My sister and I share many things: genetic code, annoyance with my brother’s protein shakes, and, so I’m told by my parents, many other wonderful qualities. However, one of our shared traits has always stood out to me above the others, this being (what else?) our taste in men. Try as we may to escape it, some evil Freudian wiring has kept my sister and I at the mercy of the same celebrities and, even worse, absolute hunks in our daily lives.
Never mind that we have a five-year age gap or that standing next to each other, we look like pre- and post-rehab versions of the same celebrity: these shared crushes have brought us together. By that, I mean that tears have been shed, Tiger Beat magazines ripped, hair pulled, and scenes made in public. Women on The Bachelor only wish they could spar with the same level of verbal acidity and absolute spite that my sister and I have subjected our family and friends to for the better part of a decade.
Most notably, I recall a snafu in Walgreens in which I tried to physically blockade Cira from walking out of the store with a One Direction fan magazine, resulting in a screaming match for which my poor mom became a reluctant referee.
Please enjoy this photo of my journal entry (July 2012) commemorating the occasion.
Like most of my sister and I’s shared crushes, it wasn’t so much the crush itself I resented as the direct assault on my “quirkiness.” Yes, with the heyday of One Direction now far behind, I can admit with slightly less embarrassment that I thought my love for them literally transcended social norms. For context, this was the year I dyed my side bangs pink and wrote the words to “The A Team” on all my binders because no one could possibly understand the relevancy lyrics about a homeless meth-head-turned-prostitute had to my sheltered middle school existence! (a hint: none).
That Cira suddenly knew and loved One Direction was my first wakeup call to the crushing price of hipsterdom: the others will always catch on. If I were Copernicus discovering the heliocentricity of the solar system, I wouldn’t say a damn thing about it; no way. I’d just stay in my stone-wall chambers and congratulate myself on my scientific edge-lord status all day.
More recently, I’ve begun to think the issue may be that I just don’t want to be similar to my sister. I don’t like the idea that this girl who I trapped in an elevator at age six and who, in revenge, stole many of my finest ironic T-shirts over the years, could be my kindred spirit in any sense. In love with Chandler Bing from Friends? Me too. Wondering how Timothée Chalamet possesses both the sharp-jawed machismo of an anime character and the delicacy of a doily? Of course, I am, Cira!
When we intersect in the spheres of fantasized romance and stalker-y crushes, it makes me feel guilty that we’ve spent so much time retracting in real life. Reminders that, at heart, we’re both just hyperintense, emotionally unavailable freaks hit too close to home sometimes. Like that one time when my sister begged me to “please, please” find a way to meet (translation: date) Timothée Chalamet so that she could at least be in his physical and social proximity. Those might as well have been the words of 15-year-old me, or hell, even me now.
It’s nice to know that when we’re not separately plotting the other’s demise, we’re harboring the same chaotic-neutral energy I think would make us a killer D&D team. Though Cira will never understand my fleeting-but-intense crush on Marc Maron, who she described as “that old man” or why I consider Orson Welles a sex symbol (ugh, has she even seen Citizen Kane?), our numerous shared loves occasionally wipe aside our layers of difference. Leonardo DiCaprio is our Switzerland in this world war-esque relationship and Titanic our peace treaty.
Most likely, Cira will call me in a week wondering if I can pick her up at school or randomly reminding me of that time I fell while working at a taco place and sent the whole restaurant into awed silence by spilling salsa across my entire body. I will, inevitably, be highly irritated and probably tempted to ignore her. But then I’ll think, no, she’s not that bad. She’s a 5/10 sister, not a 2/10 sister. She loves Antoni Porowski and that alone at least doubles her value as both my sister and a general human being. I’ll heed the call, not for sisterhood, per se, but for the things that make it so evident.