Tried to Make Sister Miserable

18-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Wednesday, May 21, 1913:  Didn’t feel very well with morning, so I tried to take it out in making Ruthie miserable. Although I don’t I succeeded.

Ruth Muffly

Ruth Muffly

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

What did Grandma do to her sister Ruth? It must have been pretty bad if she admitted that she wasn’t nice in the diary.

Usually when Grandma and her sister Ruth weren’t getting along, Grandma would use her author’s prerogative and blame the problem on Ruth—though Grandma generally called Ruth, Rufus when she was angry.

For example, on October 28, 2012 Grandma wrote:

 Got mad at the Rufus tonight. I think she can be so mean sometimes.

And, on June 5, 2012 she wrote:

Trotted up to McEwensville this morning on an errand for Rufus, the dear little mortal.

24 Responses

  1. Siblings! Wonder what Ruth’s take on it would have been :)

  2. Hmmm… my sisters were teens when I was born, so I really can’t relate to sibling tension, but sounds as though there was a little of that at Grandma’s house!

  3. In reply to your comment, “Bride and Groom” are just names I gave the swans, because of this: http://thesedaysofmine.com/2010/11/05/bride-and-groom-swan/

  4. Now that’s different, I think she called her Ruthie today as she had regrets about the way she had treated her sister perhaps, as opposed to days when she had genuine reason to be mad at her.

    • It’s so intriguing how Grandma used so many different names for Ruth depending upon the situation and what she was thinking.

  5. Oh the joy of sibling wars helped my brother and me to grow up. Now we are best friends, but I still call him “PeeWee” (even when I’m not mad). Lovely post.

  6. I agree with Joanne. I think she was feeling bad about what happened hence “Ruthie” as opposed to “Rufus” on those bad days.

  7. When we feel bad, we tend to have that effect on whomever is around us. It does seem like she felt bad about it, enough to write it down.

  8. Your Grandma cracks me up! I like her nickname for Ruth. I had nicknames for my brothers and sister…still do!

  9. Hilarious that she calls Ruth “the dear little mortal” in the one entry! I love her wit. :)

  10. LOL, “the dear little mortal”.

  11. Often people don’t admit, even to themselves, when they’ve been unkind. This is a very interesting blog project. Cheers!

  12. That’s the joy of a diary I guess. It’s all you’re own point of view and your sibling is easily always the villain

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