Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Space (01/23/06)
TITLE: Please Knock
By Robin Parry
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In a houseful of women, space is rarely found. I share a bedroom with my twin sister, and my two younger sisters share a bedroom. We have only one bathroom. I know, I know, I can hear the gasps. You men out there are probably pitying my father, one man against five women. I can just hear you: “He doesn’t stand a chance!”
Well, I’m happy to say, we make it work. Although we sisters aren’t familiar with the concept of privacy, given there is none, we are authorities on the subject of sharing. Not only do we share rooms, but clothing, shoes, makeup, jewelry, books, music, food, looks, personalities, voices, and much more.
Now I don’t wish to give the impression that we are perfect angels, always willing to give and share our possessions. Our arrival at the breakfast table would often be accompanied with a form of the following conversation:
“Why are you wearing my shirt?”
“It was in my drawer!”
“So? Does that make it yours? Take it off!”
“No way, you let me wear it before.”
“I would never! That’s my favorite shirt, take it off!”
And so on. I’m sure you probably think we’re petty and ridiculous to fight over such a trivial thing as a shirt. But in a home where nothing is ever truly your own, you tend to hold on to the little things. Over the years, however, we have become more agreeable, and wear each others clothes and shoes frequently.
Now the bathroom, on the other hand, is still a work in progress. During the week it’s not such a problem, as we all get up at different times. Some for work, some for school, some to just get the day started. But Sunday mornings are a nightmare. Dad must always get the bathroom first, as he is the quickest. After that, it’s first come, first serve, and it’s not always pretty. Pounding on the door and yelling from both inside and outside the bathroom are commonplace occurrences. It never seems to occur to any of us that we wouldn’t want someone in there while we’re in there. All we know is that we have to get in there to brush our teeth, do our hair, or whatever. Getting out the door for church on time is not an easy task.
Yes, space to breathe, and think, and be alone, is not found in our home. And yet, there is something about sharing such close quarters that draws a family closer together. Maybe someday things will be different, like when I and my twin get married and move out, as my younger sisters fervently pray for, so one of them can move into our room. In the meantime, however, all I ask is that you please knock before entering, to at least give the semblance of privacy.
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