"So, do you have any siblings?" is the start to a conversation that only children are tired of hearing. It's the conversation that brings around annoying phrases that you have memorized with the help of time and are now dusting off and presenting out loud. Often the other person tells you some kind of anecdote that is neither here nor there but both parties pretend not to notice. This conversation sucks. I hate having this conversation.
I have a lot of mixed feelings about being an only child. I know in the grand scheme of things it doesn't really matter and is not really a character defining trait, but I cannot help let it affect me. I personally really hated being an only child, and only recently have started to see the benefits. I still sometimes have moments where I start to be sad about it, but then I remember that I was lucky enough that my parents were able to help me out with college tuition, and suddenly I feel a little better.
I think that people have a weird assumption about only children that I have found to be not true. Kind of like the one people have about home schooled kids versus kids that go to a school. The one that thinks they are not as well adjusted because they didn't get to socialize. Or that they are spoiled. Trust me, I wish I was spoiled. I dream about being spoiled. Unfortunately money is a thing, so I never got to be spoiled.
While being spoiled is the goal, what I really wish, is to stop hearing the following things that all only children are tired of hearing:
1. "Oh, You're An Only Child? That Explains It."
What does that even mean? Whenever I ask, the other person always gives me one of two answers:
- "You just seem like you have siblings," or
- "You act like you're an only child."
They are two fundamentally different ideas that are meant as opposites. How I can I be both, depending on whom I ask? Clearly, you guys with siblings need to get together and have a meeting or something, just to better define your ideas.
2. "You Must Have Grown Up With Money."
Here is the thing about money: You can have siblings or you can be the only child. It doesn't matter. Sometimes people just don't have money. Or sometimes they do. And often that affects parents' decisions whether or not to have more kids in the first place, so this is a touchy subject nobody should be bringing up, regardless of your sibling situation.
3. "You're So Lucky!"
Really? You think we are lucky? You have someone that you can share your entire life with that will love you unconditionally and sometimes talk to you about their crush! You have a built-in best friend, a playmate and confidant all in one! And you think we are lucky!? Check yo self!
4. "I Hate My Sibling..."
No, you don't. You love them, but you just argue a ton because you are basically made out of the same gene ingredients. Even if you don't like your sibling, there will always be something there to bond the two of you in a way that only children didn't even get a chance to experience.
5. "Did I Ever Tell You About This One Time (Blank) And I Did (Blank)?"
Yes. Yes, you did. I heard about that one story about you and your sibling. It's your only good story.
6. "I Got All The Hand-Me-Downs."
Hey, at least you got something. And also, those are some pretty nice things! Like games and gameboys. Then cars! You got 'em for free, so at least be appreciative. Plus let's be real, families with siblings tend to get way more "big ticket" items since a bunch more of you are enjoying it and your parents can justify the purchase. Only kids don't get that kinda swag.
7. "I Wish I Was An Only Child."
No, you don't. But that's OK. We forgive you.
Images: ABC; Giphy