An Open Letter to Older Sisters Everywhere

To My Older Sister,

If only there were an easy way to say thank you, I love you, stay away from me and I hate you all at once. Over the years, our relationship has made me feel all these emotions and several others including, but not limited to: rage, annoyance, guilt and empathy.

When we were younger, you asserted your dominance over me in every way possible. You cut my doll’s hair, promising me it would grow back (surprise, it doesn’t). In every game we played, you were the superior role and I was forced to play some kind of subordinate role. One day I was the maid, and the next day I was your pet dog. I even fell for your stupid little tricks that got me to do all of your chores for you, like when you said “I’ll time you” to get me to clean your room or fetch you a snack from the kitchen.

In our teenage years, our fights could have been considered World War III. You screamed at me for copying your hairstyle, and I got mad because you wouldn’t let me hang out with you and your cool, older friends. You’d slam your door in my face because God forbid you have a conversation with your juvenile younger sister. I screamed and told mom, which only made you taunt me for being a tattle tale. But what you don’t know is that I snuck into your room all the time when you weren’t home so I could read your magazines, steal your nail polish and use your perfume, so joke’s on you.

I would, however, like a formal thank you note for keeping all of your secrets from mom and dad. Remember that time I witnessed you replacing mom and dad’s vodka with water, and you swore me to secrecy? I never told. And remember that time you had me cover for you while you snuck outside at night to hang out with boys? Again, not a peep from me. So I think you owe me some credit for your cool factor because without me covering for you, you’d have gotten caught red handed every time.

It’s all of these moments that form the base of the wonderful relationship we have now as adults. Without them, we wouldn’t be able to reminisce about the time you literally dragged me by my hair around the house. We wouldn’t have the trust for each other we do now if I didn’t make up stories regarding your whereabouts all those years. Although our age has changed, our bond has not. Instead of waking up early together to watch Saturday morning cartoons, we grudgingly roll out of bed together at noon on a Sunday to get drunk brunch. Your closet is my closet, and my closet is yours. You give me guy advice when I need it, and I listen to the best of your ridiculous dating stories. We’ve finally perfected our older sister-younger sister dynamic after all these years.

It’s impossible to easily sum up the relationship that exists between an older sister and a younger sister. Are we like mother and daughter? A little. But we’re also best friends. You’re like a mentor to me, guiding my stumbling footsteps through all the experiences you’ve already been through. Even though I sometimes wonder if we’re actually related, I could not imagine my life without you.

Your Little Sister

Featured image by Niklas Montelius via Flickr


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