The 10 Things Only Sisters Understand
My sister is pretty much the best thing that ever happened to me. OK, truthfully, I didn’t always feel that way (I was insanely jealous when she was born and once painted her face in Vegemite when Mom wasn’t looking), but it wasn’t long before I realized how cool it was to have a live-in best friend. Together we’ve cried rivers—some happy, some sad—traveled the world, laughed until our faces cracked, bickered like an old married couple, and shared our innermost secrets, and now we’re inseparable. Even though we live thousands of miles away from each other—she lives in Australia, and I’m in America—we call, text, FaceTime, or email multiple times a day. My sister is a best friend for life. But don’t take my word for it. A University of Wisconsin study found that sisters share an “unconditional friendship” that they feel “lucky enough, and proud to be a part of.” I’ll second that. Scroll down for a few things that sisters do—and only sisters understand.
From food to friendships, my sister and I share everything. I’ve even been coined the “halvey queen” at home because we split everything. When I lived in Australia, she would give me half the spinach pie she'd made for her family so mine could have it for dinner too. I’m hopeless at birthdays, and by the time I remember, my sister has already bought a thoughtful present and a cute card. Thankfully she doesn’t mind sharing the joy, and usually adds my name to the card without letting the relative or friend know that I forgot.
Having a sister means double the clothing options. Even if you don’t like it, your sister will raid your wardrobe, and nothing is sacred. While sharing clothing has been more of a bonus than a problem in my life, I do know of some instances where a friend purchased a beautiful dress and had saved it in the closet for a special occasion, only to have her sister wear it first. Not cool. But if you can set some boundaries, having access to two wardrobes, and shoe closets, is life changing.
Even if you look nothing alike and have completely different personalities and talents, people will always compare you to one another. Someone once told my sister and me that we look like twins; while there’s definitely a familial resemblance, we’re certainly not identical. Occasionally they’ll compare talents: “So your sister can sing? How about a song then? You can sing too, right?” Or, “Your sister was a fantastic student, so we can expect great things from you too, right?” The worst is when they even call you by your sister’s name. We might be sisters, but we’re definitely not the same person. Alas, I doubt these comparisons will ever stop.
It doesn’t matter what time of day you post on social; it’s as if your sister has her finger on the #firstlike trigger. When I log into Facebook to check my notifications, her comment will always be first. It might only be a simple heart emoji, but when it’s the only comment attached to your post, it makes you feel so loved knowing there’s always someone who cares. Thanks, sis.
Fighting can be brutal between sisters, because you don’t hold back and you’re not afraid to let the other know how you really feel. Maybe it’s because you know she’s family and it’s in her job description to always be there for you. But even after some of our biggest shouting matches, my sister and I have always forgiven each other. Even when you shout insults, you never take it to heart, because she’s your sister and the love runs deep.
Just a few simple facial expressions, hand motions, or gestures can be enough for my sister and I to communicate. It’s especially handy when you’re in an awkward situation and can’t talk. Just a few little eye shifts, rolls, and maneuvers can speak volumes. There aren’t really any specific signals that I could tell you, either. It’s always improvised in the moment, but we always know. We’re not twins, but sometimes we’ll call or text each other with “what’s up?” because we can sense something’s not right. When you spend years living that closely with someone else, talking becomes obsolete, and you just know.
Sisters are better than the fallback friend. They are always there, any time. Even when you’re a crying mess in the middle of the night, having a panic attack about work mid-afternoon, or in need life advice at the crack of dawn, you can call your sister and she will listen to every single detail. It doesn’t matter how long-winded or ridiculous it is. She will always be interested, because she actually cares; she will always have your back, even when you’re wrong; and she will be the most excited person when something good happens. It’s the best.
As the older sister, I definitely played the maturity card. As a kid, whenever I wanted to do something that came with more responsibility, it was never a problem, because my parents always trusted me. But as much as it was a positive thing, it was also a burden. My parents were tougher on me because I was the firstborn, and I was always covering for my sister when she snuck out to parties or skipped school to hang with her friends. But hey, that’s what sisters are for, right?
Getting together with family can be a snore-fest, especially as kids when you’re seated among adults who want to talk to you about school. Well, luckily my sister was always there, ready to sneak away and do something fun, or make funny faces at me from across the table.
You know the jokes I’m referring to here—the ones so anecdotal that even if I were to share one now, you wouldn’t even find it funny. Like the time my sister and I were riding bikes home from school and started making a funny face at each other followed by a weird laugh. For some reason, whenever my sister pulls that one out now, just the memory triggers a ridiculous laughing attack. Usually we both end up in tears, and my cheeks ache for ages after. Nobody can make me laugh that hard.