My big brother and I have had an interesting relationship across the 26 years of our coexistence. As kids we played with Ninja Turtles and Barbies together, watched wrestling and reenacted it, and I witnessed my big bro try to run over my dad with a car on a cross-country camping trip. Why a seven-year old was in the driver’s seat can only be determined by the parenting skills of my mother and father…
As we grew up, the two years between us seemed to merge together, especially upon entrance into high school. I was a cheerleader and my brother a football player. Friendships awkwardly overlapped, and the segregation between annoying older brother and bratty little sister slowly morphed. Although the fighting between us was both daily and excessive, my 6’3″ ginger haired brother was still protective and sweet with me–mostly. He only tried to strangle me once or twice.
After receiving my first kiss, my brother approached the guilty boy with a baseball bat, donning some killer shades along side two friends, and said to the poor guy, “Hear you’ve been messing with my sister…” Needless to say, it didn’t work out between me and that guy.
My brother had a special influence on me in my youth that has only become more prevalent into today. Music especially. I emerged from my Backstreet Boys phase, virtually unscathed, and into a different scene. I first started listening to old school Weezer, Radiohead, Beck and slowly merged into my own taste and musical interests. My brother played guitar, I began at 16. I hated to admit his influence, and still do, but I can’t deny it, even if his ego is as big as his red afro.
As stated earlier, my brother and I fought–a lot. My sister was so peaceful, but Nathan and I were very fiery. My bro’s favorite pastime was getting me royally pissed off. It worked very well. The most scared I have ever been in my life was when I threw a wooden shoe at my brother during an argument into which his utterance of expletives started the most frightening run for my life. I scurried up the stairs with him hot on my tail shouting that he was going to kill me, ran into my bedroom and hid under my bed, quaking in fear. I called my mother that day to disown Nathan as my brother and tell her that I hated her son.
Always in arguments, my brother apologizes. I’m the youngest and get away with everything. Plus, I’m never really at fault.
My brother received his undergraduate degree in geology and a masters in film criticism. I know, a perfect complement of studies. My brother wrote his essay about me in order to get into the competitive Boston University program. It all stemmed from a Futurama episode, which to this day, I won’t watch because I feel so sad. The story is as follows:
In 2005, I was leaving spend a semester abroad in Glasgow, Scotland. Emotional and spending some final happy moments with my family prior to departure, my brother wanted to show me a great, hilarious Futurama episode–Jurassic Bark. It’s Futurama, how could it have broken me up so? It’s about the best relationship there is, a boy and his dog and the loyalty that is incontestable between the two. I really can’t go into the details of the show without getting sad, so I’ve included a clip.
I cried for a freaking hour and a half. But my reaction spurred a creative and intricate idea into my brother’s mind that won him a coveted position in the BU program. You are welcome Nathaniel Squires. However, your student debt is all you.
My brother is getting married and having a kid. I know he’ll be a great husband and father–even if the baby is a bit of an oops. I’m sad because he lives on the west coast in Portland, Oregon–he has certainly embraced the Portland lifestyle and attitude–but he will always be my big brother. I go to him for advice and to cry, and now I’m happy, because he’s marrying a girl I actually like quite a bit who I feel I can equally go to.
I’ll be an aunt four times over, a sister twice more over.
My brother gave me my favorite music, my favorite instrument, my favorite TV shows. He showed me how pretentious can be cool. I still hate all the movies he loves. We fight slightly less often and I always make him apologize first.
I guess the day I realized my brother is pretty cool was never a realization, just something I always knew and never wanted to admit to. But I’m sure he thinks I’m pretty cool too, he just is too much of an ass to admit it.
Love ya, bro.