The Good, Bad and Ugly: Secret Sister sentiments


Jihoo Yoon

SNACK STACK: Secret sisters get ready for a season of silly, sour and sweet souvenirs.

Ellen J. Wang, Staff Writer

If you are a female Northwood athlete, you’ve probably experienced the Secret Sister tradition: Each girl on the team draws a teammate as their “secret sister,” bringing gifts for them every other Friday for the duration of the season. While Secret Sister gifts typically consist of snacks, drinks and trinkets, some awkward moments can arise.

Dear Howler, my secret sister doesn’t have anything on her wishlist. What should I get her?

Sincerely, Desperate Dianne

Good: Consider her personality. Sporty? Energy drinks and protein bars. Aesthetic? Classy french hoops. Artistic? A collection of Van Gogh’s “Complete Paintings” will send her gamboling through the grass with glee. If you are struggling to pin her personality down, stick to the classics—chips, candy, cookies—but also include variety.

Bad: The only need of hers is to fill that void in her heart—she is just too shy to specify. Bring your attractive guy friend along to the reveal—that soccer star with green eyes and eight-pack abs—then give his number to her without his permission. She will appreciate this infinitely more than any gifts!

Ugly: She must not want anything. People are so appreciative of minimalism nowadays—whatever you get her will end up as trash in the ocean anyhow, so just give her an empty plastic grocery bag and skip the hassle. OR, you might as well do the environment a favor and give her nothing. OR something like positive vibes and energy into the universe (playing into the rejecting the materialism vibe).

Dear Howler, the Secret Sister reveal is next Friday. I’ve been buying stationery from Dollar Tree. Am I screwed?

Sincerely, XOXO Dollar Lover

Good: You don’t have to break the bank to make your final gift special. Use your creativity and make it authentic—draw her a beautiful portrait, make her some cookies or crochet her a bandana.

Bad: As Malala said, “yada yada, one pen can change the world.” A cheap pen should do the trick. The problem lies in your secret sister’s abundance of them. After her pencil case “mysteriously” disappears on the day of her math final, she will weep with thankfulness when you save her GPA with dollar-pack Bic pens.

Ugly: You’re doomed to an inevitable brawl unless you use dishonorable means to make another teammate miss the day of the reveal. Let’s call her Hermione. Since Hermione is “sick,” speak on behalf of her to your secret sister: “Jessica, Hermione is your secret sister, not me. She wanted me to tell you since she couldn’t come today.” You have escaped wrath.

Dear Howler, while I splurge $25 each week for my secret sister, I only receive a single bag of chips. What should I do?

Sincerely, Generous Girl

Good: We’re not all billionaires. Heart counts more than money, so try to not show animosity at the chips. That will ruin your friendships and it is simply not worth it.

Bad: Team traditions are affairs of the team. Why bother figuring things out with her privately? During practice, present the team with your terribly tiny Doritos bag, empathically thanking your secret sister for their generous present with passive-aggressive undertones.

Ugly: Have your Advisement teacher return those pathetic chips to that scrooge the next time she comes. Attach a note threatening to announce whoever her crush is to the whole school. If you don’t know who their crush is, make it up! (The green-eyed soccer prodigy wouldn’t be a bad guess.) The ends justify the means.

Dear Howler, what should I do if I forgot to bring gifts for that day?

Sincerely, Forgetful Franny

Good: During lunch, go to the student store and buy her some snacks. There is quite a good selection, and if you are feeling generous, you could even splurge on a Northwood sweatshirt—extra bonus that allows a cheaper gift next time.

Bad: Hopefully the girl who has you as their secret sister didn’t make the same brainless mistake. If you get a box of brownies, bagels or cookies, great for you. Grab one sweet with a napkin and scribble your secret sister’s name on it with a sharpie, then drop it off at her advisement.

Ugly: In order to leave a lasting impact on her psychological realm, bless her with classic literature. Junk food disappears in minutes, if not seconds, forever “Gone with the Wind.” But books are mountains, enduring through decades with timeless wisdom. Give her your unfinished Pride and Prejudice fan-fic, or your AP Lit Essay on Imagining Argentina that you got a “5” on—sometimes you gotta pull that intellectual rank.