For the last 13 years I’ve known my little sister as my arch nemesis. To be totally fair, the first 18 months of her existence weren’t so bad. We were amiable for a time. Granted it was a time when she couldn’t speak and had limited mobility, but those were good times.
Before she was born, I used to pray every night for God or Santa or the Easter Bunny to bring me a sibling. After nine years of being an only child, I was lonely. When my mom sat me down to tell me my prayers had been answered, I responded appropriately by jumping out of my seat and doing the cabbage patch. Even then, I had some sweet moves.
The news that it was going to be a girl sent me over the moon. I was already prepared to teach her all of the things that I was currently excited about: Barbies, Bratz Dolls and braiding hair. But when Autumn — the season as well as my sister’s name — arrived, she had none of the faculties to do those things.
Her little baby fingers were chubby and not dexterous enough to put the teeny tiny Bratz tube tops on the dolls. She didn’t even have any hair to braid.
In a few more years, Autumn would prove to be my polar opposite. She was loud and messy and unforgivably ripped the heads off my Barbie dolls. She despised dance lessons and cried through her recital.
She found her niche in aggressive contact sports and thoroughly enjoys that at the age of 13, she towers over her 22-year-old sister.
There’s no Ya Ya to this sisterhood and we have no traveling pants. But it’s always been a unique one. We went through the classic phase where she stole my clothes and in retaliation I may have borrowed a thing or two of hers. The only fortunate thing about having a bigger little sister is that she can no longer wear my clothes.
I write all of this not because I want to complain about Autumn, but it is helpful in proving how dynamic our sisterhood has become.
This information is sensitive, but it’s important to my story and I also know that my sister doesn’t read my column — ever. Some things will never change.
My mom disclosed on the ride home for break that my sister was being made fun of in gym class for wearing “granny panties.” A flood of unpleasant high school memories rushed back.
For the first time in 13 years, I felt my sisterly duties being summoned. She needed a sister. My mom obviously doesn’t know what qualifies as granny panties because those are the kind she’s wearing. And I know exactly how legitimate being teased for wearing Hanes underwear is. High school sucks, doesn’t it.
When I arrive home I find Autumn wearing — can it be — eyeliner. It’s the middle school trend of only lining the bottom lid. I’ve been there; rookie mistake.
When I left her she was still wearing sweat pants and a basketball T-shirt. Her curly, blonde hair was permanently in a ponytail and her dislike for makeup and manicures still intact. Imagine my surprise to see my sister sporting pink nails and straight hair.
My time had finally come. I am useless when she needs help with her ball-handling and when she asked me how to jump higher to spike a ball, my response included the terms plié and jeté.
I can leave from break now knowing that Autumn is stocked with appropriate for 13-year-old undergarments from Justice and Aerie, puts eyeliner on the top and bottom lid and can construct an outfit that doesn’t make use of pants with an elastic waistband.