Maeve Higgins’s ideal . . . sister

Maeve Higgins

Maeve Higgins


I was in my room the other day, making some yoga phone calls. I simply concealed my caller ID, assumed the lifted half-crow pose, placed my phone on the floor and called my ex-husband.

Then I just had to wait for him to answer before I quietly, deeply, breathed in for 10 . . . and out for 10. That’s in for 10 . . . and out for 10.

The sound of his tiny, pleading “Just tell me what you want Maeve, please, anything to end this” etc, made me even more chilled than usual. I stayed with my breath, zoned out and began to imagine the ideal sister.

Strong: nobody wants a Beth Marsh, a weakling who’ll slip away on a sneeze. A great sister is a robust girl that you don’t have to worry about – a sturdy Welsh-pony style companion. She’s the guy you want on your side of the rope during a tug-o-war.

Infant: either she should be an infant, or she should own an infant. People that like babies say to them “Oooh I could eat you up”.

Well, I say this: “I want to debone you, tie the fillet with twine to leave overnight in a herby, garlicky
marinade, then slow roast you the next day and gobble you up in a crusty bread roll, with apple sauce.”

That’s how much I like babies.

Sexy: but not to me, heavens no. That would feel confusing. I want my dream sister to be sexy for herself – to walk like she’s got diamonds between her thighs.

Not with a crunching limp, I mean that metaphorically.

If she doesn’t feel sexy, she must keep applying lipstick, layer after layer, shade after shade, until she does.

Talented: your dream sister will have whatever qualities you may be lacking. Take twins – there’s always one clever, musical one and one dozy, tone-deaf one. It’s about balance, you see.

My ‘thing’, my deficiency is this . . . I’m too nice. You know? That’s basically my only flaw – I’m just this super sweet girl. It’s awful. Really hard for me.

So, I need a tough-talking sister, someone who will say “we’re sorry, but this adoption is not working out the way she thought, so you have to go back to the orphanage” as I peep out from behind her, smiling and
shrugging to reinforce what a tricky situation it is.

Ever ready to defend you: no matter what you do, say, borrow your
ex-husband’s new wife’s car, or don’t do, return your ex-husband’s new wife’s car, she will stand by you. When I’m incarcerated, my dream sister
will bake a cake with a file in it so I can keep my nails pretty until she bails me out.

Right by my side: no point in having a sister who gallivants around while you’re stuck in a toilet cubicle without paper.

She’s got to be there, co-dependant as the day is long, and the days will be long, especially around the holidays when it’s just us, for keeps.

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