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Sisters, sisters

I’m reading My Name is Mary Sutter by Robin Oliveira right now. I’m not far into the book at all yet. The title character is a midwife living in New York state on the eve of the Civil War whose biggest desire is to become doctor. (I confess, I picked up the book because I thought it would be appropriate to read a civil war book for the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.)

Mary Sutter has a twin sister, Jenny. Apparently, Mary and Jenny do not look much alike, do not act very similar, and do not have similar interests. The only thing they seem to have in common is a taste in men because right now in the book they both like the same mediocre man. Obviously, I do not understand their mutual attraction. The would-be suitor doesn’t suit me at all. However, this does bring up an interesting topic, namely, sibling rivalry in love.

As the only writer who would compete with a sibling for romance, I feel compelled to address this topic. (To be fair, Indigo could conceivably write about this, too, but that would be very specific, highly unlikely circumstances.) Here’s my advice:

DON’T GO THERE. Seriously, no good can come of this situation. If you are the object of cross-sibling affection just back away. If you and your sister/brother like the same person, either agree that neither gets the prize or just let your sib have the intended. Chances are whoever the potential is will not be worth the trouble in the end.

Let me take you into this scenario (I am going assume the best of the sisters here and that’s not always the case): Mary and Jenny are sisters. Mary meets a man named Tom. Mary likes Tom. All too soon Tom meets Jenny. Jenny likes Tom. Mary, because she loves Jenny and sees all of the admirable qualities Jenny has, assumes that Tom will like Jenny more. Mary becomes irritable at this prospect. Jenny does not understand why Mary is mad, and continues to pursue Tom. (In Jenny’s defense she does not know about Mary’s attraction.) Mary continues to pursue Tom. Eventually both sisters realize the other is attracted to Tom, but at this point both are convinced that Tom is The One for her. Fighting, manipulation, and hair-pulling ensues. Tom is the helpless, hapless bystander to sibling rivalry gone awry. Tom probably gives up on both sisters as crazy.

Luckily, I’ve never personally had this problem. My lovely, loving older sister has been with the same fellow since she was 16, and frankly, our taste in lovers is incredibly divergent. Although, I have been witness to this series of developments before. It was not pretty. I repeat, DON’T GO THERE.

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