Today my baby sister turns 18. I would say that this is exceedingly strange and that it seems like it was only yesterday when we were playing with Barbies and antagonizing our poor little brother, but in reality it WAS only yesterday when we were doing those things, so...no, I'm just kidding. We're way nicer to Taylor these days.
Honestly, though, since I always assume that Shelby is my age anyway, it's weirder when she is two "years" younger than me [we are 17 months apart, so from December to May, she is 2 years behind, whereas from May to December she is only 1]. It's inevitable that I will look at her at some point in March or April and say, "Wait...you're only 17. That's weird."
Very intelligent, I know.
Anyway, I have spent a lot of time recently reading the blog of a woman who I very much respect; it was a lovely surprise to find such a talented writer recording the anecdotes of her incredibly adorable children. Every year on their respective birthdays, she writes a Top 10 List about why she loves them so much. Since the only way to become a better writer is to read a lot and emulate the different styles of writers that you like, I'm going to borrow a page out of her book, no pun intended. So Cori, if you ever read this, thanks so much for the idea.
Plus it's a favorite hobby of my sister and me to make lists. Mia Thermopolis is our muse...plus it made Spanish class go a lot of faster. All right, well without any further ado:
Top 10 Reasons Why I Love My Baby Sister.
10. She will always play dress-up with me. Now, as we have gotten older, our versions of dress-up have changed; we have progressed to big girl dress-up, where we put together outfits out of our real clothes, do our hair, and make-up, and proceed to do nothing special. Or we'll get dolled up and have nothing better to do than to drive to Meijer or the Bob and Kay in hopes that McDreamy is working. Either way, Shelby is always more than happy to play along, especially because....
9. She has excellent taste in clothes. I always thought that I was as good at being a girl as Pamela Anderson is at running down the beach in a support-less bathing suit, however I have found my tragic flaw -- I am terrible at shopping. It's not that I don't love it or that I am bad at spending money, because I am quite gifted in those departments. Having collected every issue of InStyle for the past four years and faithfully watched Stacey and Clinton help poor souls on What Not to Wear, I KNOW what I should be looking for...but I always get distracted, frustrated, and then end up buying something ridiculous.
Not my sister. Shelby has an eye for what she needs [maybe I should say "wants"...], an innate knowledge of when to save and when to splurge, and a really incredible recall of exactly what is in her closet. She has hordes of clothes, and she always looks beautiful, even if only to run a couple of errands. The good thing is, she is generally willing to share and dress her pathetic older sister who she deems "earthy" and "too dependent on solid colors and cotton." Oh well...I'm sure I'll get it eventually.
8. Shelby can read me better than anyone I know. She instantly knows what questions to ask, the ways to uncover my true feelings, and exactly what to say to make me laugh amidst my anger. It seems as if only we can understand each other when it comes to "quality flirting sessions," the gratification of looking cuter than particular people, or the joy of our interactions with Old Navy Joe. Our communication and understanding almost transcends words.
7. However, when the aforementioned communication is less than what we want, we can talk about anything. Shelby is my soundboard, my confidant, my best friend. When I am angry at her, I'm not afraid of a confrontation resulting in the end of our friendship -- the very thought is laughable. I can tell her my true feelings, no matter what.
6. She willingly listens to various drafts of my writing patiently and lovingly. I write a lot, and I constantly want feedback, hers in particular. She puts up with it the way a patient mother puts up with her toddler's pathetic attempts at making jokes. She encourages me, helps me make it better. What's more, she's a good writer herself, so I can trust her judgement. Shelby is my first editor.
5. Shelby is hilarious. When I'm with her, I am more subdued, a participant rather than a performer. I love to let her entertain me; it's past the point where we need to compete to make each other laugh -- we just do. Most of the things we say would make no sense to an outside, third party, but Shelby is one of the funniest people that I know, and I am perfectly content to just be around her.
4. She is one of the only people in the world who understands the simultaneous joy and frustration of living at home. Shelby stands alone among my friends when it comes to knowing the hardships of transitioning into adulthood in the Crookston household. I'm not going to get into details, but suffice it to say that Shelby is my teammate, my compatriot, my sister in arms. I don't know what I would do without her.
3. Shelby always drives when I don't want to. She can park a car well. She cooks me delicious food just because she's bored. She is always up for an ice-cream run. She sings A*Teens, N*Sync, Britney, and Plus One with as much excitement as me. She understands the euphoria of attention from Drue's friends. She wants me to sit in the bathroom and talk to her while she is in the shower. She texts me all day while I am bored at work. She makes, revises, and even types our lists of hottest celebrities and fictional characters, just for fun. She loves popcorn almost as much as I do. She compliments my personality in ways that make me wonder if I will ever be as comfortable with a boyfriend as I am in front of her.
2. We have the best inside jokes in the world. Who knew individual words could spark such wonderful memories? HeadBAND! The Hello Dolly video. "I'm glad that..." *large ring on pinkie finger, stroking imaginary mustache like a fat, Latin car salesman* "All right boys and girls, when we drink alcohol in school it is imperitive..." Wirehead. Flab shirt. Chicken. The Boards. The F.A. drmdrmdrmdrmdrmdrm!! Wally was NOT here. Nat the Flat. "What do you mean NO?...Pretty much THAT!" Jackie Chin. "Did someone say my name?" Basically the entire Steal Magnolias script. "Looking forward to it...a lot." along with the rest of Love, Actually. "Ha-RUMPH!" Warm Spray. Ocean girl. Camp Michewana. A-L-I-A-S: ALIAS!!
"Don't make me laugh, HAHAHA!" "I would rather by cute and thin than fat and ugly." Need I go on??
1. Shelby is my baby sister. No matter what trials we face or what transitions we fight to understand, she is my best friend and baby sister forever. Days can pass where we do absolutely nothing, but we are side by side the entire time, and we have fun without even meaning to do it. We can fight and scream and hit and scratch, only to collapse into giggles five and a half seconds later. Without her, I would be far less creative, far less competitive, far less funny, and my wardrobe would be devastatingly depleted. Shelby completes me the way that a best friend is supposed to complete a person, and even though it's strange to grow older, and mature into adults, it is a comfort to know that we still have the rest of our lives to be together. I cannot wait for this next part, as she goes to college and we both begin to learn who we are and what we want out of life.
Baby Sister, you are my favorite. I love you with everything I am. Happy Birthday, my beautiful Shelubi!!