Isn’t it cool to come upon the random off-topic posts in your reader? I know I like them. Where people just talk. You know, about their lives. Not the editorial topics they’ve scheduled, not the stuff for best SEO or analytics. Not quadruple linked to all their social media. Facebook fan page? Seriously? I like the stories that aren’t gussied up to sound a certain way.
In any sense, this is a picture of my brother Eric and I. It’s already 3 years old. I say this because he’s now the age I was when this was taken. He’s hit that patch. Those of you in your late-twenties or older probably know what I’m talking about. When you realize there is a late-twenties. And thirties. He’s thinking about the long-term: marriage, family, …settling down even. I’m 28 and I’ve only got the first one figured out. He’s just entered the dating pool after a long-term relationship and for the first time is a little daunted by the idea. I don’t blame him. We’re a unique bunch, hard to find like-minded people, and definitely not an easy family situation to come into. I breathe a daily sigh of relief knowing I never have to date again, and that my life has a certain comforting-but-not-boring level of certainty. That and Neil survived my brothers’ torments and didn’t run away screaming. Some day I’ll have to write a long post on all the boys that came to meet my family and never returned. There’s pee and theft involved, and it would probably require it’s own week.
Eric will definitely find his way I have no doubt. He is cool. I’m not talking about suave, or well-dressed. Sorry Brother, you’re just not. Everybody just likes this guy. He can do no wrong. How? I don’t know. I squint at someone in the sun wrong and I’m that girl. I’ll be nice to people, sincerely nice, and they’ll still come away thinking the worst. I don’t know. Whatever is given at birth for like-ability, he definitely got my share. And he’s funny, stand-up comedy funny. He’s even done it. He’s got that combination of Seth Rogan and Zach Galifianakis going. I’m always his target. I embarrass easily. There was this one time, I was walking back to work across campus and I hear…
“JESSICA, JESSICA IS THAT YOU?”
I turn around, looking for a familiar face among the throngs of students.
“IT IS YOU, JESSICA! JESSICA!”
Wait…I know this voice.
“JESSICA, I HAVEN’T SEEN YOU SINCE THE FREE CLINIC, HOW’D THAT CREAM WORK OUT? IS THE ITCH GONE?!”
I turn beet red. It’s my brother, he’s barreling toward me, papers flying out of his backpack, shoes unlaced. People are diving out of the way and it is only then that I realize I’m standing among a group of around 30 or so elementary school students. Perfect.
It’s not just me, he’s done this to my mom too. Any time you dragged him somewhere he didn’t want to be, he’d make you regret it. The grocery store trips where he’d tie a plastic bag to his head and scream bloody murder and claim my mother was trying to abuse him. The countless removals from mall stores because he’d reenact some World War II battle among the clothes racks. I love him, but he definitely knows how to push buttons.
He always has the best stories. They are of movie-quality. Last night he was telling me about flinging buffet plates from our local Pizza Hut into the street to watch cars run over them. Who thinks of stuff like this? I was always worried about getting to my classes early and making sure my notes were coveted by slackers everywhere like some kind of holy grail. We’re definitely the most contrasting of siblings (we have a younger brother and older half-sister). But I love him. So as he enters this next phase of life, starts dating again, and is looking for direction on finding happiness in doing a little settling down, I think I can finally be the person to help him out.