I lost something today. My sister.
That's not a statement that will of necessity be followed by an obituary, because she's as far as I know in rude health. Instead it's a statement of sad fact, that I don't think I want to associate with having more than one sister any more.
I've not really talked about it here, there's an air of washing your dirty linen in public. But over the last few years my relationship with my eldest sister has not been easy. A ramping up of hostility and a series of incidents best described as outright slander, in which she has tried very hard to discredit me in very nasty ways to family members and other people. I'm not prepared to say it's as a result of my transition, but it's definitely been a feature of these last few years.
This last weekend over Christmas has seen some particularly bizarre manifestations of it as she's gone out of her way to be verbally nasty to me, instantly rubbishing things I've said, and coming out with more than her usual quota of spiteful remarks. All in front of other family members, so at least they're now seeing something's amiss. Funnily enough though it was a risotto that pushed me over the edge into seeing that it's no longer worth my while acknowledging a relationship.
It's a family tradition of ours, to make a risotto with left-over turkey. I did ours today, the slow way. Caramelised onion with lots of oil, add the turkey and then fry the risotto rice with it all for a while to cover it with the oil, then add some cider (Italians use wine, I didn't have any but since I make cider it makes sense!), then hot stock bit by bit over about twenty minutes. Finally some cream and cheese, soya cream and feta here because of a cow's milk allergy, and you're done. An amazing risotto, though I sez it myself.
So I had a big pot of risotto with a ladle poking out of it, and I brought it to the table to serve. As I am lifting the ladle, my sister wrests it from my hand, barges in and pushes me out of the way. In front of the rest of the family, so rather obviously. Perhaps it was wrong of me to ask if she'd like to seize the piece of bogroll from me to perform the task when I wanted to wipe my bum, but I felt something appropriate was called for.
It's not every family that is cloven in two by a ladle covered in sticky rice, but there has to come a moment at which a point of no return has been reached.