Stop, in the name of love

When I was around eight years old, a group of neighborhood kids and I were wandering around the streets – because that was the norm back then – and we came across a garage sale at a house across the creek.

It was not often that I was allowed to venture across the creek, so this was already an especially exciting day for me.

But then, this garage sale made it even more exciting… and something in the garage sale just set me on fire(!)…

It was… a gigantic stop sign…

A true and genuine, very large stop sign…

And I wanted it so badly..

We all looked around a bit, one person, I believe, buying something on the spot, due to his or her having a dollar in her pocket, but the rest of us had no money on us – that just wasn’t the thing to carry around then…

And so, we all calculated the amount of money we would need to gather from our respective moneys, and headed back across the creek together, dispersing to the various houses.

Now, I didn’t actually live on this street, due to a somewhat complicated scenario, so I didn’t have any money waiting in a house for me per se…, but my brothers and their dad lived there, and I was spending time at their house, as was usual for me, and they had money at home.

I raced to the house, and I went to my oldest brother as fast as I could… I asked him if I could have some money… I think it was ten or fifteen dollars (not a lot, but not nothing either for the time)… he asked me why, and I quickly explained everything to him, practically begging for the money at this point…

He said we would have to go check it out, and so grabbed about twenty dollars, and we were about to head out, when it was suddenly time for me to leave – my mother was there to pick me up.

My brother said he might still go check it out, but my mom said she and I could drive over to see it, because she likes things like garage sales, anyway, just to look at things.

When she and I arrived, everyone was already back, my brother among them this time, and some of the kids were already heading back home, new treasures in hand.

I showed my mom the other small something I had wanted, as well as the stop sign… she was not convinced on the stop sign…

I was sad, but not surprised – I had known my true chance of getting it lay in my brother’s letting me get it… kind of the whole, ‘Better to beg forgiveness than to ask permission,’ idea, where my mom would have accepted a done deal, but wouldn’t make the deal herself.

And so, I believe we went home, my having a small treasure in hand, and grateful for it, but sad the opportunity that likely was never to present itself again had passed, un-seized…

Sigh……

The next time I was at my brothers’ dad’s house, upon entering my oldest brother’s room, I was struck: there against the wall, behind his speaker system, was a huge and red stop sign… very much like the one I had recently told him about…

Seriously?! I wondered and asked… he openly admitted that he knew I had wanted it, but that that was because it was cool…, and so he got it for himself…, because it really was cool.

….

So unfair, brother… so unfair.

πŸ˜›

It was actually rather comical for me, as opposed to heartbreaking…, and my brother, I think, knew it would be.

For me, it was just something really cool that suddenly was available to me – it was not something that I had always wanted…, so I would be okay not having it… and I was.

Plus, as he mentioned, I still got to see it all the time, but I didn’t have to figure out how to rearrange my room to put it on the wall somewhere that looked right – for his rather bare walls, it was an easy task.

So, it was totally a cheater move…, but we both were very okay with it and found it quite funny in its irony.

I still do, decades+ later..

Haha

Ridiculous, right?

Ridiculous.

Post-a-day 2020

Yesss…

I have started something.

I told my brother about how I create my own translations of Japanese signs that have odd photos.

For example:

After sharing such an idea with my brother, I thought his interest in it would be at an end within minutes.

This afternoon, however, as he sat at the airport, waiting to go home, I received a group message from him with the following:

Apparently, my delightful pastime was not lost on him.

πŸ˜€

I actually was brimming tears as I laughed at this very unexpected set of messages earlier.

Whew!

Post-a-day 2019

Dorks

My brother asked me if I was doing a carry-on bag for our trip.

I told him that I was, and he said that he was hoping/planning to do the same for the whole trip (with an exclamation point at the end!).

That was in text messages.

Talking over the phone a little while later, after our tickets (one set of them, anyway) were booked, we discussed the bags again, and the matter of bringing only a carry-on bag plus a purse.

‘My biggest concern right now is really what watch I’m gonna bring,’ he says to me.

‘I know what watch I’m bringing!’ I counter, and my mom laughs behind me, knowing full well what my brother must have just said, and laughing at him for it (not at my comment alone).

I only currently wear the watch this same brother gave to me several months ago.

It is awesome, and I wear it lovingly and with pride at the company, at my brother for finding and supporting it, and a little at myself for wearing it.

eone Bradley Compass Graphite

My brother knows this, and so does my mother, so we all got my teasing joke of a comment, and, once I told my brother that Mom was laughing, we all laughed at his dilemma.

My brother has an entire collection of watches, each one different from the rest, and all of them stellar quality and style…, and I would guess that they add up to around a hundred thousand dollars altogether…

He typically travels with three watches as a minimum – a casual chic, a sport, and a work watch that doubles as formal.

Sometimes, I believe, he brings something like seven, when it’s a longer trip, and he’ll have varied activities in which to participate and events to attend.

I always bring my one watch, and simply remove it whenever I do sport.

(The moment this company comes out with a sports-safe version of their watches, however, I am totally likely to have two watches, and quite suddenly so…. until that time, however, I have just the one.)

We absolutely love my brother’s love of watches, and I laud him for and value his efforts in creating watches with an awesome private watch company that has begun to make watches for him and to use him and his sports to create advertising for their watches…. frankly, he has done what we all dream to do, by turning a dorky passion into something that not only allows him to pursue his passion but to be encouraged in it and to be paid through it, all while always having a wonderful time with it all.

I am proud to share blood with him, and I love having fun with him around his love of watches (and many other things, too, actually).

At the end of our call, I ask him how the boating went with his friends earlier.

He tells me that he took some pictures, and so he’ll send me something.

After a few moments of flipping through photos, he sends me a wrist shot of the watch his buddy temporarily swapped him for two of his watches…

Seriously, brother?… You went boating, and you took pictures, and the only photo that actually comes out of it all is one of your wrist and a watch, where you really can’t tell that you’re out on a boat in the first place?

But, for him, of course it is. πŸ˜›

And, to be fair, when I saw the photo, while my secondary comment and thought related to the aforementioned concept, my first thought and comment were immediate: “His Carbotech!”

I knew exactly what watch it was, and even I was excited that my brother was getting to wear this watch… πŸ˜›

Post-a-day 2019

Little siblings

I never had little siblings, younger brothers or sisters… I was the baby of many, and by a bit.

My eldest sister would be mistaken as my mother whenever we would go out places… eleven and a half years difference can do that.

And so, I grew up learning loads of things not to do, loads of mistakes not to bother making, because at least one of my older siblings did that thing, made that mistake, and I learned the result long before I might have considered doing any of it myself.

Therefore, I’ve always struggled to understand what it could be like, having your younger sister in grammar school or still in high school… going to their terrible school performances or sports games… my siblings were all older by a good amount, so their performances and games were always awesome to me – in my child mind, they could have been pro compared to my own performances or games at the same time.

Tonight, I ran into two old classmates who were attending the art show of their little sister… and it reminded me that people actually do that, come back to the high school because of the younger sibling… I’d forgotten.

I’d thought people only really returned to visit for themselves, see old teachers and new buildings… that sort of thing… or to work there.

As I pondered how odd that idea feels, I suddenly recalled that I actually can relate a little bit.

You see, it’s almost like I have a borrowed younger sister.

My best friend lives in England, but her youngest sister lives in Houston, and she’s in high school right now.

Though I mostly am at the school for work purposes, I occasionally arrange my schedule around seeing her or spending time with her.

For the art show tonight, I had already planned to attend it, because it is always amazing.

However, I also knew that she would be performing in it, and so made sure to arrange accordingly to be there when she performed.

I always record her performance, and send it to her sister, who, naturally, is too far to make the trip for a short little performance every time.

So, in a way, I have a borrowed little sister: my best friend’s little sister.

It’s not exactly the same as her being my real sister, because I’d have attended loads more of her events and such…, but it has enough similarities for me to be able, ever so slightly, to relate to those who have younger siblings.

You know what I mean?

Post-a-day 2019

Beer run?

‘Okay, I’m stopping at the grocer on my way out there.’

‘Oh, since you’re stopping at the grocer, will you pick up some (hard) cider for me?’

He then gives me the details of his preferences on cidre, and we settle a plan…

“Haha…,” he continues, a bit nerdily and excited, “I’ve never had my little sister buy me alcohol before.”

We both had a dorky chuckle at this idea, mostly because we knew how the rest of our family had been growing up, as well as how unlike them I had been, simply uninterested in alcohol, let alone getting someone to buy any for me.

…..

Separately, when actually at the store, two girls who work there were telling me about the cidres sold, and kept suggesting I get a ‘sneaky’ one, so that I could ‘get him drunk’, and they kept chuckling at how their boyfriends are always surprised with sweet drinks that have high alcoholic content and leave them drunk, when they had thought they were totally fine… I didn’t entirely disapprove, since it’s people who matter to the girls, but I wasn’t exactly a proponent of the behavior in the first place…

When they remembered that I had said “for my brother”, their tunes changed and they gave me genuine flavor information on the different cidres, instead of just talking about getting something sweet. πŸ˜›

The irony of it all was how I couldn’t even remember the last time I’d purchased alcohol, let alone purchased any for my own consumption (not that these were for me, of course), and it felt extra-silly carrying out the cidres… I felt so totally out of place, not unlike an underaged kid sister trying to sneak alcohol for her brother’s party…

My extra consolation was in the fact that he really doesn’t drink much in the first place either, but wanted some drinks because he is on vacation (and even then only a few, because there’s an intense CrossFit class awaiting him in the morning). πŸ˜›

Post-a-day 2019

Memories

My cousin and I were talking tonight about old, old memories in our lives.

Growing up, I had a situation that was incredibly unique at the time (and that still is a bit unique nowadays), in which my parents each had children from a previous spouse, only had me together, married when I was three, and divorced one another when I was four.

My siblings on my mom’s side not only lived in the same neighborhood as I did, but my mom and I were regularly at their dad’s house, spending time with them and, even, their dad, who was my mom’s first husband, but with whom my mom was no longer involved in such a relationship.

My siblings on my dad’s side moved to Georgia (until they kind of moved back, off and on, one by one, starting when I was about nine), and so were only around for certain holidays and for what I guess to have been about a month each summer.

My cousin pointed out that she remembered being often at the place my mom and I lived for many years together after she split up from my dad, the one that was in the neighborhood with my brothers and their dad.

I, too, recalled that they often were there visiting us, and we often were at their house (two hours away, by the way) visiting them.

She then presented the interesting and confounding concept of accepting the idea of someone seeing one’s cousins more often than seeing one’s own siblings…, because that’s really how it was in the first decade and a half of my life, so far as my mom’s sister’s children and my dad’s children were concerned.

I have many more memories from earlier childhood with those cousins than I do with my siblings on my dad’s side.

Certainly, I saw my brothers from my mom all the time, almost daily…, but my cousins were, as I can pull up old school activities and projects to show, some of my favorite people in the world, and they were often on my mind, because I saw them often…, such was not the case with my siblings on my dad’s side.

Sure, I cared about them, and I had spectacular memories from the brief time we all spent in the same house when my parents were married to one another, but I really think we could say that I had more a relationship with and attitude towards them that people have with cousins, rather than one with siblings.

So, my half brothers were like my brothers, my cousins were like my half siblings, and my other half siblings were like my cousins… relationship- and attitude-wise, anyway.

Kind of crazy, huh?

I hadn’t really ever thought much about it, because, as my cousin also pointed out tonight, it can be amazing what kinds of things we just accept as children, not concerned in the least about whether they are uncommon or absurd.

I guess the absurdity doesn’t surprise me, of course, because, well, even now, absurd is normal in my life, as this same cousin so graciously pointed out to me a few years ago. πŸ˜›

Post-a-day 2019

My brother’s birthday

Today was the shortest day of the year, the winter solstice.

Today also was my brother’s birthday.

It was wonderful – I got to devote almost my entire day to delighting, empowering, and loving someone else, and it happened to be someone who openly appreciated it all and who truly experienced the love from all of us around him.

I’m not so sure there is much of a better feeling to be had than that…

Perhaps this could be something I organize doing more often, and not merely for special occasions… it is just so wonderful.

Post-a-day 2018