"Become Friends With Your Sister" by Annie Nishida
My mom says I stopped being happy the day my sister was born. I was three years old, and can neither confirm nor deny this because all I remember about her birth was getting to make fashionable scrunchies in the hospital waiting room with my cousin. Sure enough, as we got older, we started to Pangaea that shit (aka drift apart). I was into school and books and writing, while she was into being a normal person. We just didn’t get each other. Ironically, it took my going away to college for us to un-Pangaea that shit. I started to—as much as I hate to confess—miss that bitch. Apparently, she wasn’t just an obstacle on my path to becoming the best hermit in the world—she was a real person with real feelings and real hopes and real bodily functions, and she was, and still is, my friend.
Become friends with your sister despite the shit she does to you. Sisters will tweet about how you’re being “childish af” for being pissed that McDonald’s doesn’t have its ice cream machine running when that’s the only reason you’re there, and you can’t just go to Burger King because it’s 80 calories more and MyFitnessPal will judge you so hard. They’ll interrupt your make out/dry hump sesh (finally!) with your then-unofficial-now-official boyfriend because she wants you to pick her drunk ass up from the party you just dropped her off at, like, five hours ago. Sisters might even get you excited for a sister date—you’re really bonding like normal siblings that don’t hate each other that much!—at Disneyland, and then not be awake when you arrive to pick her up, causing you to break into the dorms at her school to bang on her door and disturb everyone’s hungover slumber on a Friday morning.
Become friends with your sister because she’ll become friends with you despite the shit you do to her. You’ll ignore her constant “SOS” texts, stranding her at a party because making out with and drying humping (seriously, finally!) your then-unofficial-now-official boyfriend is, like, so much more important than saving your sister from this “Nando” douche-wad who upset her so much. You’ll throw a 22-year-old-adult tantrum in a McDonald’s dining area because they didn’t have any goddamn ice cream (I’m still mad about this) and sulk about it for the next two hours on the couch while refusing to eat anything else. You might even force a sister date upon her in the middle of exam week, and then violently knock on her door to wake her up after she’d spent the whole night trying to finish a paper, all because you don’t want to devour a plate of lobster nachos by yourself. I mean, you kind of do, but that would be embarrassing.
Become friends with your sister because you two will have the best inside jokes that no one else could possibly understand. She’ll accidentally text your mom about how she once paid for a 40 oz in all quarters, and try to mend the sitch with a “Wait… jk,” which will result in the addition of that very phrase to the Merriam-Webster-Nishida dictionary for colloquial use. You two will make a Mother’s Day card featuring a picture of dreamy, Arrested-Development-Era Michael Cera with no explanation or reasoning, which will somehow establish a law that says cards for all occasions must include a picture of that baby-faced hunk. She’ll send you Snapchat pictures of her on the toilet “peeing and hating life,” which you’ll screenshot and send to her randomly for funsies. The laughs will ensue and you’ll forget you disliked each other for the majority of your lives.
Become friends with your sister because you’ll understand each other in a way no one else can. When your weird grandma says you’ve lost weight, your sister insist that you “actually look fatter than usual” because she knows making a joke will make you feel less awkward about this body in which you’ve always felt uncomfortable. You’ll listen to her tirade on how boys are dumb, and you’ll strangely agree, even though she’s a little drunk and you’re a little mad that your parents made you get out of bed to pick her up from yet another party. You’ll bring her boba after school one day because you heard some shithead was giving her a hard time, and you won’t even feel bad that you’re a sophisticated college grad and just called a 15-year-old a “shithead” because thinking about people messing with your sister makes you that angry. You know she’d do the same thing for you, if she got the chance (which she hasn’t yet ‘cause you’re a responsible adult who limits drama to McDonald’s). You’ll just have each other’s backs like that.
But mostly become friends with your sister because as much as you hate to admit it, your parents were right. One day, when the rapture hits and the higher power can only save two people and chooses you over Paul McCartney and the guy who invented Coke Zero, you’re all the other is going to have.