An Ode to an Oldie

I’m his favorite sister.

And he’s unquestionably my favorite brother.

This may be largely due to a technicality, but I’m pretty sure it still counts.

It’s sort of a process of elimination by default.

But I have to admit, it sure makes it easier when you only have one sibling to choose from.

It’s about to big a huge milestone birthday for this favorite brother of mine.

The big 4-0!

And with that said…

Happy Birthday, Dante!

My awesome, absolute favorite brother.

He is every bit as unique as his name.

But then, it’s not like anyone in my family is capable of doing normal very well.

He and I are obviously related.

Despite the fact he used to try to convince me I’d been adopted.

(News flash: We look far too much alike for that to have been true. So there!)

Sure, he’s more than a whole foot taller than me.

(He enjoys teasing me about how I’d clearly stunted my growth by becoming a vegetarian at too young an age.)

But we both like to write.

(Yup! He writes, too!)

And we’re both funny.

(His favorite word is haha.)

At least, I think I’m funny.

Hmmmm…

I must be pretty funny, because he’ll typically reply to my texts with one of three responses:

  1. haha
  2. lol
  3. funny

He’s got a delightfully dry sense of humor, but he truly is a man of few words.

For this reason, we tend to text far more frequently than we talk on the phone.

Whenever we do have an actual phone conversation, he’ll mutter an occasional word here and there.

Which helps reassure me he didn’t get eaten alive by his feisty dog mid-conversation.

And then he’ll proceed to breathe intermittently into the phone like Darth Vader.

Oh, well.

Some people just don’t know when to shut up.

Growing up, he was paradoxically my best pal…

And worst nightmare.

Thanks to my favorite brother, I learned how to swim.

Or perhaps more accurately…

I learned to swim because he’d otherwise have kept trying to drown me in our backyard pool.

For fun, of course.

Because this, apparently, is what bored children do to keep themselves entertained.

(Note to parents: Think carefully before you send your kids outside with painfully vague instructions, like “Go find something to do”. Nothing good ever comes out of this.)

We’d make the most of our excruciatingly short pool season in New York by excitedly jumping in as soon as the pool temperature warmed up to a bone-chilling 59 degrees.

Hey, it seemed like a totally bright at the time.

But this may well be one factor in why there are clearly some things wrong with us.

Bloodlines run deep, but crazy runs deeper.

He also got me permanently banned before I’d ever had the chance to play an instrument.

My parents made the fatal error of allowing him to play a trombone in the school band.

He wasn’t exactly what one might call a natural.

The odds of him winning a medal for his performance weren’t sounding very favorable.

And I suspect I wasn’t the only one who’d felt that way.

A year or so later, we ended up selling that trombone to the first person who showed up at our garage sale, just to make it go away.

But alas, so started my future path to choir.

At least I wasn’t making everyone’s eardrums bleed.

And then there’s what I affectionately call Dante’s Shop of Horrors.

He used to set up shop in his bedroom, with an assortment of toys, stuffed animals, and other goodies on display, in an attempt to make a few quick bucks.

Did I mention most of the items in his shop already belonged to me?

But I’d always feel sorry for him, and so I’d end up buying my own crap back out of pity.

After all, the boy had a real hunger for life.

He’d count his earnings and walk to the store to stock up on more crap.

Including an assortment of treats, like dozens of those cheap apple pies that contained no real apples.

Money well spent, I know.

But then he would always surprise me with cute little stuffed animals he’d won from the claw machine.

Which made up for a lot.

Like when he’d change the channel on the one tv in the house and kill my few remaining brain cells with never-ending marathons of Beavis and Butthead.

(Those brain cells have yet to return.)

Or when he’d blare Metallica’s Enter Sandman on repeat, shaking and rattling the house all odd hours of the night until the vibrating floor would eventually lull me to sleep.

(I’ve known every word of that song by heart since 7th grade.)

But I think of him affectionately whenever I hear She’s a Maniac.

(It’s one of his favorites.)

And whenever I hear Journey’s Any Way You Want It, I can’t help bursting out in laughter.

(I still can’t figure out why he hates that one with such passion.)

I can’t help myself.

I always crank that one up and sing along at the top of my lungs whenever it comes on the radio.

I wonder if, subconsciously, I like that one only because I know it annoys the hell out of him.

It’s entirely possible.

Aren’t siblings the best?

Anyway, I’ll leave you all with this wonderful picture of baby me playing nicely with my big brother.

(And just to be clear, I was sooo not adopted.)

~Happy Friday, friends! Hope you all have a fantastic weekend!~

Don't feel too bad for him. He probably started it...

Don’t feel too bad for him. He probably started it…

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Mortifying Modus Operandi

Don’t embarrass me!

Um, helllooo!?!

I’m not the one sitting there, scratching my crotch at the table during breakfast.

Is it my fault your school requested that parents join their child in class to help guide them through the increasingly intricate course selection process, complete with 4-year plans and endorsements?

What kind of monster do you think I am?

And what kind of horrifying feats do you think I’ll manage to pull off in the 60 minutes I’m there, anyway?

Attempt to spoon-feed you your lunch?

Or show up in fishnet stockings and skanky heels?

Or worse yet, come crashing into your classroom on roller skates…in my pajamas?

Hashtag whatever.

Or perhaps I might discuss puberty/body odor/your latest crush loudly in front of all your classmates?

Or do some sort of ridiculous robot dance while singing a cringe-worthy Justin Bieber song at the top of my lungs?

Or lick your messy desk clean?

Or…

Maybe I’ll just wait for the perfect opportunity to declare:

You got an F on that test? An F?!? That’s it. Mama gonna go all gangsta on yo ass!

Right.

As fun as these scenarios might appear in my mind…

I can’t even.

As a natural introvert, I can assure you I will not be going out of my way to even talk to anyone, let alone cause chaos.

And as a self-respecting member of society, I don’t typically speak like that.

Ever.

Well, except maybe when I’m hangry.

I also wouldn’t purposely embarrass my kids, but ish happens.

Besides, if anything mortifying were to happen, consider it payback for all those unfortunate incidents where I wished for nothing more than the mercy of getting sucked into a black hole.

So just remember this:

I could be worse.

I could be much, much worse.

After all, I’m a badass black belt, dirt bike-riding, humor-writing Mom.

I’m cool AF.

Yaasss, I’m totally killin’ it.

So don’t be salty, bruh!

(Is that a thing?)

~Happy Friday! Thanks for stopping by and slinging some serious slang with me today. Have an amazing weekend!~

It's tough being a teenager. And an adult. Hell, life is rough for everyone.

It’s tough being a teenager. And an adult. Hell, life is rough for everyone.

Hungry, Hungry Kiddos

Chicken nuggets?

Again?!?

Didn’t we already have that?

Well, duh!

When you’re sitting at the kitchen table for 16 hours a day…

Yeah.

There’s bound to be some degree of repetition.

Macaroni and cheese three times in two days?

Now, that is clearly acceptable.

God, I love summertime.

What’s not to love about it?

Oh, right…

Envision a never-ending game of Hungry, Hungry Hippos, if you will.

With a pair of hungry boys instead of hungry hippos.

And with more food falling on the floor than is actually going into anybody’s mouth.

Kit Kat wrappers plague the dryer and trails of chocolate chip cookie crumbs create a path from the kitchen to halfway up the staircase .

String cheese wrappers and empty juice boxes hide alongside long-forgotten Halloween candy under their beds.

You always make us eat chicken!

(I can assure you that’s not the case. I am vegetarian, after all, and I’m not touching that crap any more than I have to.)

I don’t like raisins anymore!

(Halfway through a full box of raisins.)

Can’t I just have some cookies instead?

(The fridge, freezer, and pantry all look dangerously empty.)

Water?

You’re giving us water?!?

You hate us!

Enough, already! Get outside and do something!

But it’s too hot to go outside!

Hey, wait! Is that the ice cream truck?

We’re going outside!

Can we have some money?

You hate us!

Aw, man! We never get to eat!

And on that note…

Looks like it’s about time to feed the animals precious boys again.

Chicken nuggets, anyone?

For those of you with kids, you’ll totally get this. For those of you without kids, enjoy a good laugh at my expense.

For those of you with kids, you’ll totally get this. For those of you without kids, enjoy a good laugh at my expense.

High on Scented Markers

Smell the rainbow!

Okay, that just sounds wrong. But it works for Skittles, with their Taste the rainbow slogan.

Oh well. At least there’s still the joy of sniffing. Repeatedly.

Good old Mr. Sketch markers.

I came across them a couple weeks ago at Target, and a wave of nostalgia hit me hard. Man, I used to love those things!

Watermelon and licorice were among my childhood favorites, but cherry and grape were great, too.

In retrospect, I’m surprised I never tried to swipe a pack from school; the obsession was that strong.

The best part of elementary school was art class, because that’s where the treasure was kept. That’s right. The stash of Mr. Sketch markers lived in the art room.

I still wonder to this day what kind of delusional teacher thought it was a good idea for each table of six kids to share a single pack of those delectable markers.

Discreet pig-tail pulling ensued over who got which color. The occasional fist fight would break out, too.

Was one of those marker colors by chance called Blood Eraser? You know, one that smelled like antibiotic ointment from the first aid kit?

Elementary school ended far too soon.

But one incredibly awesome day in 9th grade Honors English, a girl named Jen brought a pack of Magic Scent Crayola crayons to class.

One of the crayons was appropriately named Dirt, but I personally preferred Bubble Gum and Banana. It wasn’t quite the same, yet the wonderful memories quickly came flooding back.

It was the best 55 minute class in my entire four years of high school.

Sadly, the Magic Scent line was discontinued a year later. Turns out kids were eating the crayons. Evidently, it just wasn’t fun enough to take a whiff and then draw something creatively cool.

No, those renegades had to go and eat the whole pack of crayons (and probably the box itself, too) and ruin it for all kids, big and small.

And really, parents. Shame on you. That’s like handing your toddler a Lotso Bear plush from Toy Story 3 and expecting it to not have the strawberry-scented stuffing eaten out of it like cotton candy.

But hey, at least the crayons were non-toxic! Unlike that Chinese-imported stuffed bear.

Anyway…

Yes, I bought the markers. They weren’t even all that cheap. Eight dollars for a pack of 12 markers. Which fool spends that much on a set of markers? Oh, right. That would be me.

The chance to relive my childhood clearly justified the ridiculous price tag, though, because buying those markers turned out to be the highlight of my day.

When the kids came home from school, I hid the markers in my closet.

I’ll eventually share.

Maybe.

Truth be told, I’m enjoying them. Perhaps even a tad bit too much.

Which leaves me to wonder- how is it that I once got carded for buying canned air, but this is somehow okay?

I’m blissfully buzzed…from the sheer delight of re-experiencing one of childhood’s greatest pleasures!

Mr. Sketch Markers

Mr. Sketch Markers. Mmm Mmm Good!