A SHARP LIFE: The pros and cons of being an only child

This Tuesday marks one of the more overrated and annoying National Day celebrations of the entire year — National Siblings Day.

If you’ve got siblings you will surely post pictures of yourselves from when you were kids on social media. You will think it is funny, and cute. Meanwhile, those of us who are only children will sit back and smile as you’ve just given Facebook even more private information about yourself. You might as well just post your social security number and get the whole thing over with.

Don’t get me wrong, we only children aren’t bitter. Most of us have fond memories of being an only child. When you think about it, being an only child gives you the best of both worlds as an adult if you play your cards right. You can marry someone with siblings, and then you have the luxury of picking and choosing when to claim them or not. If your sibling does something crazy you are stuck with them, if your sibling-in-law does something crazy you can always shrug your shoulders and say, “Well, I married into this family, what are you gonna do?”

There are some disadvantages of course. Once people find out you are an only child they assume that you were spoiled as a child, and must be more selfish than the average person as an adult. Which is totally untrue unless it involves my dessert. I guess people with siblings grew up sharing desserts, I will never understand this as long as I live. If you forget one of your parents’ birthday, then there is no one else to remember and keep you from looking bad. Not that this has ever happened to me, of course. Also, I know from personal experience that you can only play Monopoly against yourself so many times before you begin to anticipate the other guy’s moves.

There are plenty of advantages too. Only children get to think for themselves a little more. We called our grandparents whatever we wanted, not what an older sibling decided for us. My two-year-old calls her sheep nightlight a turtle because her older brother’s nightlight is a turtle. If she were an only child she would call it a sheep, or maybe she is just doing her own thing. She might be a bad example. Either way, the point still stands.

So, enjoy your National Siblings Day. We only children are glad you have a day to celebrate having to share bathrooms and always having someone to tattle on you. We selfish only children will just head to the movies. True, we will be going by ourselves, but at least we won’t have to share the popcorn.