared at the two of them and, almost simultaneously said, “What are you two laughing at?”

Matthew and Tracy looked at each other, looked at Kate and Terry and both said…

“It doesn’t matter.”