Thursday, August 13, 2009

Twisted sister

When I was little, I really wanted a sister. My mom had four of them and it seemed only fair that I should get at least one. When I was 5, my brother was born. I was mildly disappointed, but quickly got over it. And by "got over it" I mean, dressed him in skirts and called him "Leah."

Over the years, this grew increasingly difficult as by the time he was 14, he dwarfed me by about a foot. Since he started going to this thing called "the gym" in fact, forcing him to do anything at all (such as, give me a bite of whatever he's eating), has become nearly impossible. Braiding his hair, I'm sad to say, is out of the question these days.

So, what with his (selfish) insistence on being a guy and my parents being perfectly comfortable with the emptying of their nest, it seems safe to say assume I am not about to acquire a biological sister any time soon.

Recently I had a visit from one of my cousins. We were superclose when we were small, and climbing under the covers with her on the pullout couch when Sparta went to work in the morning brought back memories of lying awake and driving our parents insane with our incessant chatter and giggling. The time I accidentally bit her hand through the duvet while trying to muffle my laughter so we wouldn't be separated -a threat which I'm pretty sure had to be used every single time we had a sleepover- still makes me cackle.

I've been lucky enough to meet girls, now women, who more than make up for any number of sisters I could have imagined. Women who I admire and respect for their loyalty, brains, and creativity and can still be my face-pulling, weird-talking self around. Women who will by turns, embarrass/crack me up by yelling "Bad friend! Bad friend!" across a bar, or throw a drink in a creep's face for saying something insulting to me, or be my plus one while dancing with the elderly.

They are the ones who assure me I'm not crazy, for whatever crazy feeling I might be having, and who understand my passion or outrage concerning whatever cause I happen to be championing at the moment, because they have passion and drive to match it.

I've always felt perplexed and insulted by women who claim that they don't get along with other women, and prefer to be friends with guys. So often (not always) it sounds to me like code for "I prefer not to have to compete for attention" or "I don't think women are worth making the effort to find things in common with." I mean, give me a break, you can't find ANY women who you share interests with, or just like despite the fact that you have very little in common?

Maybe more than insulted though, I feel sorry for them. Their prejudice means they are missing out on the opportunity to connect with approximately half the population; the half that all of my amazing, hilarious, and supportive adopted sisters belong to. And that's just sad.


Anonymous said...

I always wanted a sister, too, but I have two younger brothers instead. My two closest friends are like sisters to me, and it's definitely awesome to have girlfriends like that.

Andhari said...

I was one of those sorry fews who thought I could get along with guys better. Wrong. Sure some women tend to be annoying but when you're clicked, it turns out to be the best thing ever. I lovvveee my girls dearly and there are always things that I can say and do with them that I can't with guy friends.

Mari said...

My sister and I are not close, which is a shame. I am so thankful that my daughters are very close!

Anonymous said...

I'm one of those girls. I hate to say it, but it's true. My strongest and tightest bonds are with women, but those are very very few in number - the majority of my everyday friends are men. I don't reject the possibility of women friends, I would love them, but I find that my personality just.. jives.. better with those predominantly found in men. I would love more lady friends. Takers? Anyone?

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Leanne said...

Damn it. Wrong email.

I adore you.

I have two sisters, do you want to share? ;)

I also have tighter bonds with women, but find that men are easier to get along with sometimes. Good girls are hard to find, but when you find them all the work to do so is worth it.

Sarah said...

Lovelila: I assume your brothers are just as insistent as mine that you not call them your sisters?

Andhari: I'm so glad you found some women who changed your mind! I think it's important to have both.

Mari: I'm glad your girls are close too. My mom and dad always insisted that my brother and I treat each other well, especially since there are only the two of us, and I'm definitely grateful for that.

Andrea: I don't think that makes you one of those girls. I know there have been times when the people I hung out with regularly were mostly guys just because all of my girlfriends were living in different cities, but I was always on the lookout for more awesome ladies to hang out with.

Also, you and I as lady friends =house on fire.

Elle: So YOU'RE the one hogging all the sisters. Don't worry, in my head I've already adopted you as a long-distance one, so I won't hold a grudge.

Anonymous said...

I, too, grew up wishing I had a sister ... and at the age of 19, I finally got one. Of course it was just in time to move to another state, so my time with her in the last five years has been little. But I feel quite blessed to have that sister now, even if she's way too young to do the crazy fun stuff yet.