I am the oldest of four girls. We were known in and around Stone Harbor and Manhattan as the “four gorgeous giddy Grove girls.” “Giddy” because we were.
I’m Anabel. Anissa and Alana are twins; two years three months and three days younger than I am. Alexa is but seventeen months younger than the twins. I’m the accident. I’ve never felt bad about that. Most families have one. Our parents called me the “dynasty maker.” Really they were.
Our mother dressed us all the same. We wore velvet dresses for winter events; organza, lace or polished cotton for summer.
Until I was about twelve I loved being seen with my family. Unlike many of the other mothers, our mother was naturally blond. When our parents married, she converted to Judiasm. Many people including our grandmother thought she wasn’t a real Jew. Our parents didn’t care. And really everybody loved to look at us
Our mother was from the South and her voice was the sweetest most calming sound I had ever heard. When I need to relax today I put on Southern movies for background noise.
When I was twelve our mother told me I could choose my own clothes with her approval of course. When the other girls turned eleven they copied me. I became a hippie. They became hippies.
Our father cringed at our clothes but smiled at our loyalty to one another and the entire Family Grove. Being loyal to the Family Grove meant everything to our father.
Our long thick wavy but never frizzy varying shades of gold and honey hair was called “rich girl hair,” by girls who coveted our lives.
The summer I turned 20, my former fiancee Hunter married our cousin Sabrina. Being her only cousins we were all bridesmaids. I remember walking up the aisle, looking at my sisters and wondering why they were smiling a bit too brightly, not that anybody would notice. I don’t think anybody noticed Anissa seemingly gently touching the bride’s dress. Sabrina tripped as she reached the pulpit.
I choked on my laughter. I remember looking at my sisters and thinking how almost obscene it was that we cared so much about each other. Despite Hunter, despite the other girl’s first love failures, we were happy.
I will be away for eight days making mirth with friends who are family and family of friends. Happy Thanksgiving, Americans! The one holiday we all almost celebrate. Always my favorite.