I’m Not My Sister’s Twin

Anne - Princeton, New Jersey
Entered on June 10, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

Older siblings, whether they are aware of it or not, leave a path that a younger sibling, such as myself, is expected to follow. Of course my parents deny that I have to be like my older brother or sister but I always have that thought in the back of my head saying, “Matt went to Yale” or “Sarah got straight A’s”. They’ve set the bar pretty high and of course I hope to be able to “fill their shoes” so to speak, but I want to do everything my own way.

I have been judged to be the same person that my older sister is, usually without being given a chance to prove myself otherwise. Sure, I used to let myself be affected by all the assumptions but when I kept falling short, and I’ll be the first to admit that I fell short multiple times, I just decided to no longer let it affect me and started being me. Someone who may look like my sister’s twin, but talks, walks, and acts like her opposite.

My sister isn’t the most well behaved child. Taking money, using my mom’s cell phone at 11:30 at night, and wearing “inappropriate clothing.” Well, my parents started set out rules. No cell phone after 10 PM and the phone must be in their room at night – this has become known as “My Phone Curfew” to my friends. They started taking away the “inappropriate clothing.” Though the clothing rule was really only enforced in my middle school years, I still have my phone curfew. My sister broke the rules numerous times with her cell phone. Enough times that my parents stopped paying for hers and she had to get her own plan. When it came time for me to get my own cell phone I was so excited. Cell phones were the “hot new thing” and my sister got her first one when she was 13 (it was then taken away). My 13th birthday rolls around and when I open up my last present, I was so upset. I was on the verge of tears actually, because I hadn’t gotten a cell phone, all because my sister couldn’t handle one at 13, I wasn’t even given a shot. My sister got a second shot at the whole cell phone thing when she was 14, and big surprise, she got it taken away again. Yet another year was wasted hoping for a cell phone because I didn’t get one on my 14th birthday. My parents made me wait till I was starting high school to get a cell phone, and to my surprise, the “Phone Curfew” was set into place right away. Even though my sister’s in college, I still have to abide by the rules set because of her mistakes.

I was frustrated because my parents hadn’t given me a chance to show them that I would be responsible in regards to my phone. For 3 years I’ve pleaded with them to lift my phone curfew but they refuse, they are afraid I’ll stay up late texting or something, but I won’t, but they haven’t given me a chance to prove myself.

Not only do I have to abide by these rules, but I also have to deal with people expecting me to be just like my sister. I’ll admit my sister was popular at Peddie. She had a lot of friends, had great grades, and even made captain of the crew team senior year. On my crew team, I’m just a rower – no special title for me – and in school, I’ve gotten decent grades, and I won’t stretch the truth – I’m not the most popular girl in school. I have a small group of friends, but I like it that way. Not as much drama – and I hate drama – and there isn’t the pressure to be the one with the newest styles. When I hang out with my sister and her friends, they always ask if I’m enjoying the public high school and what the latest gossip is. Well, I don’t know the gossip. I don’t find it out until it’s yesterday’s news. Their response? “Oh… we didn’t realize….” They expected me to be more like my sister – with the apple not falling too far from the tree – but I’m not like my sister and most people don’t really know how to initially respond to my “difference.”

I always wanted to please everyone around me, but when that involved being my sister’s mini-me – so to speak considering I’m about 4 inches taller – I opted out. I wanted to be my own person, give my parents another teenager to deal with. I’ve developed my own persona and I’m proud to not be like my sister in every way. If I was supposed to be my sister’s twin, I would have been born on the same day as her.