I used to be a cool older sister. I had all sorts of secret older sister knowledge. So when I told my little brother Gabe that I was a witch and I could fly, he believed me. That was pretty awesome.
I was seven, and he was four.
“If you don’t unload my section of the dishwasher, I’ll put a spell on you!” I said.
He got nervous.
I hated unloading the dishwasher. I still do, actually. Keep reading »
According to a new study, the happiest families have exactly 2.0 daughters. No more, no less. While two girls is heaven, double the number of girls, and parents report being in hell. Four girls is the worst brood combination to get stuck with. Hell hath no fury like sisters scorned. The next best child combo is one boy and one girl, who rarely fight over toys, but don’t bond quite as much. I found this to be a nice combination growing up, especially when my brother agreed to let me put makeup on him. I’m sorry, Adam. How about you, where does your sibling combo rank, and do you agree with its ranking? [Daily Mail UK] Keep reading »
Blind dates are awkward for everyone. There’s enough to worry about without discovering that your date just so happens to be your long, lost sibling. Um … yeah. Try recovering from that awks moment. And here I was thinking I had had the most awkward blind date of all time. He told me he was under investigation by the FBI during our first drink. Keep reading »
God help me for admitting this: I don’t like my brother’s fiancée. Phew. It feels so freeing to write these words. I can’t even bring myself to call her my future sister-in-law. It makes my skin itch. I would love to be able to give you a concrete reason for being irked by her. Like she kicks small dogs or steals subway seats from old ladies or physically abuses my little brother. None of the above. Keep reading »
When we were kids, my younger brother Greg drove me bonkers. His favorite activity was lying like a corpse on my bed while I screamed, “GET OUT, GET OUT, GET OUT!” until I finally dragged him into the hallway. He also liked hiding, then jumping out and scaring me. He wailed like a cat in an imitation of my singing in the shower. I found out he read my diary. (How? By reading his.)
But we were still fiercely protective of each other, especially as the only Chinese kids in a neighborhood rampant with racism, and as we got older, we became more friends than squabbling siblings, banding together against our nagging parents and their disapproval of our non-traditional pursuits (book writing for me, screenwriting for him). But it was when I was going through the toughest time in my life that Greg became not just my ally but my voice of reason, my Cassandra, the one person I knew who was unafraid to tell me the truth. Keep reading »
While growing up — with one sister, a mother, and a father — I’d sometimes fantasize about being part of a massive family. This was, no doubt, because my favorite TV reruns – like “The Brady Bunch” and “8 Is Enough” – made it look like all fun and giggles to have scads of siblings to play with. Turns out I was wrong. According to a new report from Understanding Society, a study tracking 100,000 people in 40,000 households in Britain, children without any siblings are happier, and the more siblings children have, the unhappier they become. The individuals surveyed cited the following reasons why: bullying by siblings, lack of privacy/space, and competition for parental attention. This news certainly shatters the stereotype that an only child is an awkward, unhappy loner. Huh. This could be fodder for those advocating for population control, like Vincent Kartheiser. Or to convince Michelle Duggar to tie those tubes already. [The Guardian] Keep reading »
Four-year-old conjoined twins Tatiana and Krista Hogan are an anomaly among anomalies. Not only are they surviving conjoined twins, and not only are they attached at the head, but they actually share part of their brains, the thalamus. Almost unbelievably, Macleans.ca reports, “There is evidence that they can see through each other’s eyes and perhaps share each other’s unspoken thoughts.” The thalamus is the portion of the brain that processes and relays sensory information, and the twins have a “bridge” that runs between theirs. During tests, a neurosurgeon involved in their medical progress found that when one twin looked at an object, the brains of both twins recorded the information. These strange factors have led some to wonder — are the twins two separate people … or one? Their mother reports they have two distinct personalities, but it’s clear that with their brains intertwined, their minds may be far more complex than we can imagine. [Macleans.ca] Keep reading »
It strikes me as interesting that a short but sweet essay on the benefits of having a sister, called “Why Sisterly Chats Make People Happier,” has been one of the most popular articles on The New York Times website for over a week. The essay is in response to a recent Brigham Young University study which claims that men who have sisters are happier than those who don’t. The essay’s author, linguist Deborah Tannen, expands the discussion to theorize that this is because women, and thus sisters, are more talkative, so they are better at communicating … Keep reading »