Friday, April 25, 2008

Rant: Sibling Rivalry

For better or worse, I was given a brother and two stepbrothers, but today I'll concentrate on my brother. We're three years apart, which I think is perfect because we have things in common, watch the same shows and generally get along (which only happened after I moved out for college).

But despite this age difference, my brother is still my biggest rival. We don't have to fight for our parents attention anymore, but somehow I still view everything between us as a competition. While I have a good job and was recently promoted, am financially independent and stable and lead the "city life," Andy still holds the biggest cards: he's getting married, his wedding and honeymoon are free and he's the baby.

Somehow when you stack those achievements next to each other, he's still the winner. Today he informed me that his fiancee might be looking to leave teaching because of the unstable job market in Wisconsin and that her godfather might "hook her up" for a bank job that pays $70k. Andy exaggerates but there was something about this comment that made me snap.

It seems that no matter how hard I work to be successful, Andy always catches the breaks. He has never had to take a job to survive and has had it cushy his entire life, thanks to everyone around him. His wedding and honeymoon are basically free and his fiancee supports them both financially while he's out of work. I mean how much better could it get for him? 

And hearing my own grandparents say that they didn't think they'd live to see another happy event (aka a grandkids wedding), it makes me feel like a failure and at Christmas when they gave my brother and his fiancee an antique crystal unity candle holder because "someone should have it," I felt like I had hit pretty much rock bottom. I know comparing me to him is not the same thing, but for anyone who has a sibling, you know the competition that can exist between you and how crazy they can make you.

So I don't have any profound thoughts, just a rant for today. This might be a bit too personal, but contrary to popular belief, I am actually very sensitive on certain things.


Stephanie said...

I may not be too much help (I'm an only child), but don't compare yourself to him. Success should be measured in happiness. Are you usually happy? From your blog, it seems like it. Thus you're a success!

Maxie said...

I hate how no matter how different you can be from a sibling you will ALWAYS be compared. My sister and I are so different and we're 11 years apart so we don't get compared that much, but I always feel like my grandmother thinks she's a bigger success b/c she has children. and I don't even want them anytime soon!

Anonymous said...

Dear, when you have been working longer, you will realize that your job, anyone's job is fleeting - you need to measure happiness by your own standards. when this "banker" job materializes and if your future sister-in-law is happy overall you maybe should comtemplate why you aren't happy. unfortunately you also need to realize that males do not have a biological clock so their attitudes and expectations place on them by society are different. it is unacceptable for males to stay at home & nuture in a lot of circles within society.

not.a.diva said...

i totally understand how annoying this can be. i have tons of siblings but only 1 older and though no one compares us, sometimes i mentally compare myself to her and think 'geez.' I mean really, i'm not doing to shabby myself but she bought her own condo (on her own), a new car (on her own)...-needless to say i have neither of these things. BUT! Then I become motivated - because she did it on her own - so I know I can do it too. I know - not quite like your situation but I still kind of understand.

You know what though - sometimes when we have our 'real chats' (few and far between) I see that she admires some things about me and that i'm able to do because i don't have these commitments (mortgage etc.)...and I'm always so shocked to hear this from her. So you never know, secretly your brother could admire that you are your own person, work hard for your achievements living the single city life.

not.a.diva said...

but then again - i see people at work sometimes who only got their job because of a hook up and it busts my balls because nothing was ever handed out to me and i worked/work so damn hard.

lifeintheleftlane said...

I know what you mean. I love my little sister to death and we are super close, but she is about to graduate and may land a job that pays more than mine. I've been out of college for three years, but I work in PR. It doesn't make the money like business does. Plus she's graduating with two degrees while I only had one.

But I like to think that I played a role in where she is today. I had no big sister to help me with homework or no one to be the guinea pig for a lifetime of firsts. My experiences, positive or negative, probably helped shape her more than she knows.