Siblings: Fantasy VS Reality

First, it seems I’m terrible at keeping up with my blog’s anniversaries. After May 22nd, my blog turned five years old. Maybe I should start making a yearly scheduled post for that.

Now, on to the topic at hand.

A stereotype of only children is they are spoiled because of their lack of siblings. Some people think it’s selfish not to give a child a sibling, and some only children do grow up to say they wish they had siblings.

I’ll be honest. Hearing these things makes me cringe, especially the former. Why? Because they’re idealizing having a sibling.

I don’t think people who consider it awful for a child to have no siblings, or who wish they themselves did, realize having a sibling is no guarantee of not being selfish or never being lonely. I don’t believe they realize that sibling could very well be someone they don’t care to have in their life. Having a sibling does not automatically mean you have a built-in playmate/best friend for life.

My mother had two children while my father had one, so I somewhat got to experience being an only child while growing up when I visited him. I much preferred the only child life. Just about every positive reason stated for having siblings never existed for me.

Taught me how to share? My sister and I only shared if forced, and I hogged my things because she continually lost or broke them. My mother forced me to loan her my baby blanket for the kindergarten (I was 8). At the end of the year, she never retrieved it, so it was thrown out. My 8-year-old self was furious because that blanket was one of my favorite possessions. But the reason I argued (and lost) against her borrowing it in the first place is I knew she’d lose it. As an adult, I still hoard things, and part of the reason I tend to buy excessively is that I can finally live without worrying where my stuff will disappear off to.

Playmates and best friends? Again, not unless forced. Otherwise, we either played alone or played with our school friends. My sister and I fought constantly, and the only time we got along on our own was to (figuratively) beat somebody else down, which usually meant drive the adults crazy. I remember people used to say we’d grow up to be best friends. At the ages of 23 (me) and nearly 20, that ship has sailed. Our relationship as sisters borders on dead. My best friend and the person I call my sister are the same person, but she’s not genetically related.

Never being lonely? I don’t even want to talk about this. All I have to say is loneliness due of no people is no better or worse than loneliness because of people.

Teaches eldest siblings to be responsible? First off, I want to hang the person who came up with the notion that oldest siblings should be live-in babysitters. If someone asked me why I want nothing to do with parenthood, the answer of “being forced to babysit my sister” would be in the top three. “Babysit” was essentially the short way of saying “everything your sister does is your fault, no matter where I am in the house”. My sister never got in trouble unless I also did. This didn’t stop until I moved out of the house, which means even at age 13, my sister was deemed “too young to know better” and I was “supposed to set a good example because I was the oldest”. Why was I supposed to enjoy this again? Ironically, babysitting other people’s children as an adult wasn’t an issue for me. Perhaps it being voluntary has to do with it?

I know everyone is entitled to their feelings, but I wish people would stop thinking “siblings = automatic BFFs” because it truly does not. Siblings are essentially hit or miss. If you’re fortunate, the stereotypes are true and you luck out. If you’re not, you get a situation like mine, where your sibling only talks to you to start an argument at four o’clock in the morning.

There have been brief periods of time where we do get along, but they’re sporadic at best. I’ve said before if I wanted to be a parent, I’d be “one and done” because I’d have zero desire to put up with what I went through with my sister. If my hypothetical kid was really so lonely, I’d let them adopt a pet. Really, I did have a cat for a few years while growing up. Much better company.

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Your Friends Lost You

Lately, I’ve seen a somewhat popular post from Whisper going around. I won’t post the image, but the quote is: “When I say I won’t tell anyone, my husband doesn’t count.”

I’ve always been neutral about marriage. This is one of those things that pushes me toward the more negative side of it.

My boyfriend and I are not married yet, but he does want to marry me and I’ve already agreed, so we will marry someday. However, if I ever catch myself thinking “Well, I’m getting married, so soon, my friends won’t matter anymore”, that’s when I call off the wedding. This works the other way around too. If I ever found out he was being distrustful to his friends because of me, I’d call it quits. I am not going to be someone’s reason for being a jerk.

I used to read often that newlywed couples, particularly the wives, tended to lose their friends when they got married. However, if that quote gives any suggestion to married life, it’s no wonder why. They didn’t lose their friends. They decided their friends no longer mattered and chose to permanently put them aside. Perhaps people have different ideas of what “friendship” means, but for me, if I cannot trust you, we cannot be friends.

I love my boyfriend and I am content with the idea of someday being his wife. But I also love my best friend. She is like a sister to me, and she was in my life four years before he was. She is not going on the back burner. Yes, I talk to my boyfriend about my best friend, and vice versa, and I’m hoping I’ll eventually have a chance to introduce them to each other since they are the two most important people in my life. But if she ever comes to me and says, “Please don’t tell anyone this”, he will not know. If I ever do reveal something she wanted me to keep secret, I’ll apologize.

That’s what real friends do.

Continuing to respect my friends does not make me a bad girlfriend, nor will it make me a bad wife. On the contrary, letting him be the reason I stop doing so is what would make me a bad partner.

Operation No Schedule

First off, since I’m posting on this day, I’ll say this: Happy Thanksgiving!

I had an interesting experience over the holiday “weekend”. I mentioned in a previous post I’d finally found a job. I’m still at that job and currently fearing my upcoming shift for Black Friday. Coming back from a lovely holiday is helping the anxiety a little, however.

When I continuously heard nothing from U, I assumed I simply wasn’t going to be working there. I’d heard from more experienced people a long wait wasn’t abnormal, but by the time they finally got back to me, after three weeks, I’d already worked about seven days at B. I wasn’t really having regrets because that meant I was able to start working sooner than later. The thought I could’ve missed out on that if I’d turned down B to wait on U makes me angry.

Eventually, I finally did hear from U. The background check finally came through and was finished, so they could let me begin working. But even that didn’t go as planned. I still had to wait on them, mainly the person I needed to speak to wasn’t there, despite me showing up exactly when I was supposed to. This happened at least twice.

In the end, I only worked two days. Unknown to me, I was scheduled to work two more days after that, but I had no way of knowing that because I wasn’t given a schedule, despite being told I would. As it turned out, the employees are supposed to call the store to be told what days and times they’re working. In other words, no one receives a schedule nor is there one posted anywhere for employees to check. How on Earth I’m supposed to know something I’m not told is outside of my level of understanding. I wasn’t informed of this until I’d missed the next two days I was scheduled to work. Interestingly, the issue that I’d been told I’d be given a given a schedule and wasn’t didn’t come up in that call about my missed days. I did bring it up, but I was countered with the rule about calling to know your schedule, which doesn’t exactly explain why I was told something that was false.

By the time they called me, however, I was already out of town and while I could’ve come back, I chose not to and, in the end, let them terminate me. I can only imagine how many people would consider me an idiot for giving up a job to vacation, but by this point, I was more than annoyed. I understand no one is perfect, things come up, and people make mistakes. I do a lot of that last one as a cashier at B. This situation, however, crossed too many lines for me and the last straw was having to cut my holiday break short because somebody didn’t find it necessary to tell me about this rule beforehand. You can make the argument I should’ve asked, but how can you explain why a new hire shouldn’t expect to be told about rules like that before being allowed to work? Expected to be common sense? Not all jobs operate the same way. At B, multiple schedules are posted for employees to check before going home for the day. This is something I was told before I started working. How am I supposed to know U operates in a very different way?

Unfortunately, I’m sure that’s going to do damage to my work history, but I’ve taken it as another life lesson. If my position at B doesn’t become a permanent one and I have to look for another job, I will remember to ask about how to obtain the schedule at any interviews I go on. I’m going to steer clear of U, though.

I won’t lie. I do miss the opportunity to have been making two paychecks. It may be minimum wage, but for someone who’d never worked until recently, it was an exciting thought. However, I’m no workaholic and I do believe sometimes, there are certain things that matter more than money and working. On that phone call, I had a choice to make: a mini-vacation I wouldn’t get a chance to have again for a long time or a job that hadn’t gone smoothly in the slightest. It’s clear which I chose. If nothing else, it’s certainly made me more appreciative for the job I do have. Plus, not every opportunity can be taken. To my surprise, I wasn’t as upset as I thought I’d be, which only helps me feel I made the right choice.

I should mention it wasn’t a decision I made with no support. Everyone I’ve spoken to about what happened told me the same thing: I’m not to blame for it. Even my family said they never heard of such a thing. I went on to enjoy my break and I now get to return to work tomorrow after having been able to relax and have a great time. To me, that’s irreplaceable and I’m glad I chose it. To an extent, it makes me understand the expression “Money can’t buy happiness.” I can’t deny money buys things that make me happy and money is what enabled me to have that great break to begin with. But it’s still not everything and some things just aren’t worth missing out on.