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…

Sanctimoniously Sacrilegious

Chaos.

Calamity.

Arguing, brawling, and squabbling.

All the way to church.

That’s right.

Church.

Once upon a time, my brother and I used to create the most unholy mayhem.

Frequently.

Even at church.

Especially at church.

Evidently, our less than role model type conduct was downright mortifying.

The car wouldn’t even be fully backed out the driveway before we’d initialize our ritualistic slugfest.

Usually, it would begin with one of us discretely cracking an Etch-a-Sketch over the other one’s head.

And things would only get more exciting once we’d exit the confines of the vehicle.

While everyone around us would break into hymns, we’d provide the accompanying music-

Armpit farts.

Not the time or place?

You don’t say.

About to receive Communion?

Good time to get rumbling!

Donation money basket going around?

Decisions, decisions.

Confession time was always particularly challenging.

With plenty to confess, we’d have to keep it vague.

So I’d simply just apologize for fighting with my brother.

But there were definitely things left unsaid.

Then we’d get back to engaging in a few rounds of bloody knuckles, sometimes even throwing in a headlock or two.

We were easily distracted and equally as easily amused.

What can I say?

We were hands-on type of kids.

In the rare moments of sitting still, we’d pray.

Pray for service to end so we could take our free-for-all out to the parking lot.

It’s fair to say we were embarrassing to be around, as we failed to exemplify any holy qualities, in any public setting.

On the positive side, we managed to obey The Ten Commandments.

Mostly.

I mean, at least the most important one-

Thou shall not kill.

And we didn’t kill anyone.

Surely, that counted for something.

But then again…

We were siblings, after all, so there was never a guarantee that wouldn’t change at any moment.

Ultimately, my parents probably considered themselves lucky…

Even if only for the fact that my brother and I never once attempted to bathe or swim in the tub of holy water during Mass.

Hallelujah!

~Hey friends! I’ve got a favor to ask of you. I just set up a Facebook account for Comically Quirky! And I’m on Twitter, too. Please drop by and follow me, and I’ll follow you back! You can leave your links in the comments. Thanks a million, and have an awesome weekend!~

Naughty, nice, and everything in between...

Naughty, nice, and everything in between…