Monday, April 20, 2009

The Sister Effect

It’s not something I’m gonna talk about down at the sports bar, but more and more I’ve realized that growing up with two older sisters was incredibly useful. I mean, it’s certainly helped me understand women and that comes in handy every single day. Being able to read subtle mood differences… Understanding that asking a question don’t necessarily mean you want an answer… Knowing that salmon is a different color than pink. All that stuff. It’s helpful in dating, it’s helpful in getting that old lady at the shoe store to give me 10 percent off, it’s even helpful when I'm working.

It’s an approach vector thing. Most of the guys I work with come into a situation at Mach Ten, and it gets them nowhere. They’ll be talking to a female witness or informant, but doing it all wrong. They'll push and they'll threaten, but all they’re doing is digging a deeper hole. Me, I try and look at it from her point of view. I make these women feel at ease and safe, then explain to them why this information is so important. It’s not really that complicated a method, but it works. See Karen and Stacy – your little bro was paying attention!

And it’s not just useful out in the field, but also in the precinct. A lot of cops, when they work with a strong, intelligent woman like Beckett it goes one of two ways. Either they resent the hell out of her or they fall in love with her. Neither approach tends to end well.

But for me, Beckett’s just another sister. Someone for me to give crap to, get dating advice from, and figure out how best to catch the bad guys. And if any dude tries to mess with her, I bring out the baseball bat. Y’know, your usual sister/brother relationship.

Ninety-nine percent of the time it works out perfectly. Like with my real sisters, I don’t ever ask Beckett about her dating life or how she spent her weekend. And unlike my real sisters, she never feels the need to tell me about any of that.

But… there are times where I somehow, some way, end up seeing Beckett in a different light. And it’s awkward. ‘Cause the fact is she’s not my sister. And she is, how do I put this, a very attractive woman. I mean, y’know – so I’ve heard.

Take this week. We’re out doing our job, scouting for the bad guys at a fancypants gala, and Beckett shows up in this… dress. Which, uh, didn’t leave much to the imagination. And Beckett, she’s not someone I tend to use my imagination on. As in, I don’t think about her like that. Naked, I mean. I don’t ever think about her naked.

You know what I’m trying to say here.

Anyhow, next day, we’re at the office, and she comes in as I’m trying to scrub that image out of my head. For a moment, it just feels... weird. Then, like any other day, she starts giving me a hard time, bashing the salmon (not pink) tie I've got on. And, just like that, we’re back to the usual. Just a couple of siblings out to save this city.

I tell ya, I must be working at the right place if Beckett can make my morning by telling me my tie must have been on sale at the dollar store.

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