Happy Birthday Sylvia Chauveneux, Love Cheryl Tiegs

Today is my little sister’s birthday.

Happy Birthday

I so wish we still had that crown somewhere. I’d make you wear it all day.

When I asked my sister what she wanted, she told me she wanted to be immortalized in a post on my blog. I was prepared to bake a cake, babysit my niece, maybe even buy some wine with an actual cork. I wasn’t prepared for this. This is a lot of pressure, man. This blog post can go only one of two ways: the feeling you get when you open the door and Ed McMahon is standing there with a shit-ton of balloons and a poster board check made out to you for an obscene amount of money, or the feeling you get when you open a gift of sexy lingerie from your weird aunt while your entire family is watching you and the room fills up with that awkward state between stunned silence and hysterical laughter when no one wants to be the first one to break.

I gotta say … I’m not really sure which one I’m going for here.

I have more than three decades of stories.  That’s an overwhelming amount of information to condense into a single blog post.  So, we’re going to do this photo-essay style.  I know, I know.  It’s kind of a cheap way out.  But, these pictures tell stories that my words cannot.

Look at that happy baby smile. I’m pretty sure my mouth is smiling here, but my mind is thinking, “Touch my toys, and I will eff you up, munchkin.”

My sister was mostly cool to have around.  I got a puppy out of the deal, so it wasn’t all bad.  Also, she was pretty entertaining.  She was born back in the days of televisions sets that had dials and rabbit-ear antennas, so it was her or Sesame Street.  I mostly picked her.  Unless Villa Alegre was on. Because ¡Villa Alegre!

Still, she was pretty cute, so she usually reeled me in.

Smile nice for the camera and keep quiet about my bangs. You’ll have the same ones soon enough, missy.

She was usually game for whatever I wanted to do. For example, if I wanted to play barber shop and I needed a model …

I warned you, didn’t I? Listen, I wasn’t the one who thought battery-powered Snoopy scissors were a good gift idea for a kid.

Or, if I wanted to play hours of kickball in Grandma and Grandpa’s backyard.

It grew back. Sort of.

Eventually we were like peanut butter & jelly, a Caramello and milk, an Egg McMuffin with a side of syrup …

Aaaaaaand … there you have it. Exact same bangs, right down to the part. I think you should definitely sport that yellow yarn necklace more often. It’s a true statement piece.

We shared a lot of adventures.  This photo is possibly emblematic of our respective roles in those adventures …

(I notice I have a vague choke-hold on you in a lot of our photos. Weird.  Also, Mom must’ve been REALLY bored, because these are the best Halloween costumes I think we ever had.)

I think this photo captures the boredom that gave birth to Sylvia and Cheryl. I’m pretty sure there are no two siblings on earth who made up better, more involved, more dramatic games than we did. It might be because we watched hours of General Hospital and The Edge of Night when no one was looking. Just a guess.

Oh really, Sylvia? Well, my mother is the PRESIDENT of the company, so we’ll just see about THAT! Ha, ha, ha, ha, Cheryl! My mother OWNS the company! (Also, let’s just marvel for a second at how small and somewhat tan we were …)

My sister frequently shared the misery of the unfortunate fashion choices of some of the adults in our lives who shall remained unnamed here but who know damn well who they are.  (Yes, MOM, I’m looking at YOU.)  I mean – really?  Someone should be punished for this. This photo likely captures the moment my sister birthed and subsequently mastered the face that says, “My mouth is smiling but my eyes are killing you with daggers. Stab. Stab. Stab.

What in the holy hell happened here? It’s like we got into a fist-fight with the remnants bin at JoAnn’s Fabrics. I can’t even …

Of course, turnabout isn’t just fair play in sisterhood, it’s a prerequisite to a lot of other stuff.  For example, if you cut off all your sister’s hair, you should expect her to wake you frequently at 6:30 a.m. on a Saturday to play Barbies.  Or marbles.  Or to make her breakfast.  This can result in thrilling discoveries (e.g., brown sugar and cinnamon rolled up inside Bisquick dough is freakin’ awesome) or slightly less thrilling discoveries (e.g., napkins can, in fact, catch on fire).

This is only fair, I guess.

This photo says:  “Yay! Barbies! Marbles! I knew you’d see it my way!!!” (It also says, “I’m gonna take a Sharpie to your mother-effin’ Barbie coloring book, biotch.”)

The next time either of us thinks we’d look better with bangs, let’s please look at this photo.

Sisterhood also means putting up with a special brand of crazy core meltdown that occurs nowhere else in nature.  To the average person, this photo says, “Look at that sisterly love.”  To my sister and me it says, “I don’t care how much you hate your hair or your shirt or how fat you feel, get in the goddamned car and let’s go, or I’m telling everyone about that time I caught you picking your nose.”

It also says, “You better enjoy that sweater, you early-Christmas-present-opener-terrible-rewrapper-person.”

This photo says to the casual observer, “Awwww.  Sisterly love.” To my sister and me it says, “Thank god I didn’t let her pluck my eyebrows this time.”

Alright, seriously? Who would’ve predicted we’d grow up into this? 🙂

I jumped forward a whole lot of years – mostly because I need get some sleep before the next generation of 6:30 a.m.-get-up-and-let’s-play appears at my bedside and literally pries open my eyelids. (And people don’t believe in evolution. Pfft.) I think you get the general idea though.

Sylvia Chauveneux – The Next Generation. Except, her mother probably WILL own the company.

Happy Birthday, “Sylvia”


I leave you with this one final thought:

Love always, your sister “Cheryl”


6 comments on “Happy Birthday Sylvia Chauveneux, Love Cheryl Tiegs

  1. Awwww…what a great birthday present to your sister! I’m pretty sure my mom got remnants from the same bin. Haahaa!

    OMG…that McD’s ad cracked me up!

  2. pcorba says:

    What a nice B-Day present for Stacey! I think I have copies of most of those pictures.

  3. Heather says:

    This is wonderful. Happy Birthday to your sister!

  4. Stacey says:

    Anyone who has a sibling can likely relate (who hasn’t thrown a potato at a head or a coke at the dashboard every now and then) but as the intended receipient of this blog, I can assure you that no one else probably started laughing so hard they were crying in the middle of a resort lobby until people started to stare and ask if I needed help. This was by far the best present you could have ever given me (second only to Len and Nate and their b-day song recordings). Love love love you and thank you gving me exactly what I asked for on my birthday!!!

  5. Blogginglily says:

    awwww…prettyful story, Danielle! Sisters are the best. Well…not MY sister, she used to pin me to the floor and tickle me until I peed, but yours seems nice.

It's boring when I do all the talking around here. Speak now, while you can get a word in edgewise.

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