1. We know how to piss you off. Big sisters are masters of irritation. We’re smarter, wiser, and more infuriatingly manipulative than the most important little shitheads in our lives, and we know how to tick them off. You’re no more immune to our tricks than our middle-school brothers; we will exploit our years of experience making boys want to tear their hair out when you deserve it.
2. We’re unrelentingly suspicious. We know too damn much. Our brothers confide in us—they tell us all the stupid, mean shit they’ve done to girls, and we realize that their behavior isn’t so far removed from yours. When you start acting like a 13-year-old boy, we’ll start running in the other direction.
3. We’ll rely on you as a team member. We’re used to having men in our lives who, ultimately, always have our back. We believe that two is better than one—that we’re harder, better, faster, stronger with a loving guy in our corner. And if you have our back, we’ll always have yours. We’ll be unbreakable as a result.
4. We’re hyper-observant. We have our eyes extra open to all your distasteful attitudes and habits. We desperately want to make our little brothers the best men that they can be—we want them to be respectful and gentle in all of their romantic relationships. Obsessively locating how you fall short of those criteria will help us stop our brothers from making the same mistakes.
5. We know how to get what we want. We’re acutely attune to just how simple and predictable boys are, and we use the same formulas we’ve used on our brothers for years to get you to do exactly what we want. Be afraid. Be very afraid.
6. We’ll mock you incessantly, but only as an expression of our love. We grew up mercilessly teasing our younger brothers for everything. Don’t be sore when we do the same to you—it’s our way of reminding you you’re annoying AF, but we kinda like you.
7. We love big. We’re not afraid of giving our hearts to boys—we did that for the first time, probably in a hospital room with a blue bundle in our arms, ages ago. We’re not scared of you. We’re not scared of our love for you.
8. We love loud. We want to you remind how smart, good, handsome, and funny you are as regularly as you let us. We know how fragile and insecure boys won’t admit to be, so we’re sure to put our love on loud. We know how much you need it.
9. We have very little time for bullshit. When we see you pulling the same BS as our high school brothers, we shut that shit down sooner than you’d anticipate. We have an unusually low tolerance for man-children; we have one sitting on our parents’ couch, playing video games and texting too many girls. In other words, we don’t need ya, buddy.
10. …But we can be very patient. We know when to give you a break—when to back off in those moments you’re straddling boyhood and manhood and just need a minute to come to the same conclusion we came to ages ago. We’ll be patient. We’ll wait.
11. We know how to reward good behavior (and punish bad behavior). We’ve had years of practice mothering little boys. Like it or not, we know how to coax you into becoming a better man. This will, undoubtedly, frustrate the shit out of you. But you know we’re
always usually right.
12. We understand women and men. We will always be the more mature, reasonable, level-headed member of the couple. We’ll never match your immature antics. You can’t outsmart us. It’s impossible—we’ve seen and heard it all.
13. We won’t let you in too soon. Our younger brothers care deeply about us, and they take pride in their urge to protect us from assholes. You won’t meet them until we’re sure you’ll be around for a while.
14. We will never put you first. Our little brothers are the most important men in our lives. They’re our babies. They’re our princes. We love you, too. Deeply. But they’re the only guys who’ll be around forever—they’re the only guys we need.