Three brothers. Eight male cousins. A rowdy but good-natured childhood.
« You’re surrounded by boys. » »You’re a tomboy. » « You play with Hotwheels instead of Barbies. » « You dress like your dad. »
Growing up in a family full of boys, people would always tell me stuff like this almost every day. I have two sisters but they were the girly-girl types who played with Barbie and dress-up games, whereas I spent most of my childhood wrestling with my three brothers and eight male cousins, or playing Mortal Kombat on the PS2 with them.
In all honesty, growing up with guys is one of the best things in life I could ever imagine. Now that we’re all grown up and some already have a family of their own, and others will soon build one (eek), it’s a blessing to have grown up with people I know would never turn their backs on me. It’s a bloody privilege and I’m forever grateful.
1. Never turn down a challenge
Boys are competitive. If a challenge surfaces and they smell it, they grab it without hesitation. Saying no to a game in front of my brothers and cousins brings humiliation to their « manliness » so defying to any sort of challenge is not an option. It was like living with the Mafia.
2. Make-up? What make-up?
The first time you put make-up on was like trying to navigate your way out of a remote planet. You wondered what the eye-liner or mascara was for. You then realized that kicking a ball around was much better than trying to look like Sara with no H ‘coz H’s are EW!
3. You hated putting on a dress or a skirt.
Dresses and skirts were a bane to my existence. No matter how much I cried, begged and pleaded, my mum and aunties would always run after me and try squeeze me into Zara dresses. Mind you, they were absolutely gorgeous clothes but I always got jealous whenever I saw my brothers and cousins wearing jeans or shorts.
4. Because over sized tops and jogging pants and a baseball hat were all much better.
Your wardrobe consists of second-hand over-sized tops and shorts because they go perfectly well with your pig tails, or sometimes sweaty, unruly hair.
5. No other boys allowed
The first time I mentioned a guy’s name, this was their reaction:
This photo goes out to my cousin who knows who my former and present crush(es) are.
6. Bruises were better than Barbies.
Bruises were among the things I enjoyed getting as a child. We had this saying that if you had a massive one on your forehead, « you’re in, mate. » NOW POUND IT!
7. There is always food fight on the table
Boys eat like there’s literally no tomorrow. Dinner always results in a food brawl because your brother ate your chicken wings and your cousin drank your milkshakes and you’re left with nothing but seafood salad.
8. You never learned to walk in high-heels.
At 20, I still struggle to walk straight on a pair of heels. That’s why whenever my friends and I go shoe-shopping, I always opt for the flat ones and only try putting on heels when I’m alone in my room because, well… the photo below says it all.
9.Over-protective brothers/cousins are annoying.
Sometimes, they are worse than your own parents but I love that. If something happens to you, they’ll immediately text you and ask you your whereabouts. They’ll give you advice about boys and their perspectives towards love and romance.
10. Still, there are no other set of people you would rather live with.
Because nobody understands you but them.