Unaddressed letters to potential half-sisters

Because we're all living in the holographic pop-up book of life as written by Oprah Winfrey, you already know about the family secret she revealed on-air last week. Turn the page, book club. It's Oprah's half-sister Patriciaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhh!

All right, doggie ear that revelation and muthafuckin' breathe for a min.

Following cashmere, macadamia nuts, Zumba, and entire countries that're also continents, it seems half-sisters are one of Oprah's new favorite things. Only this time she didn't give one to every member of her studio audience. So being her pious pawns that we are, it's assumed we all turn of our TVs (when Oprah lets you of course) and get one ourselves. You know, to help us live life to the fullest, and be in the now with our shared human experience, and yeah.

The half-sister is an interesting specimen. I can count off a handful of famous step-siblings (Cher and Josh, Barack Obama and Maya Soetoro-Ng, Step Brothers, every single character on any soap opera ever), but the halfsies sissy is a grossly underrepresented figure in popular culture. Why? Incest and Lifetime made-for-TV movies. One reason we're all a little nerves about this project in-development...

But perhaps there's an implicit truth to the 1/2-S we're pained to admit. Something you can't quite place your finger on. Like how you only share 50% of the same genetic code within that finger, for instance. Your familiarly unfamiliar finger. Vague and ominous. Somewhat dangerous, this finger. Um, why are you thinking so hard about your finger? Shiver.

Regardless, I've written a few letters in hopes of finding my own perfect half-sister. (Note I've italicized them to help you better imagine my voice reading each aloud wistfully. You're welcome.)

Dear Mila Kunis,

Tan complexion? Check. Ethnically ambiguous? Check. A weird eye condition? Check, check. Holy trinity, we're already halfway there physically, girlfriend!

But emotionally-speaking, how're you doing? I heard you're all home alone now that you've split with Macaulay. Just know, as your potential half-brother, I'm completely here for you. Do you have space on your speed dial? Take my phone number. Do you wanna tell me about the time Macaulay accidentally used your lipgloss? Get it off your chest. Or your lips, or whatever body part you want. Do you feel my hand delicately rubbing your knee? In, uh, brotherly support... By the way, did you like catch my "home alone" pun at the beginning of this paragraph? See, I'm sensitive and funny. We should date! Or uh, half-date. As siblings, duh.

I just think as newly half-siblings we should get to know each other better. I mean, we only share half the same DNA, so let's explore one another's jeans. Genes! I, uh, meant genes. Ha ha. Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! Also, did you get the mixed CD I sent with this? Don't be freaked out, it's just a CD. With "2 Become 1" by the Spice Girls on it 18 times.

OKAY, OKAY, KIDDING. All of the above, purely J/K. Jokes, jokes, and more jokes. Did you already forget? I'm your punky, pranky, half-brother, silly! Oh, Mila! My silly Mila...

How're you juggling all those Black Swan acting nominations? Awards season = prime time for the half-brother. As dazzling as you were, I'm afraid you won't sweep your category. Hey, just telling you like it is! Another of my irritatingly attractive qualities. So if you need a (strong) shoulder to cry on, like I said, I'm here for you. I'm here to tell you how talented and kind and smart and sexy-- Sorry! Not sexy! Didn't mean to call my sexy half-sister "sexy", that's so wron-- Dammit!

Sorry, Mila, it's just when you lean into me like that, it's like, no, Mila. We shouldn't.

We really...




Dear Avril Lavigne,

Before you flatter yourself, don't. Half-sisters aren't always shrouded in a redheaded Bryce Dallas Howard air of ethereal mystery. Sometimes they're just annoying redheaded half-sisters. With you Avril, "sometimes" meaning "all the time with you, Avril".

You legitimately believe in mood rings. I wear ties sans irony. You thought Lindsay Lohan's portrayal of teens in the redux of Freaky Friday was just "too real, man". I don't want to eat Dippin' Dots in front of Hot Topic, but thanks for asking. You think you're a boy. I am a boy. I'll ask you if you've heard of Liz Phair, you might like her. You'll snicker, "Who's she? Popular beeyotch on the cheerleading squad? Popularity sux!" while wearing a racy corset...? We won't get along. Eye rolling will be all we have in common. Besides that, we can't believe we were like produced by the same parent, ew!

To conclude, will you do me th-- Avril, listen to me. I said, will you do me the honor of bein-- Hey, Avril, I'm trying to ask you someth-- AVRIL, WILL YOU PUT YOUR MIDDLE FINGER DOWN FOR A SECOND AND BE MY HALF-SISTER, PLEASE?! Christ.



Dear Ryan Trecartin,

How's the psych ward? Oh, by the way, you're gonna play the role of my half-sister who's receiving electro shock treatment at a psych ward. Standard stuff for you. I mean, have you seen your video art? That's what makes you the perfect yin to my half-sister yang: You. Are. Terrifying.

Like in art opening photos you seem totally chill and normal and resemble any other former boy band member circa Y2K. But when you lock the room to your bedroom door, throw away the key, switch on the webcam and break out your closet full of wigs, you're in fact completely insane and crazy. You're like 12 half-sisters for the price of 1. Cha-ching!

As my half-sister I want you to be the one who does well in school, takes me to museums, toys with Ouija boards, bakes vegan cupcakes, introduces me to Gregg Araki and the ending of Sleepaway Camp, celebrates Egon Schiele's birthday, and other normal activities of the misunderstood artsy half-sister. Surprise! You're sorta cool. But only in the day...

At night is when I slowly, but surely, start to sense your weird half-sister-side. Like when you log onto the internet with a dial-up modem because, "Wow, what an under-appreciated instrument!" Those ricocheting 'bleeps' and 'bloops', how they turn you on like, "conceptually". When you toss me a dictionary and instruct me to look up, according to you, the only three words anyone ever needs to know in this hyper-material life: "subversive", "eyeshadow", "blowjob". When somehow duct taping E to my tongue is involved. When psychedelia. When glitter. When goth. When foreign pedo who lives across the street. Freak flag extravaganza! Death by editing process!! Black out!!!

But hey, when I wake up the next morning in a back alley under a codeine induced haze wearing a ripped figure skating outfit, I'll still remember who you really are. That time I walked in on you shooting up to Salt-N-Pepa in our parent's gym room? Your secret's safe with me, half-sis.



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