Growing up with older brothers is like trying to walk to the bathroom in the middle of the night. You never feel quite safe and you always end up with random bruises all over your body.
Being the ‘baby’ of the family, in any situation definitely comes with its downfalls. However, being the ‘baby’ of a family full of boys (four brothers in my case) is overtly challenging, frightening and weird to say the least. I’m sure anyone who grew up with at least more than one older brother can relate to what I learnt over the years.
Bringing home boys will never be a positive experience.
This is possibly the most notable of all points. You think it’s bad having to introduce a guy to your dad? Try having your dad and four older brothers glaring at your newest man friend across the table like they’re ready to pull a baseball bat out from under their chair. It’s like a freakin’ episode of The Bachelor (home visit edition).
The only difference is at my home said Bachie would basically be walking into a ring of roided up pitbulls ready to tear off his nether regions rather than a neatly manicured family with slightly disapproving looks on their face. Then there’s nothing like easing the tension with the classic one liner that us little sister will never hear the end of, “hurt my little sister and you are fucking dead."
Welcome to the family. You will quickly realise that it is safest for all parties involved if family interactions are delayed for as long as possible.
2. You will cultivate an extremely dirty mind.
You will probably find yourself making penis jokes or laughing at fart noises more than the average female and that’s because your brothers are fucking disgusting, which means you kind of are too.
You can either choose to be disgusted in yourself, or take your quick-witted, hilarious, dirty mind as an impressing attribute that differs you from other females. However, when your brothers, who taught you all of this disgusting stuff in the first place, are starting to be repulsed by the things that you're saying, maybe it's time to take it down a notch.
3.You will learn that usually when they willingly invite you to be involved in fun things, there will be an ulterior motive.
Don’t be fooled little sister. Mattresses and sleeping bags being pulled out does not mean a lounge room sleepover is about to occur, but that you are about to be flung down the stairs on a not-so-smooth slippery dip.
This also relates to you being used as a trial and muse for everything and anything. I don’t know how many times I ran full speed into the hedge out the front of my house dressed in snow gear, or got tied to the pool table for hours at a time. Is there anything we won’t do to be included in a game?
4. You will eventually stop being fazed by gross male habits.
I swear I went through a new toothbrush every week after consistently gagging with a mouthful of facial hair. Well at least I hope it was facial hair. There is also nothing quite like an unflushed toilet with the seat up or the smell of week old protein shakes stinking out the room to turn you off your breakfast. Oh, but if you leave a tampon wrapper lying around, you’re disgusting.
5. You will get told "you're not going out of the house wearing that" practically every day.
What do you mean I can't wear shorts in summer? I am sure we can all relate to dramatically falling to the floor in tears screaming to yourself “I have no clothes” or “why does everything look so shit on me?” And then after hours of outfit changes you finally find something that you feel good about yourself in and then your brothers decide to put in their two cents.
Try having four males comment on how 'slutty' or 'fat' you look in the one thing you felt comfortable in. Your brothers are guaranteed to make you feel worse than you did in the first place.
6. You will quickly realise that hanging around guys creates much less drama.
You will more than likely have more male friends than female friends. Although the protectiveness of your brothers can at times get beyond annoying, when male friends start to become like brothers, their caring and endearing nature comes to light.
Although you have endured frustrating, embarrassing and frequently awkward encounters, the thicker skin they have provided you with is definitely a blessing in disguise. Who would have thought that being flung down a mattress when you were younger would amplify your creative flare? Maybe the weirdly wonderful things you endured as a little sister have made you be able to have fun in the strangest of situations now as you're always forced to think outside of the box.
You can probably attribute any excessive drinking habbits to them too.
Most of all, consider yourself lucky as you’re already a step ahead in being prepared for the day when you might choose to live with a real life male. Actually, on second thought, maybe getting a dog would be easier to handle and less smelly.
Image: Gem van Heyst
Angela van der Horst is a 22-year-old who's idea of a perfect world is living in a mansion by the beach with a thousand French Bulldogs and drinking champagne all day. If she's not writing every weird thought that comes to mind in her iPhone notes, you'll probably find her curled up in bed scrolling through every page on Netflix and never actually deciding on a movie. Angela blogs at angvdh.wordpress.com or you can follow her on Instagram @ang_vdh.