My sister works as the financial director at a church. She works closely with some of the members who volunteer there. I saw one of those people at Costco the other day (her husband and mine were colleagues). She said to me “I just have to tell you, your sister is a peach.” I told her I also think my sister is a peach. In fact, everyone knows that my sister is a peach. She’s so nearly perfect. She is smarter than I am, calmer than I am, more even-tempered than I am (almost always), she’s got much better judgment than I do, she doesn’t get overwrought or have tantrums or whine or run her mouth when she shouldn’t. I really wish I were a lot more like my sister.
I’m a pretty independent person. I can usually take care of myself. I know how to live without parents. I know how to live without a husband. But I don’t know how to live without my sister, and I never want to have to learn. A sister isn’t like anybody else. She takes care of you when you’re sick, for instance. Which other people can do, but when your sister does it, she doesn’t care if you whine or cry or act like an immature idiot.
My sister says “Intimacy is not sex. Intimacy is when your partner holds your head while you throw up on his shoes.” And she is exactly right. There is an intimacy between a woman (and a girl) and her sister that exceeds all others. It’s like we’re a little bit the same person. We share the same memories of childhood. We know each others’ secrets. We often think the same thoughts. Our histories are a shared experience.
If I say “I need you,” it doesn’t matter for what — I’m hurt, I need help cutting a cake, my hair looks stupid, I’m having an emotional crisis, I fell down the stairs and sprained my ankle and have a date in two hours and have no make up on and can’t get upstairs to get my make up — makes no difference what’s wrong, she comes to help me. That’s all. Only a sister does that.