I Wish I Had an Elder Sister

April 29, 2022

On one random Monday morning, as my mother forbade me from wearing a backless dress, I realised I needed back up. 

For the past month, I’ve had a crisis that boils down to the fact that a lot of girls my age have a cheat code in life. That cheat code is known as an elder sister. 

All my life, I’ve had to navigate everything on my own. I never had a big sister to warn me about the dating scene in the Sodom and Gomorrah called Lagos state, about men who exist to cause you nothing but stress and friendships that can’t last longer than the brunches and instagram pictures. 

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Many heartbreaks and breakdowns later, I have gathered a few lessons myself. Imagine if I didn’t have to go through all of that, if I had a sister I could tell about all the stupid messages I was receiving at 2 a.m., and who’d have slapped some sense into my head?

She’d have gone on dates and told me the places to avoid, the best places to meet people, and how she gets access to places not everyone had access to. She’d tell me how to notice jealous friends, and my heart would have been spared a lot of damage. It’s like having a guide book from a happening babe that understands your situation. 

I’d also never have to worry about clothes. Currently, my mum and I share clothes, but she’s over thirty years older than me. Is she the one I’ll be borrowing bad bitch clothes from? The clothes from her bad bitch days that she still has can’t fit me. I’m distressed every single time she offers me one of her dresses. Where’d I wear her lace maxi dresses with puffy shoulders? I understand that she’s just doing her best, but it just doesn’t work. 

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I long for moments when I can borrow clothes from someone only a few years older than me. Someone who’d style me and use me to practise her makeup skills while also teaching me a thing or two. I’m 20 years old, and I don’t know what a fucking primer is. It’s not that I didn’t want to know, but I never had access to these things when people my age did. Now, I’m scouring the internet for videos and tips, but it doesn’t work like that. It’s not clicking, and I am losing my mind. 

Every time my mother complains a dress of mine is too revealing, I wish I had someone to cover for me. Not just with the outfits, but with staying out late, going to see my friends and just calming my mum down when she’s vexing with me. If I try to calm her down myself after I’ve fucked up, she’d deck me. Why would I put myself in a situation to collect random decking? 

Having an elder sister is like having your own cheerleader, best friend, second mum, teacher and confidant. I have to look for all of these things in different people, and to say I’m not jealous of those who have them in one person is a lie. 

Obviously, I know not all elder sisters act the same, and I might have fought mine every day, and twice on Sundays, but she’d be my sister. 

I crave a connection like that, but since I can’t have one, I’m going to have to continue figuring life out, one hard lesson at a time. 

RELATED: I’m Lonely and Sometimes Wish I Had a Larger Family 

Zikoko is launching a new series where we explore those friendships, familial and romantic relationships that are no longer sailing. 

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