Monday, June 18, 2012

life, and books, and brothers

I have a younger brother, as you may know. That's the extent of my sibling relationships. (Well, truth be told I'm also given to understand that technically I have three younger stepsiblings but I have no proof of their existence and if I haven't met them after a decade I wouldn't say I have a "relationship" with them.)

My brother and I are wildly different. He's sporty and athletic and has won provincial championships and all sorts of awards and crap. He's good at science and maths and much more extroverted than I am (in the outgoing sense, at least; I have a sneaking suspicion he might be an introvert in the energy sense). He lives in chaos, and he has girls hanging all over him and likes getting dirty and mucky and stuff. On the other hand, I'm clumsy and shy, don't like crowds, book smart in the humanities but science spins my head and I'm dyslexic when it comes to numbers. He's likely to be off running around somewhere, I'm likely to be found indoors with my nose in a book.

Something that I've been realizing lately, to my surprise, is just how alike we are. We're both snarky and sarcastic, and neither of us likes to repeat ourselves. We both cook (me for love, him to fuel his 4000-calorie a day metabolic requirement) and are savvy with our money. We're night owls who like to sleep in, and neither of us sleeps particularly soundly. Heck, we're even attached to the same family heirlooms in the same order (therefore my mother must write a will, or we will squabble.) As of last week, my mother even has a matched set of framed Brock University degrees sitting in her living room ... in the nearly identical from afar but with very different details frames and mattes we individually chose. We both turned down class rings (but I upped the ante with a school tattoo).

My brother and I are fairly close. We talk and text at least a couple times a week. We've been known to call each other for personal advice. (Maybe he's the person I should take my "who to invite to the wedding" woes to, but I don't want to put him in the middle.) I spent a solid month in February or March editing his final papers and revising and hashing out the written portions of his grad-school application. When he got in, it felt like I was a part of his success.

So it shouldn't have surprised me when a month ago he called and asked if I had the second book of the Hunger Games trilogy right after I finished reading it. It should have surprised me even less the other week, when visiting for a big important event (concluded with the expensive piece of paper that matches mine) I was lying on his couch waiting for him to be ready, reading A Game Of Thrones that he would come out of the bathroom, look at me, and say

"Huh, funny thing," hold up his own copy of the same book, marked to maybe fifty pages past where I was "I'm reading the same thing."

Because clearly we did come out of the same womb. Also, I have no issue being similar to my brother. He's a pretty swell guy.

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