When You're the Older Sister, & Your Younger Brother Is Getting Married

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

In May 2016, my younger brother married the love of his life, his perfect partner.  And I was not jealous because he got married first.


No, not really.  But you would have thought so based on the amount of times I was asked if I was okay with it.

My brother was tough.  As a kid, he suffered from separation anxiety and just getting him onto a school bus was a daily test of strength on my mother's part.  I love him, but holy crap he was a handful.

Thing continued like that for my brother after high school, until he started dating my sister-in-law at the ripe old age of 20 years old.  She brought out this strength and bravery in him that I'd never witnessed in him before.  While many of his issues about going to school and facing a classroom didn't fade away entirely, she helped him find new avenues to pursue and succeed in.  The moment I knew this relationship between them was the real deal was in the fall of 2013. They surprised me for my 25th birthday and we decided to take the two of them into the city for their first Manhattan trip.  There was my brother strolling through Times Square, no look of anxiety or fear on his face.  When I asked him about it later on, he said, "I was worried about making sure she didn't get lost, I didn't have time to think about how me."

My sister-in-law is the soulmate, destined partner for my brother (and I don't even believe in that stuff).  So when they got engaged, I was elated.  When they decided on a two year engagement, I thought "here we go."

Two years for strangers and family on the fringe to ask "how are you doing with all of this?" and "Maybe there will be someone for you at the wedding!"  What. Why.

100% of these frowning faced individuals were women.  My brother never left our hometown.  Meanwhile, I lived in New York, bounced around, traveled a tad within the United States.  I graduated college, had a steady job.  My life was far from perfect and I wasn't totally happy with every choice I made, but I was living my life based on the my choices.  That felt like total freedom and something to be celebrated.  These women, ranging in age from girls much younger to me to elderly women, couldn't help but to express their sympathies on my brother's impending nuptials.

So, really, ladies, what's up?  Why are we defining another woman's happiness based on whether her ring finger is barren?  Based on whether or not she has to watch a younger sibling race to the altar before she does?  Why are we still defining a woman's life journey on her relationship status?

My brother teared up as my sister-in-law walked down the aisle and truly the entire church broke down as well.  Two years later, we're expecting my little niece or nephew in September and I couldn't be more ecstatic. While it's hard to believe, happiness isn't just defined by what's happening to you, but can also include the amazing things happening to the ones you love.

1 comment

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