HAPPY CINCO DE MAYO TO EVERYONE!
As the title of this post states, cinco de mayo is also my brother's birthday! Tim, my older brother, turns thirty six today. How can this be? I remember when he turned ten like it was yesterday. I remember when I was younger and people would ask me how much of an age difference there was between us. We are about two and a half years apart. In the old days, I would lower that number to an even two years, and sometimes, I'd even say eighteen months- like when he brought his friends home from high school. Now, I'm thinking, really, he is a solid three years older than I am.
In any case, Tim and I are very close, and in fact, he created the nickname, Laurie of the seven stories for me, on account of the fact that he says I am always repeating the same stories from our childhood over and over again. To be an ass, now when I recount a tale from our youth, he will often shout out a number, that's # six, he'll say. He has also enlisted my husband to help him number the stories. Mentally, they are both still about ten.
No matter what story I tell, Tim always says, I don't remember that. Of course, I know that he does. He always says to me, how can you remember that? In honor of his birthday, I will tell three of my favorite Tim and I stories. I am quite certain that you will agree, they are rather memorable, and not easily forgotten. For today, I only have time for one, so tune in again tomorrow for stories two and three.
#1 My brother wasn't a pro wrestler, but he played one on me.
My brother was a huge fan of wrestling when we were kids, not real wrestling mind you, WWF, which is now WWE. I know this because, through no fault of mine or my husband's, our boys also love wrestling. Must be some genetic weak link. Anyhow, thank god, they have each other to wrestle, although on occasion they can be found attempting a "fake" choke slam on one of their three sisters.
But back to my brother. He had only me or my older brother, John, to wrestle, so I was his victim, I mean partner. Not only did my brother wrestle me, he would simultaneously announce the match, and provide commentary.
One particular Sunday morning, my brother was up on the top ropes of my mom's brass bed, when he jumped onto my wrist and snapped the bone in half at the growth spot. The wind was knocked out of me, so it took a few minutes for me to vocalize my pain. When I finally was able to breathe again, and thus cry, my brother said, you're faking it. It took you two minutes to start crying.
I couldn't breathe, I told him. He didn't believe me. He told my mom that I was trying to get out of going to church. My mother threatened to take me to the ER. I'll take you to the ER room, she said, in a threatening voice, so that I would stop acting. I replied, please do.
I was hospitalized for two days because the swelling needed to go down before they could set my arm.
How did it happen? everyone wanted to know. I knew if I told the truth, my brother would be in big trouble, so I said that we were playing around on the bed and I hit my arm against the post. The doctor's didn't believe me. They questioned my mother about child abuse, probably thinking that someone had helped me make up a story.
I was nine at the time,and I made the story up on my own. My brother didn't ask me to, either. I knew it was an accident, that he didn't mean to hurt me, and I didn't want him to get in trouble on my account. He did play along with my story, though. I guess he figured if I wasn't telling, neither would he. He did come and visit me in the hospital, and he brought me a gift that he bought with his own money.
I have to admit, I have a soft spot for my brother. He can be extremely self-centered, and temperamental at times, as he was my parent's favorite and the middle child; but all in all, he is a really good brother, and a fun person to be around. Years after, the broken arm event, I out ted him as the culprit, and he admitted blame- sort of- in the sense that he didn't deny my accusation.
Today, I still enjoy listening to l00ny songs that he makes up about people; he often changes words to real songs, and sings them to friends and loved ones. He was always making up songs about his girlfriend, now ex, and singing them to her. It was strange, but entertaining. When we were little, he made up a song about me and my cabbage patch doll. I can't remember to what tune it was to, but the lyrics were "Lor is mental case, Lor is a mental Khayhayhayse, Lor is mental case, and so is Dena Denise." My brother was always the ring leader, so he also had all of my cousins singing that song all summer long. Is it any wonder why I remember?
Tim also does a great impression of someone taking out their false teeth, and someone using a voice talker, you know the automated voice things people use when they have lost the ability to speak. I know it's not very sensitive, or politically correct, but it is funny as hell after a few drinks.
My brother is also a great cook, and an accomplished runner. He is a friend to all who know him, and the source of many of my best and worst childhood memories.
Happy birthday, Tim. Hope you have many more.
P.S. - if forty is the new twenty, he's only sixteen, and I've just become a teenager. Yes, I believe that is true.