My Sister This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   My sister came home ecstatic the other day and explained to my family how she had to have these Life Saver Holes that had just hit the market. Do you know what "has to have" means? It means that my sister won't stop nagging. She jumps around, actually climbs on my mother's back, and smiles that cutesy smile of hers while swaying her head from side to side.

"Mommy do you think you could take me to the drugstore really quickly?" she asks in a teeny voice, adding a large smile. When my mom rejects her, she doesn't give up. And when my sister wants something, she doesn't kiss up to my parents. She gets revved up as if someone had wound up a crank, like on a jack-in-the-box and then she pops out. I have to tell you my mother's not a jack-in-the-box lover and you'd think my sister would know it by now. My mother is not one for following the crowd. She does things the way she wants them done. She wears what she wants and acts the way she wants. She values friendship, life and long-term goals far more than what somebody wears or owns. My mother is not obsessed with keeping up with the latest tennis outfit style like some people I know. And she works for a living. And through her work she must see at least a couple of people a day who are obsessed with fads. Well, okay, she's a shrink, but she has worked out a lot of peoples' problems in the past, so why shouldn't she be able to change my sister around? My sister would just be another tough patient, right? But it's not quite that simple. Like I was saying, my sister doesn't give up.

"Pleeeassssse?" My sister says "please" like it has eighteen syllables. My mom usually rolls her eyes, possibly adding a "Rachel, I have a lot of work tonight." In which case Rachel may try my father, who only asks if her homework is done. Rachel knows to say yes to the homework question, no matter what the situation is. She can't lose with my father. One time my sister wanted a hamster. My parents were not keen on the idea of her getting a "rat," as my father said. But she kept persisting until my parents finally gave in. And guess who cleans the cage every week? Guess who takes care of it and makes sure it has food? If you guessed my sister, you're wrong. My father does all the work for the animal farm we have in our house, consisting of a bird, rabbit, hamster and dog.

Pets aren't the only thing she gets out of my parents. We've been through Barbie dolls, Rainbow Bright, and so much "crapola" as my mother says, that you can barely even walk through our attic. There are boxes and boxes of the stuff, you know, the stuff that everyone has for four days before it goes out of style. It's also not just "things" my sister's into. She and all her friends wear their hair tucked neatly behind the ears. They mimic each other's handwriting, right down to the "i" dotted with a heart. They dress the same and even act the same. They're all just little clones of each other.

"Everybody has Life Saver Holes," she remarked, which seemed to be a logical explanation for why she had to have these things. When she says "everybody," I know that's not true. For example, I don't have Life Saver Holes and neither do any of my friends. I guess she just says that so my parents will feel sympathetic or something, because she's the only person who doesn't have what "everybody has." I don't see what the big deal is about these holes. I can just imagine how a man working in the Life Saver factory came up with the brilliant idea to sell the holes that they punched rather than throwing them away. It's not like it took any amount of effort whatsoever to save the holes. Never mind this fantasy of mine, the whole fourth grade is now obsessed with these "bite size" little fifty-cent candies that don't taste any different from Life Savers. If you've never seen these holes, it's worth going to check them out. They're sold in a plastic container that's designed to look like a real Life Saver package and you pop open the lid to pour out all the candies. To think that some guy who probably drinks coffee and eats donuts all day while punching holes out Life Savers for a living could send the whole fourth grade into pandemonium is mind-boggling. Well, I guess we had fads like that when I was in fourth grade. Back then Docksider shoes were in. You had to have them if you wanted to be cool and you had to tie them in a little knot sticking away from the shoe. Wait a minute. (Did I say, "Had to have?") Well, anyway, I remember I was the last person in the grade to purchase a pair of them. I was embarrassed to show my feet in school. I mean, even the uncool kids had them. And by the time I dragged my mother to the shoe store and she spent forty dollars for them, they had gone out of style and Keds were in.

A while ago it was slap bracelets, before that Ninja Turtles that were "in." I suppose fourth grade is the time when all these trends occur. What'll be next? Edible slime? Maybe Velcro ceilings to clean up rooms, or talking erasers. I'm not going to spend any more time talking about Holes. I have to go see the new movie "The Public Eye" before I'm the last person in my grade to see it. n


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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