Dear Potential Girlfriend,
First, you need to know that even as 6-year-old, I took my role as a “big sister” seriously. I was smitten the minute he came home from the hospital.
Even though he became the favorite, inherited all the athletic ability and has had a life plan since he was in primary school, I am still besotted with my not-so-little brother.
While he singlehandedly taught me that one could simultaneously love and hate someone, he also taught me responsibility, patience and the art of being bossy.
I have had more than 20 years to hone my mothering, debating, teaching and stalking skills all while experiencing the pleasure and pain of being a big sister.
After much persistence, little brother and I have entered the world of being Facebook friends. Doing so has forced me to realize that this human, whom I used to push around in my doll's pram, is actually kind of a grownup.
Sure, he doesn’t know how to use the washing machine, but he can vote -- that still counts as grownup, right?
I actually never considered the possibility that, one day, my brother would bring home a significant other. The more I stalked his Facebook, the more I realized this was more than a possibility.
To make things easier for the both of us, I have compiled a list of “5 Simple Rules For Dating My Little Brother.” So, listen up; these rules are gospel:
1. First impressions last a lifetime.
If you show up wearing leftover makeup and a hangover from last night’s party, expect to be subject to judgment — for life. Put in a little effort; people appreciate effort.
Make eye contact and be polite as hell. Manners can get you everywhere in this world, especially with parents.
2. Don’t be judgmental.
Every family has its own traditions; don’t try to change what you don’t understand. Participation is key, and holding back eye rolls will gain you many brownie points.
3. Try not to be “that” member of the family.
There is one of "those" in every family: the one no one wants to invite. Don’t let yourself become this person.
As much as you think the dog stinks and camping is as fun as watching paint dry, suck it up. Family is about compromise and being a princess will get you nowhere.
4. Don’t try to be my bestie.
I am not on the market for a new BFF. Never try to force a friendship with sisters; we will come around eventually, and heck, you will probably even score bridesmaid status one day.
Just don’t expect a friendship immediately; friendship is earned (however, food offerings are highly recommended).
5. Always take his side.
Having sisters is hard enough; he doesn’t need you ganging up on him, as well. Though it may be natural for you to want to side with the girls, believe me, sticking up for him will get you much more street credit.
Now, one more word of advice to my brother's future girlfriend: If he is happy, I am happy. If you don’t break his heart, the two of us will get along just fine.
Photo Courtesy: We Heart It