My friend, Lauren--the only child in a family of 3--makes it no secret that she suffers from a chronic disease she has affectionately self-diagnosed as: Sibbling Envy.
This, to me, is hilarious. Mostly because my childhood--as the oldest of ten kids--was jam packed with more than a fair share of this:
[SMACK]... "That's MY jump rope! And I WANT IT BACK!!!!"... [Tries to take jump rope back by force]....[SCREECH]...."NOOOOOOO!!!!!".... [Throws jump rope down and proceeds to pull hair and claw eyes out]
Mmmmm. Yeah. Gimme some o' dat!
But I can't fault Lauren for her envy-ing. Because, I'll be honest, I suffer from a little envy myself. Not the I'm envious-because-I-want-to-be-an-only-child-syndrome (although, there were times growing up when I most certainly DID suffer from that!) No, the disease to which I owe my fondest suffering to is a bad case of: Best Friend Envy.
I have no best friend.
Oh, I've had PLENTY of friends, don't get me wrong. And during the different times and seasons in my life, I've always had one friend that I hung out with the most.
But I don't have THAT best friend... the ONE best friend you've had since you were 5 year old kindergarten students drinking the nasty chocolate milk from the school lunch line. The same girl who holds your hand when your crappy boyfriend dumps you in high school. The loyal friend who enrolls in the same college as you, just because you both can't bear the thought of 4 years on separate campuses. And the same girl who is later the maid of honor at your wedding and the godmother to your first baby.
Seriously people, I've got Best Friend Envy. Bad.
The cruel irony of this, is that my parent's response to my epic I-will-NOT-share-a-room-with-my-little-sister-Lisa-while-in-high-school temper tantrum, was:
"You know what Julie? Someday, Lisa will be your best friend."
[Boo! Hiss! Moan!]
Just so you know... this is me and my little sister today:
Okay, so maybe they were right.
But that doesn't stop me from being envious.
And because, of course, I'm a nice all-knowing creator of my writing universe, I made CERTAIN that my main character, Essie, had a best friend: Charlize Braxton.
However, now that I think about it, its so ironic, because after a while [**SPOILER ALERT**] Charlize and Essie eventually lose touch and go their separate ways. And who become Essie's replacement best friend?? The same person who was REALLY her best friend the whole time: her brother Ethan.
So weird how our lives bleed over into our writing. Whether we're writing the exact opposite--giving our characters what we always wanted (a best friend). Or writing a metaphor of our own lives--giving them exactly what we love so that they don't lack (like great siblings), its impossible not to intertwine our lives with our work.
What kinds of life-and-character intertwining have YOU done in your writing?