Seven Sins: Envy: Battle of the siblings


Illustration by Priya Reddy.

Emma Lam

Twins junior Estelle Yoo and Serena Yoo feel close enough to share a shower, yet fight over highlighters. Sisters junior Demetra Williams and sophomore Anna Lee admire one another’s sleep schedules but argue over who gets the  front seat of the car. With being siblings comes inevitable competition, which can sometimes turn into envy — when one person wins the front seat or the highlighter — as well as a desire to have abilities that the other sibling possesses.

Estelle and Serena don’t fight about much, except when it comes to field hockey.

“I started a little bit before her, but the fact she was able to catch up got me a little jealous,” Estelle said.  “For example, if we are just practicing field hockey and it’s obviously evident that she’s better in some moves, I get irritated.”

Serena agrees that they don’t fight often, but says it varies depending on the activity.

“I think it’s been there since we were young too,” Serena said.“Like one person would be better than the other in something, but then a few months later the other person would be better at something else than the other.”

Illustration by ZaZu Lippert.
Illustration by ZaZu Lippert.

Estelle thinks her jealousy over  Serena’s field hockey abilities not only stems from the fact that Serena has caught up to her in skill, but also simply because they are sisters.

“If someone else is better than me then I’ll just accept it,” Estelle said. “But because Serena is my sister, there’s always been that little rivalry in between us.”

Estelle and Serena both say that they never really get into big fights. They usually just bicker about ditching one another at the gym or who gets what in the house.

“It’s pretty stupid. I remember one time we were fighting over a highlighter or something,” Serena said with a laugh.

To Serena, their relationship is like a seesaw.

“I remember when we were younger and we would kind of envy each other a lot,” Serena said, “Whether it’s our skills or like what we have.”

“[Serena] is more skillful with her hands so in terms of field hockey, she’s better,” Estelle said. “Like we used to take art classes when we were really young. And even if i tried hard, she would still have the better artwork and minor details. I envied it.”

For Serena, it’s her sister’s creativity that she envies most.

“I think Estelle is kinda of creative in a different sense. Weird in a good way,” she said. “She can use it for something interesting. Even when we were younger, she would have really good ideas and I couldn’t think of anything. And that’s what I wanted.”

Sisters Anna Lee and Demetra Williams often find themselves bickering about trivial things, too.

The first thing Williams thought of was their fights over the front seat of the car, the memory met with a wide-eyed nod of agreement from Lee. It all started in 2014, according to Williams. With one seat and two sisters, a system needed to be made. Seeing this, their mom came up with a plan to make sure each girl got an equal share.

The girls use this system any time they’re in the car together, including the early morning car ride to school, through rain or shine.

Another common source of bickering is the family Netflix account. Since they have more family members than can be on the account at the same time, the family has to figure out who stays on or off the account.

Illustration by Priya Reddy.
Illustration by Priya Reddy.

With this, Williams smugly plays her “older sibling” card to be able to use the account when she wants.

“If too many people are on the Netflix account, she’s gotta go,” Williams said of Lee with a smile.

But aside from these small disputes, it’s each other’s  household habits that the girls find most irritating. Williams had to think for a minute before being able to come up with something that irritates her the most.

Click on the colored text to hear more of Lee and Willams’ conversation.

At the end of the day, though they may get on each other’s nerves, they each appreciate each other and sometimes wish they had traits that their sibling does.