Please stop breathing, and other nuisances

My little sister and I have been spending some time together, because she’s had a week off, and I’ve been working from home. Although we live together, our busy schedules (me- popularity, her- some sort of doctor) mean that we don’t see each other that often.

Our week together started pleasantly enough, both of us working happily at opposite ends of our dining room table, until I noticed that my little sister is a mouth-breather, and asked her politely to ‘stop breathing’. Since then, a great deal of our time together has been punctuated by my little sister’s continued disbelief in the daily trauma that plagues me, and her repeated assertion that ‘you cannot have problems like these’. Thus far, my little sister has shown a concerted lack of care towards the following sources of unhappiness:

1. The time I walked into our living room, noticed the blinds were uneven, and asked her ‘how she could bear to still be in the room’.
2. The time we had to leave the chicken section of Waitrose because I was wearing flip-flops and we were standing too close to the fridge.
3. The time I woke her up because she had taken The New Yorker I was reading on the loo out of the loo, and I couldn’t finish finding out about a New York restaurant’s relocation to Brooklyn.
4. The time I was cross at myself because I told people I read, on average, a book a week, when in reality it’s more like two.
5. The time I was cross at my friend because she didn’t rush in to insist that I was being modest when I told people I read, on average, a book a week.
6. The time I was ‘disappointed’ because she bought cream-coloured toilet paper, and I think white looks better.
7. The time I yelled at her because she brought me a rocket ice lolly when I asked for a Fab.
8. The time I angrily recounted a story about a woman who stood too close to me during the weights section of a gym class.
9. The time I asked her to guess how old Nelly’s song ‘Ride wit me’ was and was furious when she mis-guessed 10 years old, rather than 15 years old.
10. The time I suggested that when she needed to sneeze, she could stand outside the flat, rather than in it, disturbing other people.

I will report back on how these changes have improved relations between us, but I overheard her on the phone recently mentioning my name several times in a highly impassioned manner, so I can only assume good things. Which brings me to 11. The time I was eavesdropping outside her bedroom and my little sister opened the door onto my foot.


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2 responses to “Please stop breathing, and other nuisances

  1. An Activist Abroad

    You are amazing. I love your style and even more I love your honesty. I actually used to hold my sister’s nose until she stopped breathing at night as a child. I couldn’t stand her breathing. At least you didn’t try to kill your sister, or did you miss that off the list?!!

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