I usually refrain from speaking about family or anything more personal than my two dumb cats but I'll break my own rule to write about my brother.
My brother is 13 years older than I am. This age difference really only goes to demonstrate that we did not grow up together. He has movie star looks in the respect that he doesn't look 50 years old at all. I remember it not long ago that someone asked if he was my younger brother...nice.
Our relationship over the years has been stressed by an age difference and typical acceptance issues from parents. Perhaps the biggest factor is that we are really polar opposites. I like sports, he doesn't. I am a musician, he isn't interested in music. I love politics, he just basically knows he hates conservatives. As the years have gone by and our life experiences have increased, I've come to realize we have a few things in common:
We both like cars. While taking our mom to the hospital for a procedure our waiting room became the local auto row. Neither of us wanted to buy a car, but instead we merely wanted look at them. We really just wanted to use the local dealership as our own personal car show. As salesmen came up to hound us and answer questions we weren't asking I noticed that both of us knew more about the cars than they did. We both like cars.
We both can be jerks. I'll admit that when it comes to being a jerk, I can only sit at the feet of my brother and learn. I'm not saying that I don't have my own impressive set of skills, but my brother has an unrelenting stamina and doesn't let little things like social boundaries deter him. I found out this commonality while at the registration desk with my mom. The woman handing my mother all of these forms was telling her information about her insurance that was not correct. The reason we knew this was my brother works in the medical insurance industry and picked out this plan specifically for our mom. So my brother politely corrected her and this is how the conversation went:
Woman: I need you to sign here and confirm that this is a replacement policy.
My mom: Where do I sign?
My brother: It's not a replacement policy it's a supplemental policy.
Woman: I don't think that's correct. This company normally handles replacement policies.
My brother: Just trust me, I know what the policy is; I arranged it for her.
My mom: Where do I sign?
Woman: Well, I'll have to double-check then because this company normally handles replacement policies.
My brother: Saying it over and over again won't make it anymore true.
Woman: Sir, you have to understand that this....
My brother: I'm in the insurance industry, I don't need a lecture from a desk clerk about the policy I picked out for my mother, so just do your job.
Woman: I'll just have to double-check then.
Me: If you're not going to believe him can you just go double-check and quit giving us a bunch of grief about it? Geez lady get your act together.
Woman: Exits with fear in her eyes
My brother: Looks like she didn't realize she was facing both barrels.
My mom: I wouldn't wish you two on anyone. It's her fault; she wouldn't listen.
We both can be jerks.
I live pretty closely to my brother and we actually share a great deal of time together. There are times where I prefer his company to anyone else. This is an amazing development given our history.
In the last couple of years my brother has given me advice, friendship and has demonstrated that while I have a great devotion and willingness to care for our mom...his devotion is even greater. And best of all...we're both jerks.