Taking it on the chin

At some point, I will finish this story of Cherry and Glory Pride… at some time…

I love my sister Cherry, she’s three minutes younger than me so I’m the eldest. I love her but I have to say I feel eclipsed by her, sort of put in the shade… put in the shade is actually is a good way of expressing it since she’s blond and sunny and I’m dark and gloomy… well actually I’m not gloomy, I just have the sort of face where people are forever saying ‘cheer up’ when I’m actually quite happy but just thinking about things

This is an example: we got our reports and our parents friends were staying and they were saying to their friends how brilliantly Cherry had done. So the mum said, and how did Glory do, and mum said oh she always does well… as if always doing well was not as good as doing brilliantly… what she meant was I always get a better report than Cherry… well I get a better report in exam results, not necessarily in the other stuff.

Cherry is so nice and lovely to everyone, and she’s really popular, everyone likes her – and she doesn’t even try to be popular like some people do, she’s just liked by everyone. The only person who doesn’t like her, although she pretends she does, is Glynis who has her own little group of friends, a clique I guess you’d call it,  and has a rich family so she has hangers-on because things like her birthday parties are always much more lavish than the ordinary sort of parties us ordinary sort of children have.

And people say ‘Cherry, what a lovely name… is it spelt Cherie? is it short for Cheryl?’ even though both Cherie and Cheryl are exactly the same number of letters… and no, her name is Cherry. With me they say ‘oh Glory, I guess that’s short for Gloria?’ Well, no actually, my name is Glory… thankfully it’s all due to a mistake either by my dad or the registrar because I was going to be called Gloria, but there was some sort of muddle and my actual birth certificate, and my baptismal certificate both say Glory – I think the vicar quite liked it.

Cherry is always good, I don’t mean in a goody-two-shoes sort of way, but she just always is – I don’t mean I’m not good, I don’t  try to be naughty or do the wrong thing, but sometimes I’m thinking of something and I sort of forget the other thing I’m supposed to do, or sometimes I’m reading a book and then mum says why haven’t you made your bed, or you’re supposed to be doing your homework, or why did you leave your boots all muddy... as if  I had deliberately thought oh I know, I’ll leave my bed all in a muddle or I actually won’t do my homework  now or what a good idea to leave my boots all covered with mud right where mum is going to trip over them…

Dad gave me a talking to… if your sister can remember to do things, why can’t you… she tries to be helpful to mum and after all mum does for you don’t you think you’re old enough now to be taking responsibility for yourself? It’s not Cherry’s fault that she remembers stuff and does it when she’s supposed to, that’s just the way she is… And like last exam time, Dad got quite cross because I wasn’t revising, but what was the point when  I knew it already. He said I couldn’t possibly… except I did and got really good results. Now this seems as if I’m blaming Cherry but honestly I got a bit fed up when Dad said well done to her, and to be honest she’d flunked her maths (but you really tried hard, Cherry, said Dad) and she’d not done as well as me, and Dad said to me, you got away with it this time, Glory – make sure you do your revision properly next exams…

You see what I mean…

I had a bit of a moan to granddad and he said, well that’s life, kid, sometimes you’ve got to take it on the chin… well, actually he didn’t but if he had still been alive I expect he would have. I don’t suppose he would have literally meant that I had to take it on the chin, but take it on the chin I did, and then somehow it was my fault.

Our parents friends were visiting and Cherry and I were told to go and play out.  For some reason all our friends were away so we were stuck with each other which is ok I guess. I was feeling a bit fed up for some reason  and when Cherry said let’s climb up the hill and look round the old graveyard I said OK. It’s actually interesting up there by the ruined church, what with all the names on the gravestones… like Thisselldew… I mean, what a name. There are quite a few Prides up there but I don’t think any are related to us…

© Lois Elsden 2018

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