Interview with my Sister: Jacqueline

“Integrity is a social construct.” 

My sister and I have always had an interesting dynamic. We’re different in almost every way and yet we coexist extremely well; we have never had a major fight, we’re comfortable talking about anything, and we manage to understand each other despite our polar opposite dispositions. I knew I wanted to interview her at some point because she is genuinely one of the most interesting people I know, and she never ceases to amaze me with her wit, natural intelligence, insight, and her off the wall sense of humor. She’s a person who is multifaceted, and not always on the surface for everyone to access on personal level, for she is private in nature, and, as we talk about in the interview, a Capricorn (If you’re not into Astrology, go ahead and skip that part, because we go into other topics as well). However, as her sister, she’s seemingly comfortable sharing different sides to her, for which I’m grateful. I love her for who she is, and she came across in this interview exactly how she is in real life, and I’m glad I can put this out there to show people this strange, quirky, practical, intense, complex, but most of all, lovely human who I’m proud to call my sister. I love you, sis, you’ll never accept my physical affection, but I know the feeling’s mutual. Now, let’s get on to the interview! (It’s a very long conversation, so brace yourselves).

My sister’s dressed in her purple robe, as she’s just taken a shower to, as she put it, “cleanse my mind, body, and soul.” Fair enough. We go into my room, which is extremely messy with clothes lying around everywhere, and I have to move my stuff off my fuzzy blue chair that I’ve had for years so she can sit down. I sit right across from her on the accompanying little foot rest, and we start. (This is me talking, this is her).

Say what you just said. Say what? About Zayn. Oh, that he’s so beautiful but he’s so internally ugly. I laugh. Are you recording right now? Yup! Chill. So how’s your day been going? Chill. Do not say chill the entire thing! It’s been fine, I woke up really late because I stayed up until four or five A.M., so it’s been a restful day. What were you doing? Judging people’s lovey-dovey posts on Instagram. Oh I’m gonna ask you about that later, so that’s perfect. So to start off, I know you’re a huge Britney fan… –Yesssss-  So what exactly does she mean to you? I just feel this natal connection with Britney, because the first album that came out after I was born was “Baby, One More Time,” I was four days old to be exact, so, I feel connected to Britney, bitch. It’s almost like your spirit sensed her presence in the lexicon of pop culture and you were like, “This is it.” Yeah, the stars aligned for Britney and me. I ask you this because like, every other day at least, you come up to me and you’re like, “Britney’s the best, right?” Mm-hm. Whose your least favorite celebrity? I don’t pay attention to celebrities as much as I used to, but there are definitely ones I dislike. I hate Mel Gibson, Chris Brown, Hope Solo. What are the things that make you dislike them? They’re people who are just all around awful people, like they’re mentally, emotionally, and physically abusive, and they’re still allowed to exist and not be in jail for the things they have done. And there are a lot of people like that in the business.

– At this point in the interview my Mom calls from downstairs, “Jacqueline, dinner’s ready!”-

Mom, we’re doing an interview! (We laugh) Well… on another note, you’ve said that you relate to being a Capricorn, what are the attributes of a Capricorn that you identify with? Because we talk about it a lot. Um, Capricorns really like consistency. And they just, like, seek that out in everything they do. I like balance, and things. Capricorns, they don’t let it all hang out, they’re very private.

– A minute goes by while my Mom comes in and brings her a dinner of two hot dogs,  and waves at my phone that I’m using to record, making me laugh –

But yeah, going off of that, I just love the idea of knowledge in general, like Capricorns do. I wouldn’t want to fetishize it, but you could say colloquially that I have a fetish for it because I just love it. I’m hashtag-thirsty for knowing shit. (This results in loud giggles from me) That’s great. What do you wanna know? Just things for its own sake. That’s very Ravenclaw of you. Oh yeah I strongly identify with Ravenclaw, and a little dash of Slytherin influence. Why do you say that? I say Slytherin because I like glory, I like being adored and admired. I’m like Kourtney Kardashian in that I don’t need the verbal validation from people. That’s good. It’s nice to get outside validation, but you really do need to validate yourself. Yeah, at the end of the day, I think, obviously you can have emotional support from people, but at the end of the day all you have is yourself. Right. You obviously have connections with people, but you’ll never be those people, you can only be yourself, so in a sense you’re always kind of alone. I agree with you. 

On to the next question, you’re a very introverted person, do you feel like you’ve been made to feel less than because this? Ugh, fuck yes. Fuck yes? Just by people in general, or – By people in general. See, and the thing about introversion, is that around the time this country was founded people preferred introversion in their leaders because the idea to be able to centralize your energy and work like that was just preferred, it was seen as hard-working and efficient. But obviously that’s changed as society has evolved. But yeah, just, like, people in general make the low-key passive-aggressive, demeaning comments. Like the assumption that you’re shy is particularly something that I hate, because if you’re truly shy you have, not necessarily clinical, but you have an anxiety socially, but I don’t have that. I’m comfortable in social situations, I’m confident in them, it’s just that I need to recharge my batteries with alone time. Yeah, I feel like that’s a big misconception. There can be a quiet extrovert, you know? And the same goes for introverts too. Going off of that do you believe that there’s an extrovert privilege because of that? Because I think there’s a natural inclination to believe that being extroverted means that you’re more competent, and that’s just not true. I wouldn’t call it a…privilege necessarily, I think it’s definitely an advantage. ‘Cause in some situations they’re more taken seriously, but of course introverts have those attributes in other areas. Just generally I feel like, introverts, we get a lot more patronizing attitudes towards us all the time like, “Oh, speak up. Are you shy? Oh, you’ll grow out of it.” But what if they don’t grow out of it? Maybe that’s just a thing that they are. And there’s nothing wrong with that. That is really annoying. It’s ignorant. And introverts are known for being good listeners, and that’s a trait that is very underappreciated now-a-days. There’s this quote by Winston Churchill, who’s a big inspiration of mine in general, and he said, “Courage is what it takes to stand and speak, but courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.” And that really does apply there, I feel. Yeah, in order to work with people, to be a leader you have to be able to listen to them. And you have to be able to, like, collaborate with people well, and you can’t collaborate when you’re the only one talking. Yeah.

We’re both super different, just as people in general, is there anything I do that annoys you? Hm, you’re not really an annoying person in general. Aw, thanks! The annoying people that I deal with are mostly at school ’cause I’m, like… seventeen, so yeah. And you’re very, very mature for your age. Why, thank you. And I was the same way at your age, and it’s not that you think you’re better than people, or you’re looking down on them, it’s just hard to relate to people sometimes. But I know I annoy you with my singing… I’ve heard you singing in the shower, and it just made me think, “Oh God, can people hear me singing? I’m not a shower singer, really, but still. What songs do you sing in the shower? Well lately a song I’ve been really obsessed with is “Californication” by The Red Hot Chili Peppers. Backstreet Boys are a safe bet. Yeah, you’re a Backstreet Boys stan. Absolutely, they’re the reason I get out of bed in the morning and face the throws that would ever come of my day! Laughing ensues. It’s like, I can’t lash out at this person, what would Nick Carter say? Because he’s a pure cinnamon roll. How mad were you that they didn’t win a Grammy? (She hits the chair in playful exasperation) I mean, it’s bittersweet because Carlos Santana really did deserve all the Grammy’s he won for “Smooth,” but I mean… all I wanted was one Grammy, man.

Bringing it back to the beginning of the interview, I know that you have very strong opinions about lovey-dovey posts –Yessss- on social media,  why don’t you talk about that, what is it about that stuff that irks you? Okay, so, I don’t take issue with people posting things about their, lovers, or whatever – Pffft, their lovers- as long as it’s once in a while, or they don’t let it dominate their lives. But if the post is overboard, or over-zealously affectionate, it will elicit an eye roll from me. It’s only when it’s all the time that it’s just ridiculous. I mean, that suggests that that’s all you have going on in your life. You should still be able to have friendships, other hobbies and pursuits. Yeah, and I feel like it’s so normalized, or expected, that once people get in a romantic relationship that they disappear off the face of the Earth. Because it’s almost like people think that once you’re in a new relationship that you’ve almost… leveled up, in a way, and that friendships are secondary, and that’s hugely harmful. Yes, that is so fucked up, it’s such a messed up philosophy. It’s so dumb! And we all know those people that completely dump their friends for their significant other, and it’s sort of like abandonment, kind of. You just need to balance your relationships. Yeah, and I also understand that you may not be able to hang out as much, that you won’t have as much time, but you should still be invested in your other relationships, because those relationships matter too. Yeah, I remember reading a study that said that a person loses an average of 3 friends when they get into a new romantic relationship, and I totally believe that.

And even though you hate those kinds of posts, I know that you sadistically love the process that happens after they’ve broken up… Oh yeah. Describe that process. The thing is, is that when you’re posting your business for all the world to see, you’re opening up to criticism, and I’m not saying people should post shitty stuff on their page or whatever, but, like, see… They’re just asking for it man, with me! Laughs. Like I’ll see all these sickeningly romantic posts, and I don’t wish unhappiness or emotional strife on anybody, but it’s like dude…. I just can’t wait for you to break up! Because when I find out that they’re broken up, I’ll go to their page and see all of the deleted posts, and their bio has changed, and they’ve removed the anniversary date, and bonus points if they add a passive aggressive quote in that bio, or on a whole separate post. (At this point her smile was huge) There is such glee in your face right now! I just love that so much! I mean that’s just comedy gold, that’s a huge chunk of where I get my entertainment value! Haha, it’s other people’s deteriorating interpersonal relationships. Naw, just people’s stupidity.

You’re an interesting person in that you have a very silly side, but you also have a very serious side. Which side to you most identify with? The serious side. I think a lot of people let that, being funny, become too much a part of their identities. Because your sense of humor is not your identity. Your identity is your core values, your beliefs, how you treat people, especially people who you can’t get anything from. But I identify more with my serious side, because a sense of humor is just that. I’m not constantly thinking about funny or silly things as much as some people might assume I do. And sometime’s you’ll act different around other people, some people you can get in that comical zone with, and generally I think my sense of humor is funny, but I don’t think I have a humor centered mind. I have a very, very serious mind. That’s interesting, because you are a really funny person, just in our daily interactions, but I know that you’re also very serious. And as someone whose interested in comedy and comedians in general it is important to me that someone knows that humor doesn’t define you. It doesn’t make you better than anybody else, and at the end of the day you really have to find what you find valuable in yourself. Like, they have to ask, “If my comedy went away, if I wasn’t funny anymore, would I like myself still?” And that can be attributed to a lot of different things, it can be attributed to physical appearance, or talent, or an interest, and people place so much importance in that, and so much of their worth in that, that they don’t even necessarily know if they like themselves or this other thing. Like being in relationships, like we touched on previously. And I just don’t perceive that as part of my identity. I just don’t feel the need to broadcast it to everybody. And no matter how much of an open book someone is, you choose what you broadcast to people.

When you were younger you said you wanted to be a millionaire. Does that still hold true today? Obviously everybody wants the ideal financial situation, security in the future, everyone kind of wants that to a degree. If it happens it happens, if it doesn’t happen it doesn’t. When I was younger I wanted wealth for its own sake. I was a kid, kid’s are materialistic. I didn’t like the idea of, like, not being able to do something because you were limited by your finances. But as I got older your personality starts to evolve, and… I just want money. I just envy the fiscal stability it provides. And also a big part of it is that I want to donate a large some of my income to charitable causes to a massive extent without having to worry about my own finances. Yeah. And to provide a comfortable retirement for my parents-our parents. I want them to be able to do the things they want to do. Well, that’s nice of you! I mean, they’ve worked very hard their whole lives. So yeah, money just for more practical uses. I’m not a materialist in any shape or form. I don’t want a lavish lifestyle, I reject that. I don’t want a hedonistic lifestyle at all. I want the same thing for myself. I want to have enough so that I don’t have to be worrying all the time, but I really don’t want to be super rich. I think excess can be really disgusting, and it’s like, that’s not happiness. That’s not the goal, that’s not everything. Yeah, I just want a normal life. I just want to be a normal person.

What’s one of your favorite quotes? I have a lot of favorite quotes. This one has been a favorite of mine for a long, long time, like years. It’s from Charlemagne, not the radio host, but he was a really prominent historical figure and his story really captivated me. This quote really stuck out to me, its, “Right action is better than knowledge, but in order to do what is right, we must know what is right.” You have to know the wisdom of that, you have to know what is right. Yes, because doing what is “right” is very subjective to people, and to know the true right you have to have, like you said, the wisdom to know what truly matters. It’s such an interesting paradox of life. It’s completely accurate, I really like that quote. This one is one I read for class from the book, “My Name is Asher Lev,” and it says, “The world is not pretty.” Because, like, the main characters mom wanted the main character to make the world pretty with his art, and obviously the world isn’t always pretty. I’m not a cynic, even though this quote sounds very cynical, but it just provides perspective. The world certainly does not fit our idealism as much as it ought to, regardless of how we may feel about it. And the world doesn’t owe anything to you. Absolutely. I’m a very, very strong believer in that people don’t owe you anything. And in the words of Hannah Montana, “Life is what you make it, so let’s make it rock.” That’s beautiful. Hannah Montana has shaped my identity, jk. Laughs.

Well, my last written question for this interview is: what’s a quality or personality trait you’d never want to change about yourself? Um… my hatred for Jennifer Lawrence. Just kidding,  I’m just joking, don’t… don’t put that in there. (I burst into hysterics) Of course I’m putting that in there, are you kidding? Yeah my friend once was like, “Damn you really hate Jennifer Lawrence!” But, no, a quality I wouldn’t want to change? Yeah, because I feel like a lot of people – it’s so normal to focus on things you don’t like and what you want to improve on, and as I think that it is very important to grow and evolve, I also think it’s important to be aware of the things we do like, and the things we do appreciate in ourselves. One of the top things I genuinely want the world to have more of is self love. Yesss. Oh my god I’m so about that. I think pride comes from a deep place of insecurity. I remember seeing it in a Wiki-how article once, and at first I didn’t get it, but then I realized that shit’s really true! Because with the inferiority complex we all have, we have this need to make ourselves seem superior in some way. To make up for the things we feel shitty about. Yeah… Hm, this is gonna sound arrogant but there’s a couple things about myself that I like. That’s not arrogant! Bask in it, bask in the self love. Baskin Robbins! Um… I’m just trying to verbalize it, because it’s an idea, and ideas are complicated.

Um… the thing at the top of my list is intelligence. I know it sounds narcissistic to say but I just pride myself very much on that. I don’t think it’s narcissistic… You are intelligent. Like, I’ve always had this curiosity about pretty much everything. I just like knowing shit, you know? I just can’t handle not knowing something. I have this need to satiate this curiosity, kind of like people who are always horny, they always wanna address it in some way, it’s like with me… I’m horny for wisdom, brah! I had a teacher tell the class once, “Stay curious and you will be successful.” And the world needs more passion.

 

*The quote at the top was chosen by Jacqueline to be a reprentative quote for her. She’s mocking the people on Tumblr who claim that “… is a social construct!” when in reality, everything is a social construct. She says it in passing sometimes when we cross each other in the hallway and I’m a huge fan of it. Thanks for doing this dude, you’re one smart cookie* – V.

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