I have six younger siblings; the oldest and the youngest, bookending all the boys in the middle, are sisters.
Having sisters is complicated. We have all of each other’s nuclear codes and we are not afraid to use them.
Despite this, I’m rather fond of them. I would choose to spend time with them even if we weren’t related. They’re super cool people. For example, Lee doesn’t even argue with me when I lament that they premiered Anastasia on Broadway without even seeking me out to see if I was interested first. And Lidya never records and posts on the internet the dance moves that I do just to embarrass her.
They are good at making friends and being friends; genuinely funny; willing to share whatever they’re eating when I walk through the room.
My sisters — they know how to dress for an occasion
Me — taken by my youngest sister. What am I doing? Oh, voguing, of course.
One is getting married in November, and the other turned thirteen this week.
Both are moving towards more great adventures and lots of previously uncharted territory. I know nothing about being married or planning a wedding, and I haven’t been thirteen in a while, but I will always be older than them, and therefore wiser, so in order to assert my dominance, er, offer that wisdom, here are some things I learned the hard way.
- Pace yourself at large eating events
This is, really specific, but I learned this one the hard way at the Minnesota State Fair. Any kind of festival that involves dozens of food options (particularly if it’s outside where it’s hot) is a marathon not a sprint. All that good food will still be there at thirty minute intervals, and you won’t feel sick.
- Learn how to gracefully remove yourself from an argument when you realize you’re wrong.
I actually have no idea how to do this, but boy it seems like it would be a good thing for me. I am stubborn, and I want to be right, so sometimes I get in an argument with someone about something dumb, and halfway through I realize I’m wrong; however, I then decide that I’m in too deep and dig in my heels. This is a bad idea. I look more dumb arguing for something blatantly wrong than if I just admitted I didn’t know what I was talking about. Every hill isn’t the hill to die on.
- Watch Brooklyn 99
Come on, Lee. It’s funny and it will make you feel nice. Plus, it featured one of the best cold opens ever.
- Like what you like
Don’t be too cool to think things are cool; it’s no fun. Wouldn’t you rather be around a bunch of people who are really excited about things? I have no interest in football, but I enjoy watching games with people who really care what happens.
- Don’t like what you don’t like.
I went ice skating so many times in middle school because my friends kept inviting me, and yes, it is nice to step out of your comfort zone and do things just to hang out with the people you like. But I really didn’t like ice skating, and I never got any better at it, and I have weak ankles, so it hurt. My life was greatly enriched when I started just offering to meet people for dinner or something after. But remember that you can dislike something without making sure everyone who does like it knows how much you hate it.
- Go outside
This might come as a shock to you since I would be the first to describe myself as distinctly indoorsy, but when Minnesota winters made me the saddest, going out in the gray for even a few minutes with the dog changed my perspective. Getting out for a little while made my basement apartment feel like less of a trap. Sometimes going outside gives us a break from ourselves.
- Finally, please return my calls and texts
I am a lonely, boring adult who has given you so many rides over many years, and you should pay attention to me.