A sisterhood of night and day

I have a sister…but I wish I had sisterhood.

My grandmother sometimes called my sister and me “night and day.” When I was young, I asked if I could be night.

I realize now—and then, too—that she just meant that we were total opposites. It’s still true. I went into the arts, she went into athletics. She’s a loud social butterfly, I’m…well, come now, I run a blog called Introvert Playground. In so few words, she prefers the beach and I prefer the mountains (so meta).

Some of the ways that we are different amazes me. She refuses to try most new food, hates going to the movies, and will only play a board game if its Pictionary, and even then only if her friends don’t see her. My friends and I have Catan tournaments, have heated discussions about Fight Club and cook for fun. Then again, I don’t particularly like photography or any of her bands or any of her television shows. One is not better than the other. We’re just so different.

How did this happen? Born nearly exactly three years apart, raised by the same parents in the same house in the same school system until high school (she went to a technical high school to study nursing). I will always believe that nature has the advantage over nurture.

It does sadden me that I don’t think we’ll ever be close, especially when I see how close some siblings are, like my parents and their siblings. I really think that we could be good friends, if it weren’t for the fact that I’m open minded and she refuses to be anything but my opposite.

Closed mindedness keeps us apart. She seemed to decide one morning years ago that she disliked me. I don’t understand why she is so stuck on hating me, but nothing I do can ever seem to change it. Just when she seems about to sway, the winds change and she becomes shockingly nasty to me. Nearly everything we argue about is rooted in her refusal to see things from my point of view.

Night and day was an interesting comparison, but I think we are closer to ice and fire. She burns merrily, crackling and bright. I enjoy her light, but when I get near her I suffer. She wears me out, and occasionally lashes and scorches me.

So I keep my distance from my little sister. I don’t want to, but I do. It breaks my heart, but distance hurts less than her pointed attacks.

Night and day were never meant to coexist anyway…but I hope one day we can compromise and meet at dawn.

Teaching my sister Gatsby

My sister, a junior in high school, is reading The Great Gatsby and writing a paper on Huckleberry Finn. Could there be a more perfect duo of high school books? I read the two of them in one year as well.

It’s important because this was the first time she’s asked me for help on something, I think, ever. I’m sure she’s asked me to help her open a jar or something (though, she’s always been better at opening jars), but this is the first time for something like this. And, more surprisingly, she listened.

For about an hour I went over her paper with her, explained how she could make it more coherent and in better support of her thesis. Then I walked her through the first few chapters of Gatsby, explaining why yellow is important and who Daisy’s married to anyway, and what, exactly, even happens? It was a lot of fun rediscovering these two great works of literature that are too-often disregarded as high school stuff.

I don’t get to spend a lot of time with my sister anymore. I live away from home, and when I am home we’re both usually too busy. Even when we are in the same place, she likes television shows I don’t and I like peace and quiet more than she does and so we usually end up in separate rooms.

It was great helping her understand. She said her teacher isn’t doing much teaching, which I think is horrible. People lose their passion very easily…though, if her class is anything like some of my high school classes, I can see why the teacher wouldn’t be super excited to get up in the morning.

I guess why it stuck out to me so much is that it was the first time it seemed that my sister didn’t think I was stupid. I don’t know what it is—even though I’m older and in a good school and maintained good grades and etc., she always seemed to think I was just plain stupid. She never listened to my recommendations, always shrugged off my ideas, and never, ever asked me for help. It was really nice to bond with her, even if it was over something so silly. After all, even if we don’t always get along, I do miss her. And I do hope she understands Gatsby a little better now.