I loved writing about the sisters in THE BEST MAN (to my brother: I’m sorry, and please see JUST ONE OF THE GUYS for heaps of fraternal interaction). I have a sister; she’s 13 months younger than I am, and we’re really close and always have been. We fought a little bit growing up, but not too much (she may contradict this, but that’s my take on it!). When we see each other (she lives in another state), we always have a great time.
In THE BEST MAN, Faith is the youngest of the Holland children. She has two older sisters and a brother, and she’s very much the baby of the family, for better or worse. It’s something she loves, and something that irritates her, too. Me, I’m the middle child. I just Googled “middle child syndrome” and saw that we’re often overlooked (sob), considered neither the most important child (that would be the firstborn) nor the favorite (the baby). I must call my mother immediately for emotional bolstering. Since I’m going to snowblow her driveway, I think I may be the momentary favorite.
One of my friends has three sisters, like Jack in THE BEST MAN, and like Jack, my friend was mercilessly exposed to female issues. The sisters thought this would toughen him up and make him a better man, boyfriend and husband. They’d quiz him around the kitchen table: “Say your girlfriend gets her period and has nothing with her. She wants you to go to the store and buy her some tampons. What do you do?” The friend in question grew up to be a very wonderful person, happily married with two daughters, ironically. All girls, all the time, as the saying goes.
One of the interesting things about siblings is the take they have on how the other is treated. “You can get away with murder—you’re the youngest,” one might say. Or, “He can’t do anything wrong—he’s the oldest.” And maybe, “You had it so easy…you’re the middle child.” It was fun to explore some of this with the Holland clan and see what one sister thinks of the other and vice versa.
The best thing about siblings, to me, anyway, is that knowledge that someone else shared your childhood, gets your jokes and is always there when you’re feeling blue, even if you just fought fifteen minutes ago. : )