When you have sisters, it’s hard to make the transition from seeing them as pesky siblings to seeing them as adults with whom you can actually be friends, but it’s one of the most worthwhile things you’ll ever do. There are things that grown up sisters should do together — to get to know each other, cement their bond, and, ultimately, have a stupidly good time. (And if you’re like my sisters and I, this good time probably involves wine and ‘90s era Celine Dion.)
I am the middle child of three girls, and I wasn’t always happy to have a female sibling on each side of me when I was growing up. As children, my sisters and I dealt with our fair share of rivalry and insecurity around each other, which usually led to bickering and, sometimes, real meanness toward each other. We had lots of good times together, too, but, as with many siblings as children, we tended to think of each other in more in the “have to love” category than in the “actually love” category. It wasn’t until we were adults, living separate lives, that we were able to really get to know each other on our own terms, without all of the competitiveness and anxiety of adolescence to get in the way. And it turned out that we actually really like each other. Who knew?
Read on for 13 things that you and your grown up sisters should do together:
1. Get to know each other.
You may be thinking, “Hey, I grew up with this person. I already know her better than anyone.” And, in some ways, that’s true — you and your sister have a history and a bond that you don’t share with other people. I firmly believe, however, that it’s important to get to know your adult siblings as adults, outside of your childhood home and away from your parents. When my older sister and I were both in college, I remember how strange it was to go get coffee together, not because we had to or because our parents were there, but because we wanted to hang out. And I remember feeling like I was making a new friend — with someone I had lived with for 17 years. It was weird and amazing.
2. Go on sister dates.
If you want to get to know someone — as a grown up, and not as your annoying little (or big) sister — you have to go to the effort of spending time together, on purpose, without your parents around. And once you are friends with your sis, you’ll want to make time to hang out together because you actually really enjoy each other’s company.
3. Drink wine! (If you want.)
What’s better after a long day than hanging out with your sisters and wine? Answer: Nothing. (Unless alcohol isn’t your thing, of course, in which case, switch out the word “wine” in the previous sentence for “enjoyable indulgence of your choice.”)
4. Travel together!
Whether it’s a simple road trip or an international dream vacation, traveling with sisters is crazy fun. And if you no longer live with your sisters, it’s a rare opportunity to spend a lot of time together.
5. Hang out with your parents.
I’ve stressed the importance of getting to know your siblings without your parents around, but that doesn’t mean you always have to cut the ‘rents out of your plans. I really love hanging out with my parents and sisters, and I’m sure my parents are relieved and amazed to see their formerly perpetually-squabbling daughters having fun together.
6. Get tattoos. (Er… maybe.)
If you like tattoos, getting one with your sister can be the ultimate bonding experience. (Um, just wait to do it until your sober. I can’t even count how many times that my sisters and I have decided, after one too many margaritas, that getting matching tats is the best idea EVER, only to be completely relieved when we wake up the next day ink-free. Thankfully, we have yet to carry out any of our truly awful tequila-induced tattoo ideas).
7. Raid each other’s closets.
What are sisters for, if not free hand-me-down clothes? It helps that my sisters both have better taste than me. I am always psyched when they clean out their closets.
8. Watch your favorite kids' movies together.
You can never see Beauty and the Beast too many times. It is an impossibility.
9. Vet each other’s S.O.s.
As a sister, it is your birthright to scrutinize your sibling’s potential romantic partners. If the partner passes muster, you celebrate. If he or she is objectively horrible, you are one of the few people who can intervene.
10. Get your DIY on.
Sisters are in that small group of loved ones that you can call on to help you paint your new living room, install floating shelves in the kitchen, or make four dozen cupcakes for your kid’s Halloween party. They know they’ll have fun working on crafty stuff with you (and that you’ll pay back the favor someday).
11. DANCE PARTIES.
Your sisters have seen the worst of you, and they love you anyway. And by “worst,” I mean “dance moves that more closely resemble the flailing of a toad that has been turned on its back than coordinated human movement.” So there’s nothing to stop you from rocking out to your heart’s song during impromptu dance parties in your sister’s living room.
12. Work Out.
Motivating oneself to exercise is always a little easier when you have a friend there to make it fun. Who better than a sister?
13. Have an old-school slumber party.
Every once in a while, grown up sisters need to rock like it’s 1996 with a good, old-fashioned slumber party. Activities will include Clueless, the aforementioned dance party, and playing the Sweet Valley High board game as a drinking game. (OK, that’s not exactly how you played it back in the day, but, c’mon, it’s better. After all, you have to have some way to drown your sorrows when Lila steals your prom date, right?)