Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Oh, so you're that sister...

For the last couple of years, upon meeting people previously acquainted with my little sister, I am often asked, "So are you that sister?" (I am not going to elaborate on the previous sentence because it involves something entirely personal that I may never elucidate here, and because it's not necessarily pertinent to the overall point of this post.)

At first I was a bit embarrassed and incredulous that so many people that I had never met before knew so much about me. Then I was a bit annoyed because I am typically a private person. Then I was a little bit sad, because obviously this is the thing that I am apparently known for first and foremost among those who hold my sister in high regard.

And, yes. I am that sister.
I'm actually the only one she has.

Growing up, we were always different. She, with her short, utilitarian hair was the quintessential tomboy. Great at everything athletic and artistic. Absolutely beautiful. Always had boys vying for her attention. I, with my long, flowing hair was the perfect archetype of an introvert/nerd. Great at academics and proficient at the piano. So shy it was painful.

I always wanted to be the sister that she could look up to, that she would want to be like, but I see now that our personalities were just too different, that perhaps we were just too close in age to not get on each other's nerves. I felt insecure because all the boys I liked liked my sister, and she was frustrated because school was my strong suit and not hers. Etc. Etc. Such are sibling dynamics.

There was a glittering moment, a brief respite, where we finally were able to fully enjoy and appreciate each other. It was the summer before my junior year in college, the summer before my sister would begin beauty school. She came down and spent most of the month of August with me, basically becoming my roommate. Staying up late and eating lots of Cream of Wheat. I thought that, at last, I had the relationship with her that I had always wanted. That the immaturity and insecurity from our youth had faded away.

Not exactly.

And then two years later I became "that sister." I don't regret becoming "that," because doing so was the most important decision I have ever made. We've been through a lot, she and I, and the things that have never changed are how much I love her and how much I admire her for the many strengths she possesses. Though our relationship is good, I can't wait for the day when it can be great.

Which will hopefully be sooner, rather than later.


Abby said...


While I won't pretend to know what happened between you and your sister, I will say that Brian is "THAT brother" and I am "THAT ex girlfriend" to a certain member of Brian's family and all of his friends.

And I can tell you this: It will ease up, especially when your adorable little sis finds the love her life.

Kenna said...

I do enjoy what Abby said.

She's right, it will ease up.

I wish I had some so awesome to say, but I don't.

It was a lovely post, beautifully written, as always.

Chelsey said...

Your post actually made me cry (not as hard to do as it once was, but still). I agree with Kenna, it was beautifully written

+3+3.3 .3 (that's Truman saying hello)

Ashley said...

I know it wasn't supposed to but this post kind of made me laugh...maybe because you are so not the type to seek after the attention that "THAT sister" usually does so it seems a little bit ironic that you are still "THAT sister." In any case, you are a good one and it was fate not you that made you what you inevitably became.