1. When you won that college scholarship for exceptional high school students from the Golden Nugget Casino—and the whole family got invited to Atlantic City to watch you collect your award, stay overnight in the hotel and meet with casino magnate Steve Wynn under a giant chandelier—I thought you were a total rock star. I couldn't believe that, at the age of 17, you'd already achieved international fame. At least, that was how it seemed to your 14-year-old sister, who wasn't particularly interested in school and who spent her free time roller-skating and making obstacle courses in the backyard. I know you were a little embarrassed. But to me, you'd singlehandedly transported our family, with our beat-up station wagons and discount clothes, to a whole new realm of glamour and possibility.

2. That time I tried to borrow Pardon Me, You're Stepping on My Eyeball! (Or was it Harriet the Spy?) and you made me check it out of your personal "library," complete with hand-stamped return date, I admit I thought you were totally uptight. But then, I used to be the type who didn't return things, who was always late for everything, who was always making excuses. Eventually, I began to realize what you'd somehow always known and were possibly trying to teach me that day—that leading a responsible life also makes for a happy life. And that drama is less exciting than it is stressful.

3. I know you think I'm unnaturally obsessed with skincare. However, a microscopic dollop of moisturizer on your index finger, applied to your face, is not enough! At our age, you need to slather it on—nightly. And while I know your "to-do" list is long, there's simply no reason for you to be walking around with chaffed cheeks on your very pretty face.

Next: What I wish you'd do when I'm upset...


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