Hands Off My Sister

There’s something repulsively Freudian about the way men worry about their daughters and sisters. Once puberty hits, things start to grow, peers start to leer, and male family members collaborate to ensure their precious lady-folk survive adolescence as white, unsullied flowers of sexual virtue. It’s weird.

On the other hand, my family didn’t have to worry excessively about my sisters. Between the three of them, puberty wasn’t exactly perfume, brooding and breasts. Instead, there were orthodontic braces, underbites, gangly limbs, perms, severe myopia, orthodontic plates, rainbow glasses and thick eyebrows. To seal the deal, Dad insisted they all keep their hair short, to the extent that one of my sisters was once ushered out of female toilets and into the men’s. Adolescence didn’t coincide with a sultry Lolita-esque sexual discovery for them. No, they had scoliosis instead.

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A Day In The Life Of My Mother

In both the realms of quantum physics and anthropology, it’s often said that you can’t observe something without changing whatever you’re observing. It’s a profound statement—one I probably first heard watching Jurassic Park or something—and it came to mind when I watched my mother pull out a yoga mat she hadn’t used in months, and lay it in front of the television.

You see, usually, when I gently suggest she should exercise more, Mum dismisses me. In her mind, she doesn’t really see the point. “But all your kids have left home now,” I tell her, “so you’ve got the time. You really should be moving that body. It’s good for you, and you’ll sleep better.” So I suggest a few things to her: getting back into yoga, going for walks, learning to swim. Continue reading