In Like Mandarin, 14-year-old Grace Carpenter would give anything to be like 17-year-old Mandarin Ramey -- the bold, carefree wild girl of their small Wyoming town. Many people I've spoken to experienced that sort of longing as a teen -- a longing to be like someone else. A friend, a sister, a celebrity, an acquaintance, a cousin, a teacher or, as in Grace's case, a girl you thought had no idea you existed. I know I did!
Wow, this topic strikes at a timely moment. As a teen, there were two people i wanted to be 'just like'. The first, my oldest sister. At 11 years older she was all growned up and seemed to know everything (still tells me she does) yet she still took time to hang out with me. Me!
But that had been the same since I was born.
When I was 13 my mother re-married and we moved into his house. My two older sisters lived out of home by then, as did his two sons. But his daughter... At 9 years older than me and the complete opposite of me (super-cool, dropped out of school to work, did i mention super-cool?) she had the type of personality that made a shy, awkward teen want to hide in a corner. But she didn't let me. We became friends and she talked to me about her problems (I'd like to think I was wise... LOL) and told me about her big nights out. Sigh. I felt confided in and special. Even when she moved 13 hours away I would go to stay with her in my holidays. Sadly, we lost contact when my mother passed away and I got married. Thanks to the wonders of the internet we've been catching up a little recently and I was floored to learn yesterday that she is very ill. Her kids aren't even grown.
So, I'm happy to say proudly, when I was a teen one of the people I would have given anything to be like was my step-sister.
Who did you want to be?