Shannon here very cleverly tailored her pitch to this month’s theme: Her Friend Crush is her sister, Kaite. And we’re so glad she did, because otherwise the phrase I’M STUCK IN THE TUNA CAN would never have lodged itself so firmly in our heartzones.
SUBJECT: Friend Crush!
Hey Rookie! So since November’s theme is ~~~family~~~ I decided nominate my sister Kaite for Friend Crush. I don’t know if that counts, but I might as well try!
Kaite and I are only a year apart (she’s 18 and I’m 17), and every time we tell people that we always get the same response: “Oh! You two must be best friends!” After 17 years of hearing that, it gets kind of annoying, but we can’t deny that it’s true. Whether it’s sending Daria-themed Snapchats, serenading each other with Belle and Sebastian songs, or writing seven-page texts, we’re always there for each other.
Kaite is like a super genius. She’s a lover of history and a writer of poetry. She has amazing style and an eye for mixing patterns, prints, and textures to make all of her outfits look perfectly mismatched. She wants to join the Peace Corps and is an active member in her university’s GSA and women’s center—she really tries to give back to people what they have given to her. She’s really just a person I aspire to be like because of all the things that she’s accomplished.
I know that this is kind of cheating, but next month’s theme is Family, and we’re family! I don’t know what else I can say to convince you, so I’m going to say “family” in italics one more time: ~~~~~~~*FAMILY*~~~~~~~
ROOKIE: So, it was very clever of you to foresee that we might like to use a pair of sisters for this month’s Friend Crush.
SHANNON [crusher]: Yeah, and I noticed there was a lot of stuff on sisters this month too.
I have loved this month on the site, but I will be glad when I don’t have to come up with another headline about sisters! Where do you and Kaite live?
We live in a really small town in Massachusetts, like 45 minutes from Boston. But right now Kaite’s a freshman at a college in Rhode Island.
So she just went! How is it having her not home anymore?
It’s different, because we’ve shared a room since we were babies. We used to even share a crib. Now that she’s not here I find myself talking to myself a lot. I’ll be like, “Oh my god, I just saw a funny thing on Tumblr,” or “I found a cool Rookie article,” but I don’t have anyone to share it with.
That’s so sad! Do you have any other siblings?
We have a really big family, actually. We have two older brothers and two older sisters. They’re all between 20 and 27 years old. My dad had 17 kids in his family.
Oh my god!
Yeah. I think it just runs in the family.
Do your older siblings think of you as the baby of the family, or do they think of you and Kaite both as the babies?
Well, Kaite tries to say that she’s like a middle child and not a baby, but I’m like, no, we’re definitely both the babies. She kind of acts like my mom sometimes. I know it’s just ’cause she cares, but it’s like, “You’re only a year older than me!” She’ll try and give me advice, like “When I was in high school…” And I tell her, “You were in high school last year!” Sometimes she’s like, “You’ll feel better when you get to college.” And I’m like, “But you’ve only been in college like three months!”
[Laughs] Does she do anything good in that mothering way?
She helps me a lot with school work, and when I have problems she tells me that it does definitely get better.
What kinds of problems do you tell her about?
Well, right now I’m not really going to school because of bullying and issues with friends and stuff, and she’s just like, “People are so immature.”
I’m so sorry! What’s going on?
It’s just a problem with a certain friend who was my best friend for a while, then she kind of dropped me for her boyfriend and started being really nasty to me. It’s a mess. I’ve been bullied for a while. While it was going on this year Kaite wrote a huge Facebook post about it saying, like, “You should care for other people.” It was cool.
So your parents are cool with your not going to school right now?
I’m being tutored at home right now.
Are you looking for another school, or just waiting till you can go back, or what?
I’m a senior, so I might just finish the year off with a tutor and graduate and [with a flourish] GO OFF TO COLLEGE, and MY WORLD WILL OPEN UP.
Have you and Kaite always gotten along?
We have fights, but we get over them in a couple minutes.
Are there recurring themes to the arguments?
Actually, that’s kind of a funny story. Since we were little we’ve been fighting this one same fight. Now it’s a joke, but until we were eight it was an actual fight that Kaite would keep bringing up. There’s a picture of us in our crib when we were little, and Kaite is eating a Fruit Roll-Up, and meanwhile I’m below her, eating the other side. Apparently she threw a huge fit about it that went on for years. But I’m like, “You know what? I had a right to that Fruit Roll-Up.”
Let me just make sure I understand: She got mad at you retroactively for something you did when you were a baby?
Were you always taking her stuff, like all little sisters everywhere, and her anger about that kind of all focused on that photo?
Yeah, I think so.
What’s so special about your friendship with her?
I can be more open about things with her than I can with my other friends. And Kaite isn’t as into music and movies, so it’s cool to show her all that stuff.
What’s something that you’ve shared with her that she’s gotten into?
Daria is something that I showed her. And Wes Anderson movies. And Andrew Jackson Jihad is a band she likes a lot that I showed her.
You said in your email that you aspire to be like Kaite. What are the qualities she has that you want to emulate?
She’s an activist, and that’s really cool. She stands her ground and knows her side of things, whereas I always want to know all the sides. She will not flip-flop on issues.
I’m jealous of people like her. It must be nice to be so sure.
It’s a very good quality to have. She’s also very well-spoken, and she has a very beautiful way of looking at simple things.
Anything else you want to say about her?
She’s probably the coolest person ever.