‘Periods Aren’t Scary’ And Other Things A Brother Learned From Growing Up With A Sister

You realise that a lot of men are shit heads, and other things Sam Diss learned from growing up with a little sister

'Periods Aren't Scary' And Other Things A Brother Learned From Growing Up With A Sister

by Sam Diss |
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Having a sister is brilliant. You learn things that are way out of your tiny frame of reference and are taught invaluable lessons for future relationships. Another thing about having a sister is that they are also fu. Cking. Terri. Fying.

For every lesson learned there’s a 'shitting yourself about whether or not some guy’s made her cry over a Nando’s.' Here’s a quick run-down of things (good and bad) that I’ve learnt from growing up with a sister:

Trash TV fixes everything

Like, seriously. I had no idea that pretty much anything in your life could be cured by just sitting in front of the television watching Keeping Up With The Kardashians and Cake Boss until your eyes bleed. They should really tell doctors this stuff.

I guess it’s just a nice way to reconvene the things that you really care about - being in the comfort of your own home with the people you love and watching a quite bad television show about a gobby New Jersey baker.

Men are shit

I’d never really realised that the majority of men think they have carte blanche to act like utter pricks just because they were born a bloke. One guy at her job grabbed her arse and told her that he was going to sleep in the staff room for a bit because he was on a killer comedown and she just kind of had to accept it because well, I don’t know. She’s not allowed to come in with anything approaching a hangover, but when she complained about this muppet she got a big fat shrug from her manager.

For real, what is up with that? Whether they’re guys on the pull (lifting up a random girl’s skirt is apparently a form of courting now) or at work (making a female colleague do your work while you nip off down the bookies is apparently a form of working now), men seem to be Grade fucking A shit-heels. It really makes you question yourself: am I biologically pre-disposed to act like a proper mug too?

The answer is probably yes. And yet, she always managed to gravitate towards to worst ones…

…especially DJs

I mean, who else but a guy who presses play for a living thinks that doing things like 'Inviting my sister on a "date" to his club night and making her buy tickets for her and all her friends and then not talking to her for the whole time' is a cool thing to do? I’ll save you the hassle of working it out because the answer is fucking nobody.

I’ve got a lot of time for music - what a hot take that is - but who decided that DJs were cool? Have you ever seen a DJ dance along to their own mix? They hop and nod about looking like they’re wearing a back-brace and need a right bad piss.

Being a Dad is tough

My dad was terrified of having a daughter. He never let it show but he’d occasionally say things like 'Having a daughter is terrifying' and I can see why: as a brother you’re prone to protection bordering on overly-so but as a dad you’re protective of something that is LITERALLY A PART OF YOU and is also an INVESTMENT. Recent estimates say raising a child to the age of 18 costs around £62,000. Now try and imagine an idiot eighteen-year-old trying to take £62,000 of your money out on a date - you’d be vibrating with rage.

But my dad, bless him, was a trier. He’d attempt to educate her in a world my mum suggested we were better off not knowing; trouble is, he’d try to both overcompensate and consolidate his fatherly duties. One day he sat both my sister (aged 12) and me (aged 15) down at the same time and told us about the dangers of sexually-transmitted diseases, drug abuse and people trafficking*. It was, uh… Quite full-on.

*Just checked and Taken came out that year so that might explain that last bit.

Periods aren’t that scary

Speaking as someone who’s never had to experience one and is therefore definitely an expert in this field: Periods are painful and uncomfortable and really, really annoying but they’re not the evil, shameful things I was lead to believe they were.

I’m not really sure when it was that I twigged but it was definitely influenced by all the times my sister was off out despite having cramps - a lot of people seem to think you should be hiding your shame with the curtains drawn for five days a month, but here she was acting like nothing was wrong. That was when I realised hey, fair fucking play to her; I bet they are really rubbish, but life doesn't stop.

Everyone under 16 looks EXACTLY THE FUCKING SAME

Genuinely, I’m not even kidding. Every single one. They’re all identical and they all have exactly the same name.

'Oh hey, I’m your sister’s friend!'


'We met at her birthday in January?'


'I was in your house with her literally yesterday?'

'So yeah, I’ve got to take this, er, call…'

grabs a banana, jumps out a fucking window

Taking the blame is fine

This one could probably be widened out into 'don’t be selfish because it’s shite and helps nobody' but this is the part I’ve learnt the best: sometimes it’s okay to take the blame.

There are times when you have to say things like 'Yep, that bottle of vodka is mine' and 'Yep, those cigarettes are mine' and 'Yep, I kinda dented your car' and it’s totally okay to do that if you’re protecting someone you care about.

You weigh things up and decide what’s more important: keeping the person you love safe and out of trouble or getting a bit of a bollocking for a bit. It’s the former that wins out pretty much every single time.

Protecting things is so tiring

A bit like what my dad was going through, I guess, but my only investment in my sister had been love and a couple of birthdays where I’d actually bought her a decent present.

Protecting someone you love is tiring in that you can’t just switch it on and off and you’re constantly fucking terrified. In your head they are just a fifteen-year-old girl who can’t protect themselves against a world filled with terrible things and worse people. In reality that’s pretty much true but there’s nothing much you can do about it: the only thing you can do is provide a support structure (“PLEASE RING ME IF YOU GET IN TROUBLE, PLEASE”) and let them do their thing. If you don’t let them do their thing they’ll a) resent the hell out of you b) go and marry a drug-dealer just to teach you a lesson.

What a shitty lesson that’d be.

Cheese is great

My sister introduced me to the concept of eating cheese as a hobby and for that, Nancy, I am eternally grateful.

They sort of help you in your future relationships

My sister is a hairdresser so now I know what a tint and all that shit is, so I can have THOSE conversations if need be, but it goes much deeper than that. You learn to be way more respectful of women from a young age because, guess what, one of your best friends and favourite people is one.

This helped me hugely in talking to women (which is mad-hard) and keeping women as friends, too. You dump all of the playground notions of boys versus girls and of “friend-zones” and you realise… swelling soundtrack chords …That, in the end, we are all the same except some of us have boobs.

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Follow Sam on Twitter: @samdiss

Picture: Maggy Van Ejik** **

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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