June 9, 2010

About Me #2

Continuing with yesterday's "About Me: I make friends easily" post, here is the second installment of "About Me".

2. I am not a mama's girl (for obvious reasons), nor am I a daddy's girl (the similarities stop at our shared appearances). Instead, I am a brother's girl. My older brother, Brad, is three years older than me, yet he is light years older than me as far as being responsible, mature, hilarious, and did I mention responsible yet? Because he is. Responsible. A word I will never use to describe myself. He has been, is now, and I am sure will continue to be a mom, a dad, a brother, and a best friend all rolled into one. Most life lessons I learned from him. Most of my favorite memories involve him. The characteristics of the perfect family member? He embodies them. I love him and would not be the person I am today if it weren't for him and his influence on my life and my character.

It wasn't always this way though. Of course, being brother and sister, we have had our fair share of quarrels. Like the time I was about three, which would have made him six, and we were wrestling on my bed. After a few good tussles, the next thing I knew, I was waking up from unconsciousness. Brad had flipped me off the bed and I had slammed the top of my noggin into the dresser. I'm sure Brad felt bad about it because we were, after all, just playing around, but this seemed to spark something in me. That spark? Revenge, sweet revenge - something my three-year-old mind had not yet conjured up until after this incident.  

So I got him back. At his birthday party a few short months later, I was riding my tricycle through our house, trying to steal the attention away from Brad. All of his friends were over and my mom was getting ready to serve the cake and ice cream. Brad and his buds were sitting on the floor in the den and one of them spilled their drink. My mom, who was carrying the cake on one of those flat cardboard cake boards, put the cake down on the floor and ran to grab a towel to clean up the spilled drink. I came around the corner on my tricycle, saw the cake laying unattended on the floor, and immediately recognized the path that lay before me. I lowered my head, my snarling lip curling in determination. I cranked my trike handles, spun the pedals. I started pedaling hard. I started pedaling fast. My handle bar tassels blew in the wind. And right before everyone's eyes, I drove my trike straight through his cake. There were skid marks where there should have been frosted balloons. It was a wonderful feeling. I knew the inevitable spanking would blister my hiney, but friends, the victory. The victory was worth the beating, trust me on this one.

The ball was now in Brad's court.

On a leisurely afternoon, not long after the cake incident, Brad and I were playing in his room. I was trying to get him to incorporate his GI Joes into whatever Barbie and her friends were doing that afternoon, but he was having none of that. He suggested we do something more constructive with our time. He suggested I let him cut my hair. Being naive and relatively uncaring about my appearances back then, I let him. So he found some scissors and before I knew it, I had bangs. Half inch bangs. It was bad. We went back to playing with our GI Joes and Barbies, having decided that the hair cutting was fun, but fleeting. At dinner that night, my mom finally recognized the difference in my appearance. It's amazing it took her so long to notice because I had glorious hair back then. I mean glorious. I was three, yet my hair was down to my butt in long, soft waves. Oh boy did she notice. She demanded to know, "WHO DID THIS?" And before I could swallow my bite of fish sticks, Brad was pointing at little, innocent me saying, "Peyton did it to herself, Mama! She got the scissors and cut it! I saw her do it and tried to tell her not to, but she wouldn't listen to me!" My eyes welled up with tears, not because I had been betrayed by my own brother, but because I knew the inevitable spanking would blister my hiney. And boy, did it. Brad never said he was sorry, I had a blistered hiney, and worse of all, my beautiful locks were now tarnished by half-inch bangs. It was a bad day.   

The ball got tossed back and forth between my court and Brad's for years. Brad was much more creative in his tactics; I usually just annoyed him and tattled on him.

Brad, if you're reading this, even though you gave me a concussion, even though you made me walk around Preschool with half-inch bangs, even though you called me Papoon, and even though you and your high school buddies pummeled me with glass root beer bottles on my walk home from middle school, I love you.

And I will always be a brother's girl.

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