sisterIf I ruled the world, I would demand that all girls have sisters–older sisters to be precise. I would also enforce rules banning the existence of: pimples, calories, inequality, black olives, war, nonalcoholic beer, and Miley Cyrus’s tongue. (Yes, I’m well aware that this is completely unfeasible, in case you questioning my sanity. Because if I could actually rule the world, you would all be invited to my wedding to Ryan Gosling.) This reasonable command is based on the premise that everything my awkward ‘tweenaged self needed to know, I learned from my older sister.

Let me give you a very brief rundown that could not possibly include everything, but attempts to anyway:

My wardrobe/fashion faux pas
Although I can’t take back other forms of humiliation, including but not limited to my platform wellies, ruffle tops, and purple overalls, she did save me from several potentially major fashion disasters throughout my childhood. She completed said task through the personal sacrifice of trial and error, like her attempt to make ‘pleather’ happen. Also with her denim on denim on denim (yes, they once made denim kitten heels) ensemble she frequently wore to middle school dances. Furthermore, via the kind of brutal honesty only an older sibling can justify, I recall words like “heinous,” “embarrassing,” and “disgrace,” to which I am forever grateful.

So. many. questions. I cannot imagine a childhood (pre-wifi) without the comfort of having an older sister to answer my ridiculously curious and naive inquiries: “you mean you’re not supposed to blow?” a bewildering concept considering the name. “What other numbers have sexual implications?”

Recover from heartache
She said nothing. There were no inquisitions as to what happened, no unnecessary questions referring to my well being–fully knowing, no, I’m not okay—no hasty, judgmental, useless morsels of advice; just hours of silence, open arms and cookie dough. “Never love anyone who treats you like you’re ordinary,” she’d finally said, urging me to focus solely on that which makes me extraordinary. Plus, she actively enforced the expiration date for my pity party of self-loathing and chocolate consumption.

Never settle
She’s like a third parent, always pushing me (school, career, love, life) with ridiculously high expectations, so endearing and completely annoying.

Everything in between
To always bring an extra pair of underwear.
There are valuable life lessons in “Full House.”
When creepy men ask where you’re from, lie, but make sure the place actually exists.
Do not buy a dog until you’re fully prepared for the commitment.
The art of the practical joke.
To never order pancakes with chocolate, they always end in regret.
How to properly down a tequila shot.
What cigarette’s taste like and how to inhale, proceeded by a lecture as to why they are disgusting.
An abundance of survival guides for all math classes.

I actually have two sisters, an older and younger (high five to middle children) and while ostensibly this is an ode to the former, I am equally as grateful to the latter, the baby. While undoubtedly they are my very best friends, my future M.O.H.’s and qualify as favorite-contacts on my iPhone (RIP speed dial), it also hasn’t been 25 years of pure sibling bliss. Insert years of hair pulling, button pushing, boyfriend stealing (a memory intended to be forever banished–I shall add to my ruler of the world to-do list) and tattling, much like anyone with siblings can attest to. And to validate that I’ve successfully learned as much as possible from my older sister, a case in which ah-ha the student has become the master, here’s a picture of one of her denim outfits (circa 8th grade):

Don't hate me.

Don’t hate me.