Thursday, April 3, 2008

Being An "Only"

Alt title: Why You Should Go And Give Your Brother/Sister A Big Fat Hug And Thank Them For Being Alive

I’m an only child, but I don’t act like one.

(You know exactly what I mean!)

When you’re an only child, people usually do two things:

1. Ask you if you wish you had siblings
2. Assume you’re spoiled rotten

(These people asking the questions are NEVER only children, btw)

Growing up an only child is lonely because – are you ready for this groundbreaking revelation – you grow up ALONE.

By yourself.

Sans siblings.

No one to blame for denting the car with a bike and clogging toilets with Barbie Dolls.

Do I wish I had siblings? Well, my answer has changed over the years.

(I won’t even get into how this is an unfair question. Like, how would I know if I wanted something if I had never had it before? It’s like asking me if I’d like blue hair. I’ve never had blue hair. Maybe it would really bring out my features. Or maybe it would make me look really pale. Thing is, I would have no idea BECAUSE I’VE NEVER HAD IT BEFORE)

If you asked me when I was four, I would have probably said yes, as the idea of a baby brother or sister would have been intriguing.

Had you asked when I was nine, I would have probably said no, knowing that a sibling meant half the toys, half the hugs and half the mashed potatoes.

If you asked me anytime after age 14, then I would have probably said yes.

At 16, it would have been nice to have a companion on family vacations.

At 19, it would have been great to have someone who (supposedly) loved me unconditionally that I could drunk dial at 2am from college.

In my 20s, I would have loved having someone close to my age with whom to talk at holiday gatherings, to help me pick out my first apartment or to form a united front in family debates.

Now, as I approach my mid-thirties, I think it would be nice to have a sibling to help keep me sane and help me plan my father’s retirement party.

Dad’s retiring after 30 years of working for the same company and I thought it would be nice to throw him a little party.

Mom thought it would be a nice “project” for us to do together.

Now, I love my mother to death (hey, I’m her favorite child!), but this party planning is getting TENSE.

Mom and I are both Aries, and we’re both always right.

The first phone call about the party was so aggravating it caused me to miss my exit on the highway and it resulted in her calling me back to apologize for her behavior.

I’m a planner at heart, so when you ask for my help, it’s very difficult for me to not completely take over the project and plan the perfect party (um, everyone loves scallops wrapped in bacon, gorgonzola crusted filet and pomegranate martinis, right?).

Here are the details we’ve worked out so far:

• we want to throw dad a party

Yep, that’s about it.

I put mom in charge of the guest list, since she knows more of my dad’s work friends. Plus, it’s hard to get started without a general idea of how many people will be attending. This task, of course, results in a phone call.

MOM: “I wrote up a guest list.”

ME: “Great. How many people?”

MOM: “About 35. But I know of at least six more that need to be added.”

ME: “Does that include our family and your friends?”

MOM: “Yes.”

ME: “Okay, so let’s figure around 45 to be safe, so we have a number to give places when we start calling around.”

MOM: “Should we invite Cousin Dave and his wife?”

Um, why WOULDN’T we?

ME: “I thought your list included family?”

MOM: “It does. Just not them.”

It’s not like our family is so huge that there’s no way we can accommodate everyone. There are 10 people in my family. TOTAL.

So, long story short – yes. If you’re asking me right now if I wish I had siblings, my answer is ABSOLUTELY!

(Oh, and if by “spoiled rotten” you mean “being showered with all of the attention from your parents and family members, never having to wear hand-me-downs and being everyone’s beneficiary”, then yes, I was completely spoiled.)

2 comments:

Greg said...

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