Disclaimer: I never thought I’d be writing this piece. Having grown up with two younger brothers, and having spent much of my childhood being tormented and, I would say, psychologically bullied, it took me until I was in my late teens to work out how lucky I was.
Growing up with brothers gives you something irreplaceable, something that having sisters or being an only child can’t emulate.
You learn about the workings of the male brain and how simple and obvious they often are. You learn not to take yourself too seriously, and you learn that boys’ metabolisms absolutely function more efficiently than girls.
Behold: all the reasons you’re happier for having grown up with brothers.
1. You always looked well-behaved in comparison.
Maybe because they were younger, maybe because it’s in their DNA, but my brothers – especially the brother who got arrested – tended to push the boundaries more than I ever did.
Whether it was being accused of plagiarism at university, or nearly getting caught with drugs going into a club, my brothers messed up in ways I couldn’t have dreamed of, making my occasional B grade look totally excellent in comparison. So, thanks for helping us to always be the Golden Girl.
2. But when you didn’t, they bailed you out and always took your side.
Brothers can be counted on to have your back. When your parents were annoyed at you for breaking curfew, your brother was always the first to say he’d heard you come in exactly a minute before you were meant to be home.
When your friend was being a bitch, your brother would at least pretend to listen, care and take your side.
Your brothers were your confidants, the people you’d go to in order to eat copious amounts of cereal with and watch terrible quiz shows on TV. And when your grandma was being painfully annoying, they would agree.
3. You are a master at debating.
Mostly because you and your brother spent so much time debating who would get to use the car for exactly how long. Or who would be forced to have the dreaded middle seat on long journeys, and who was responsible for buying your parents’ anniversary card. (Me. Always me.)
Plus, negotiating which of your brothers would lend you money – because somehow your 12-year-old brother’s piggy bank was always far fuller than your wallet -- has given you skills no bank manager could mess with.
4. They are so honest it hurts, in a semi-good way.
"Your hair looks disgusting."
"I hate that skirt."
"Are you going to bed?"... Nope, on my way out, thanks, harem pants are in.
Those are just some of the insults we've had to contend with over the years. Your brother is the one person, who, when he bothers to look up from FIFA, will tell you that yes, you do look fat in that.
He was the first man to be exasperated over your love of heels, and he won't be the last.
You know you can always go to your brother for honest advice -- just be prepared to cry.
5. They taught you how to get your way.
It would appear that girls simply have more tenacity when it comes to arguing. Often, your brothers got so bored with the argument over who got to choose the TV channel, that they would just walk away from the whole thing, leaving you victorious, pyrrhic though it maybe.
6. Nothing surprises you.
Oh cool, a baseball just hit you in the head out of nowhere. No big deal, your brothers’ have been playing indoor hockey since they were 7. Your bike’s been stolen? Oh well, no item of yours that your brother coveted was ever fully in your possession. And there’s pee on the toilet seat? Wouldn’t have it any other way.
7. You always have a binge buddy.
Their ability to eat copious amounts of food still never fails to amaze you, and you spent a few years (in which you got fat, duh) trying to keep up with their post-breakfast snack of a burrito, a burger and three slices of pizza.
While you learned this wasn't the most attractive on a girl, you know no one enjoys good food as much as you do, and whenever you want to go overboard, they're right there with you, with no judgment.
8. They had the perfect response when you cried over a loser guy.
"F*ck him." Your brothers always believed that you deserved someone truly great. While their friends, sadly, fell short (literally), they never wanted to see you settle.
They made efforts with your nice boyfriends, but refused to be fake friends with guys who were obviously messing you around, and for that, we retrospectively love them.
Also, they never sugar-coated a situation. While your girlfriends would say, "Maybe he didn’t get your text?," your brother would say, "He’s ignoring you, sorry." Tough love.
9. You could tell yourself you were your mom’s favorite.
Sadly, I’m not sure my mom ever did favor me for being the only girl, but I like to think that being the only two of the same gender in the household meant we had a special bond and that she would side with me.
With no sisters to be jealous of, and a father and brothers who shared sporting interests, we really couldn’t fathom (18 holes of golf? Are you kidding?) it felt like me and my mom were constantly united.
Photo Courtesy: We Heart It