sisters, sisters, there were never such devoted sisters!

ever since i laid eyes on f2fb friend #316 carolyn quinn, i can’t get the rosemary clooney song “sisters” out of my head. download it on itunes. it will stick with you.
“sisters, sisters
there were never such devoted sisters
never had to have a chaperone, no sir
im here to keep my eye on her
caring, sharing
every little thing that we are wearing
when a certain gentleman arrived from Rome
she wore the dress and i stayed home!”

i was way nervous meeting f2fb friend #316 carolyn quinn because i had to learn to negotiate new york public transportation.  there are many native new yorkers, bernie goetz among them, who don’t even bother.  it’s confusing, the staff are somewhat distant, and mapquest had been as cryptic as a psychic at a state fair.

one of the trains i took from my brooklyn hotel included a memento mori — a graveyard city to remind me where my ultimate destination is!


but i got where i was supposed to go!  coney island, although i couldn’t get in because we were two weeks from when the park is open on weekdays.  instead, it was being rented out by a hasidic boys’ school.  i wondereded if perhaps i could cut my hair, leaving forelocks and fool them into thinking i was twelve years old. . . .

carolyn and i are really sisters.  we’re just a year apart (she’s fifty, i’m fifty one)  and we both are enhanced redheads.  we both love theater.  we watch the same television shows.  we have some of the same struggles with our families.  we ate restaurant in brighton beach and the menu was in russian.  boy, was i surprised at what i had for lunch and i’m still not quite sure what it was!  then we got our nails done together and i felt quite thirteen.  ATTENTION COWORKERS OF CAROLYN:  that really is glitter on her finger tips!

then we wandered around, whiling away the hours.  i was on the lookout for neil simon researching a new play. . . . but alas, the closest i came was some guy who stopped me to talk for a full minute and a half until he paused with a horrified look on his face.  he had realized i don’t speak russian.  it had just dawned on me that he wasn’t just talking with a new york accent.  we moved on.

carolyn witnessed the 911 attacks from a tower just a mile away.  she has not been on a plane since.  she is skittish as are many new yorkers.  but i have asked her to set aside her fears as i have done this past year:  and she has promised me she’s coming to chicago.

one important aspect of my new years resolution to meet all my facebook friends was to find out exactly who they were, to get out from behind the laptop screen, to really see them face to face.  not just facebook to facebook.  i came to this part of new york expecting to meet a friend.  but now i’ve met a sis. . . oh, damn, i’m hearing that song again!



isn’t it neat how carolyn took her on the computer, on the facebook page friends and turned them into people she knows!?  i think it’s adorable!  now i have to go play a whole bunch of heavy metal on my shuffle as i negotiate the new york transit to get to manhattan from brooklyn.  wish me luck!

14 responses to “sisters, sisters, there were never such devoted sisters!

  • Pink Ninjabi

    Love this post and the inspiration you infuse into others. That’s amazing. Thank you for sharing. As always, you amaze me.


  • carolynquinn

    I love this!!!!!! And I can’t wait to see you in Chicago!

  • howardlovelyjr

    Hi Arlynn,…

    Are you willing to tell a little about how you’re feeling when utilizing public tranportation, at a restuarant eating, at Coney-Island…ect.,..???

    Have you experienced any classic anxiety symptoms(mild or major) while socializing in NewYork…?

    Howard Lovely, Jr.

    • arlynnpresser

      i completely freaked out the entire time! there are people in new york who never use the public transportation system and, if i could have avoided it, i would have. today i head out to staten island and we’ll see how that works and whether i get completely lost. or semi-completely.

  • dyannne

    Love this story! Love that song! Love hearing Carolyn’s voice!

  • thorneyailo

    Really enjoyed this post, Arlynn!

  • Alice in Wonderland

    Wow, enough reading of your inspiring blog for now! (wish I could bookmark/dogear where I am up to)

    If this hasn’t given me the final nudge to create a facebook, I don’t know what will. 🙂
    I’d love to have this experience of finding a buddy to hang out with. I have few friends, but I do have a “sister” that I really connect with, but she lives more than 3hrs away by train (I can’t drive) and the transport isn’t reliable.

    I would love to have more local friends in general (I have heaps of friends,from hobbies and stuff) that are proper friends, ones I can admit my agorophobia to and feel really close with.
    These other people just assume I’m busy. I’d love to have more “sisters” and knowing I’m meeting up with someone makes me feel safe to go just about anywhere!
    Thanks for the hope and inspiration, I better tear myself away from the screen now, it’s like reading a really great book!

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