Growing up, my parents decided to bless me with two siblings, one of either gender. In the past, we were all close enough in age to enjoy the same activities and participate in the same events.
It didn’t matter whether you were a boy or a girl, we all loved playing our family game of baseball together or watching the same animated movies. But as we grew older, I began to notice my relationships with each of my siblings changing; they had become very separate from one another.
Here are five instances when I’ve realized that having a relationship with your sister is much different than the one you have with your brother:
1. When communicating
Sisters are notoriously talkative; if I haven’t heard from mine in three days, I’m ready to file a missing person’s report. Sister conversations are usually centered on three things: mutual hatred for someone, food or relationship issues. It’s amazing how long we can talk about these three facets of life, but somehow, we end up chatting about it for hours… and hours.
Brothers? If I get a text from mine once a month, I’m wondering why he’s hounding me. And it’s usually about one thing: food, and whether or not I can bring him some home when I’m out.
2. When bringing significant others home
There are two alternate sets of rules when you bring a potential significant other home: your sister’s rules and your brother’s rules. With your sister, your date has to charm, make a few references you know she will get and enjoy, and say something to the effect of, “Wow, she never told me her sister was nearly as pretty as she is!”
With time, and if you are truly happy with this guy, your sister is sure to come around.
Your brother just isn’t going to like him. No questions asked.
3. When watching movies or television together
When it comes to your sister, it's all about "America’s Next Top Model" cycles three through seven. You might snack on some popcorn and drink some Starbucks, and the word "bitch” is thrown around quite a bit.
If you’re feeling particularly lazy, you might throw on a "New Girl" marathon or pop in "Bridget Jones’s Diary” because you both know every line and recite it like a Greek chorus.
When you're with your brother, it's all about Mountain Dew and Doritos that leave a film of orange everywhere. And "The Godfather" -- all parts. It’s also the only time you can burp and know there is no judgment involved.
4. When finding something to do together
Sisters are easy; grabbing a cup of coffee at your favorite place or shopping for a new bra and underwear set is a perfectly acceptable way to spend a few hours. Your relationship is based on conversation, and any opportunity where you can sit and chat for a while is a good one. It doesn’t take a lot of thought or planning; even a Target run can be made into a giggle fest if you are both in the right mood.
With brothers, you either have to be doing something so lazy that you’re not going to move for a few hours, or you’re out climbing things, shooting things, racing things -- anything that gets you out and about in the world.
Talking may or may not be a requirement, and if you do start to chat about something semi-serious, it’s usually mentioned only in passing before you are off climbing, shooting or racing things again.
5. When you all get together
When the holidays roll around and you are all reunited with your newly adult selves, you’re surprised how three different people all headed in various directions can meet up again and mesh together so well.
Holidays in the past consisted of yelling at each other over who was going to get the last turkey leg. Your brother used to annoy the hell out of you trying to stuff mashed potatoes in your ear while your sister texted her boyfriend under the table.
Now, you spend your time together talking about all the stupid stuff you did when you were kids, like throwing grapes at the neighbors while hiding behind the fence.
They’ve become your best friends, and you realize how lucky you are to have had the chance to have both of them in your life.