September 27, 2007

Sister or Mother?


It is so difficult being the oldest sister sometimes. The youngest one sees you as a parent and you get put in all of these awkward situations. Awkward and blush-worthy and way-way-way-too-much-information.

My mother and SpySistah are hiking through the Grand Canyon, totally incommunicado, so it is up to me to deal with the issues that come up with baby sister who is a Sophmore in College.

Read the rest of the blush-worthy details below.

My little sister is 14 years younger than me. She has a lot of different ideas that I don't share. I think she is young; she thinks I am old. I think she is a bit wild, irresponsible at times, and a tad naive for all her cyber-wisdom. She thinks I'm a repressed, stuck-in-the-mud, over-bearing fuddy-duddy (though she would never use any of those words).

My mother is not reachable by phone these days, nor is our other sister. And, for this problem, Baby Sister's papa is definitely not the person to call.

Obviously this has to do with sex.

Baby sister called me the other day worried about a bump in a region well south of the Mason-Dixon Line, if you know what I mean. I urged her to go to the university clinic. She did so today. She called me crying. So now, having urged her (responsibly, I think) to see a doctor, it is now up to me to deal with the rest of the mess.

The doctor was concerned. The doctor ran a series of tests, the results of which won't be known for a week. The doctor prescribed treatment. Now, my little sister is worried, fretting, crying, and concerned about all those things you'd expect. Or, maybe not, but we'll get back to that in a minute.

My first job, as I saw it, was to get her calmed down. She made me promise not to tell mom (of course). She asked me what to do. I told her to take the medicine until we know the test results, but not to get overwrought (as much as possible). I told her to not be sexually active until we know something for certain. I told her to relax and be responsible. I told her that, no matter what, I love her.

And then I started asking her about where she might have gotten it.

She's been with her current boyfriend for about a month. Before that, she had a six-month relationship with a guy, but there was a couple of months between the two - no overlap. The current guy says he was "checked" in February and came back "clean." And, he says that he's only had protected sex since, except with her. (Yeah, riiiight. Ladies are you thinking what I'm thinking? Gentlemen?)

She was asymptomatic until very recently. Which is not to say that it couldn't be dormant before, but it is suspicious. And that whole line about using protection except with her makes me very very suspicious but only because I've known a few 20-something boys in my time here on Earth. So, I suggested to her that if she has been infected he is the likely culprit. I also expressed, gently, that if he was the culprit he isn't good boyfriend material.

"Why?" She asked.

"Because if he infected you he lied to you either about being clean or the protected sex thing."

"I see what you mean," she said.

Now I'm worried. I urged her to have a full screening done, including HIV, and she said the doctor already did that today. I can't decide if it is more important for me to tell my mom before or after she gets the claim on the insurance. My little sister thinks she can keep this from my mom, but if my mom even checks her mail, she'll get something on the doctor's visit. I don't want to violate my sister's trust, but as a mother, I don't want to keep this from my mom either.

I need to have a long chat with my little sister about the pill only protecting against pregnancy, not all of the other stuff. She really needs to be using more protection. Do I really have to be the one to have this conversation with her?


I don't want to, heaven knows, but it looks like it is on me.

Any suggestions?

For the record, the thing that she was worried about, should the test come back positive, was "How do I date after this?"

To which I eventually responded (after picking my jaw up off of the carpet), "You use protection. You be honest and forthright. Dating isn't all about sex, you know."

I am not ready to parent a teenager, that much is certain.

Posted by Phoenix at September 27, 2007 02:25 PM


just be honest with her. Hopefully she's learned her lesson without too much pain.

Posted by: caltechgirl at September 28, 2007 11:27 AM

I know you want to tell mom, and really would want someone to tell you if the shoe was on the other foot, but sometimes it is harder just to be the sister.

She sounds exactly like a college kid. I recall college and high school quite vividly. I also recall female and male friends without any idea about the hows and whys of std's. It has a lot to do with growth. As an adult I can look back and say "wow, I was incredibly stupid."

As a big sister, your job is to point out how not to be stupid, and cross your fingers that she takes your advice.

I hope it all turns out ok with your little sister, and soon.

Posted by: oddybobo at September 28, 2007 01:59 PM

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