Miss Aida
"The closer you are, the more you fight." -My Sister

I don't necessarily think that true. My best friends and I never really argue. Perhaps that may be attributed to our respective laidback personalities as well. Or perhaps the quote is only particularly true in lieu of sisterhood, considering how we've been at each other's throats lately.

I don't understand how two people who can be utterly rational and sociable with everyone else can sometimes be at total odds with each other in the same context. I consider myself, in most cases, a nice person. I've been told I'm a friendly person. Easy to get to know and easy to talk to. And I know one of my sister's strengths, the social butterfly she is, is communicating with people. Yet, in the same space, sparks seem to fly between us.

I love my sisters. Truly I do. I've always been particularly close to the younger one, the one closest to my age, and despite certain disagreements, we've always gotten along well. However, ever since I've been back, it seems as if tempers are flying. Everything we talk about ends up being an argument, she bitching at me about something or other, and me reacting with less than my usual rationality. Every word I say seems to be twisted out of context, and my sister has this uncanny habit of remembering phrases I've said in the past and continues to throw those same phrases in my face whenever we get into an argument.

I'm the type of person who always wants to be right, only because I don't back down from a fight. I'd argue myself blue in the face just for the heck of it. In most cases though, I'm reasonable enough not to start an argument in the first place. I can be Ms. Diplomat when needed. So why is it when it comes to my sister, all my well meaning intentions and skills seem to disappear in mid-air?

On one level, I suppose it's also adjusting back to the attitude of sharing after being on my own for three quarters of a year. Having my own room, and my privacy, and my things exactly where I want them to be. It's a bit of a shock having my things borrowed without my permission and not having everything put back in their respective places and never being able to find things when I want them. My sister rationalized once, "What are sisters for? Why should I need to ask for permission to borrow your stuff?" Perhaps she sees it that way but it drives me crazy, that little posessive streak of mine flares up whenever anyone takes my things without me knowing.

On another level, I suppose I feel as if I'm being taken for granted, like the older sister who's loved merely for her things or because she has enough cash to spend. I don't mind taking my siblings out sometimes, on my terms, when I want to, but I resent going out with them and having it assumed that I'll be paying for lunch or things like that. I have yet to earn any sort of salary, and my allowance doesn't exactly leave me the freedom to go out when I want to buy what I want. I suppose my sister sees it as inequality, and thinks I could afford spending money a lot more on others, ergo hers truly. It's this clash of opinions that makes me feel resentful, and anything on this topic usually turns into an argument about how we're both treated unequally.

On yet another level, I hate being ordered around, and react negatively to requests to do things when they're not phrased politely. In all fairness, my sister's a lot busier than I, being in the middle of classes and her many extra-curricular activities, while I am relatively free, putting my social schedule aside. Nevertheless, I feel it would be a lot nicer to be asked to do things, without the issue turning into whinging, whining and emotional manipulation.

I swear, sometimes I think she resents me because of past circumstances. Merely because I was less of a problem child and didn't go through too much teenage angst, because I got the grades my parents wanted, they allowed me the freedom to do what I want, and sometimes I feel like she resents those past circumstances. And because of that, whenever my parents are talking about her situation, she compares her life with mine, sometimes even bringing to point certain bad points in my life. And it hurts when she does that, because it feels like a betrayal. It hurts because it feels as if she can't defend herself without wanting to drag me into it as well. I know I'm far from perfect, and I'm sure my parents know as well, but no one likes their faults being highlighted with no provocation on their part. And sometimes, that makes it hard to bear.

Then again, there were those good times. Sisterly shopping, her convinced that she knew where to get the best things at the cheapest prices, excited for me to meet her friends and let me into this new world she now lives. Me, finally getting the opportunity to meet in person and see for myself what her life is like, realising that she's all grown up. A grown up finally taking charge of her life and branching out into the things she really loves doing. Sometimes too grown up to take my advice as well as I want her to.

There are those occasional glances into her busy social life, hanging out with her friends and mine, and me wondering when in eternity my friends became hers! Going out no longer in the context as the younger sister who tags along, but as an equal, a shopping buddy, a friend. Laughing over lunch, dinner, supper, 'mamak' and movies, girly times together, just the two of us, or with our bigger social circles. Those are the good times indeed.

I love my sister. But love is an emotion akin to hate, and the fine line I tread between both emotions can be unnerving on occasion. I'm not the same person I used to be, and neither is she. And perhaps we have to re-learn the art of getting along. It's a matter of necessity.
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