I Get it From my Brother.

Deep Thoughts | Getting Personal (aka a little TMI) 1 Comment

I love U2. I have ever since “Rattle and Hum.” Bono. The Edge. Adam. Larry.
rattle and hum

Some of the Sonic commercials with those two guys were filmed in KC.

R.E.M.’s “Monster” album blared from my discman in 1994 or 95. Crush with Eyeliner and I Don’t Sleep, I Dream were my favorite tracks.

Tilapia have eyes on the top and bottom of their bodies.

I can quote every line from The Breakfast Club and I was probably 19 years old before I realized the group passed around a joint. I had only seen the censored version on TV till then. I harbored (and still do) a significant crush on Judd Nelson and I can probably blame this movie for my attraction to what Katie calls “alternative guys.” There’s also a really embarrassingly true story about me trying to give a boy a diamond earring in 5th grade that I blame on this movie….Let’s talk about something else.

Johnny Rzeznik and Robby Takic are apparently pretty cool guys in person.

Michael Jackson. If you know me you know I love him (and also that I’m deeply conflicted about this now). 

“You can get anything you want at Alice’s Restaurant.” That’s by Arlo Guthrie.alice

I’ve been backstage at Starlight Theater. I also saw LiverPool play there when I was under 10 years old.

I can’t help but yell “Skate or Die dude!” whenever I pass the skate park in Gladstone.

I was the only kindergartner in my class at Linden West who got to sit in the back of the bus all year long.

I saw Dirty Dancing before I was 13 years old.

I have a 2 inch scar on my left knee.

I’ve tasted 3 different types of gin while listening to some of the best jazz musicians in the country in an old speak easy.

“I don’t want to sell anything, buy anything, or process anything as a career. I don’t want to sell anything bought or processed, or buy anything sold or processed, or process anything sold, bought, or processed, or repair anything sold, bought, or processed. You know, as a career, I don’t want to do that.”
I <3 Lloyd Dobler.

All of those statements seem incredibly random.

They are all true and they are all connected by one thing.

That unifying factor is my big brother, David.

clearly hateI was born when he was 5.5 years old. I’ve formed the theory that I ruined his life at that time because he was used to being an only child and the first grandchild on both sides of the family. Then I came along.

I’ve lived the last 32 years (yes, almost 33 ) pretty convinced my brother didn’t like me an awful lot. He has to love me, and I have long-sought his approval over my lifetime, but he can probably tell you I have gone about it in the strangest of ways.

My brother and I are incredibly different people; or so I’ve always thought.

In fact, December 13. 2013 I had a disagreement with my brother. It might seem like a bad day because it happened to be Friday the 13th, but in reality, it was the night we were going out as a family for his birthday dinner.

I cried my eyes out over my complicated and frustrating relationship with my brother, again, before joining the rest of the family at dinner where I was most likely not really wanted. This wasn’t the first time I had been the “bad guy” and it was, yet again, a disagreement that happened at the complete wrong time. My timing ain’t always grand.

I spent the next nearly 4 months refusing to make the first move. I always “give” first. Not this time. No way.

Then I learned something new about my brother.

For the last few months I have also been working with my dad. Part of the “training” my dad offers is to have everyone complete a personality inventory. There are 4 different “categories:”
A) Relationships and Feelings
B) Fairness and Justice
C) Knowledge and Understanding
D) Freedom and Skillfulness

It should come as no surprise to you that I scored highest in that first category. 🙂

The cool thing about this inventory is that it also delves into how people whose strengths rest in other categories may perceive each other and how they can communicate with each other more effectively.

I asked my dad which one my brother was knowing full well it was the “Knowledge and Understanding” category.

But I was wrong.

My dad told me my brother rated highest in that first category; possibly higher than me, and I was only 1-2 points away from maxing out in that category.

I don’t know if my dad’s memory is correct, but what I know is this: In that moment I knew I had wounded my brother deeply, and that he wasn’t ignoring me out of anger and self-righteousness; he was hurt.

And I had hurt him.

I have always thought of him as impenetrable.

But I was wrong.

And I told him so.

I didn’t hear from him after that, and I was afraid I had done too much damage.

About 2 weeks later he came by the house. I had about 15 people over and was hosting a baby shower, but even over all that noise my ears caught the sound of his voice in the garage so I went to say hi. I still wasn’t sure where we stood.

Later, we were both standing in the kitchen with his wonderful girlfriend while my guests chatted in the living room. He reached his arm out and I settled under it and we hugged.

My brother is one of the smartest people I have ever met. He has a story about anything and everything…and they’re all true.

He’s hard-working and self-made. He’s loyal.

He’s picked me up at times in my life when I have been very very down.

If he’s like me he doesn’t forgive himself easily and he overthinks a lot.

There are parts of who I am that are undoubtedly because I am his kid sister. There are parts of me that couldn’t exist if he didn’t exist and have an influence on me.

Those are probably the only parts of me that are cool.

IMAG0744I love you, brother.


  1. Wow. We are much alike, you and I. Honest and open – sharing our real lives in the hopes that someone is struggling with something similar and can be encouraged by it. Lots of times I get bashed for sharing too much but the messages I’ve received saying “you are making a difference” well outweigh the skeptics. Keep writing, girl. You are making a difference sharing your reality. 

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