I spent this weekend at home with my little sister.
She turned 13 a couple weeks ago.
Which means she’s a teenager.
So naturally – she knows EVERYTHING.
To celebrate, I surprised her at home and spent the weekend shopping, getting our nails done and swimming.
I might have been playing big sis but she was schooling me the whole time.
Here are the top things I learned over this weekend. From my 13 year old sister. In no particular order.
1) Boys can be dismissed if they bore you with sports stats.
She said it calmly, with a classy hand wave, as if shoo-ing the imaginary boy in front of her away.
She’s 13 and already knows that boys’ evolutionary obsession with sports stats is bound to drive you nuts. This notion appears to be a given. What also appears to be a given, is that you can dump them for this reason.
Whereas my twenty-something counterparts are putting on jerseys and being the cool girlfriends, lil sis and her friends are rolling their eyes and deleting their numbers from their parent-provided cell phones.
Last week she was watching her new boyfriend play baseball. Today he is nowhere in sight.
Me: How’s Nicholas?
Lil Sis: He was boring me with sports stats.
2) Boyfriends have 3 duties. Bring you flowers, kiss you on the cheek and carry your stuff.
Holy shit. I’m doing it wrong.
Attention women everywhere: chivalry* is not dead. There’s an entire generation of middle school boys begging their moms to buy them flowers so they can give them to their “girlfriends.” In return, they’ll get to kiss them on the cheek and carry their stuff.
What a revelation!
Moving forward, it will be made clear that flowers are important. Kissing on the cheek is admissible. As is hauling my laundry upstairs.
It’s time to revert to real courtship… the middle school way.
3) Miley Cyrus sucks
I already knew this but it felt good to have it confirmed.
After her fantastic show of low moral value on stage at the VMA’s, I was thinking two things. Why do all my favorite Disney stars turn into train wrecks? And I hope lil sis isn’t watching this/liking this/planning on debuting new moves at her next co-ed “party.”
Luckily she’s not.
But it did make me think for a hot second about all those furious moms and dads out there whose little girls have Hannah Montana taped up all over their room. For a moment, I understood why they were pissed that precious Hannah turned out to be kind of a slut.
When lil sis told me about her feelings regarding Miley in the car, I was pretty impressed and relieved.
I didn’t want her to be upset.
Like Little Me is. Regarding her favorite redhead from The Parent Trap (the remake).
4) It’s the small things
I told her she could pick one big item or a few small ones at the nice mall as her present.
We went into stores she’s never shopped in and tried on clothing that cost the equivalent of my monthly apartment rent.
I figured she would be thrilled.
And she was.
By the size and décor of the fitting rooms.
The first had “the biggest pillows” she’d ever seen and a bench she wanted to lay on. The next one was “like a bedroom” where she wanted to “hang out all day.”
I was slightly bewildered but totally uplifted by this absurdly happy child, mesmerized by fitting rooms.
In the end, all she wanted (besides candy) was “cool yoga pants.”
Which I gladly bought her.
After she hung out in the fitting room for half an hour.
5) All it takes is a little “applesauce”
Teenagers are loud and hyper creatures.
I do remember being afflicted with this loud and hyper bug.
(there’s a chance I’m still suffering).
So you’d think living under the same roof for a few days with a child that resembles a bouncy ball would be easy.
But it does teach you a thing or two about happiness:
You can be happy whenever.
Her new thing with her friends is picking a “happy” word that they say constantly.
This month’s gem is “applesauce.”
She texts me this word, she calls to yell it over the phone, she uses it as code for things, she drives my dad up the wall singing about applesauce all day.
I wish I could explain it to you. Except I don’t totally get it.
All I know is that she can be having a bad practice at gymnastics and feeling down one second and then just totally uninhibited running around screaming “applesauce” the next.
My dad says “she’s just a happy child,” which makes me think about my 13-year old uninhibited hyper days and makes me want to run around being happy for no reason at all.
* Note: I looked up “Chivalry.” Wikipedia says that Chivalry is the traditional code of conduct associated with the medieval institution of knighthood. And I am totally down with this.