This week's Spin Cycle, brought to you by Sprite's Keeper is on bonds. And nope, we're not talking the financial kind or the kind that glues a man's toupee to his head, though that would be fun and pretty interesting. Familial bonds. The glue that holds a family together. With my family, a strong ingredient in that glue is humor. I may take most of my physical traits from my mother's side of the family, but it's pretty obvious where my sense of dry wit and humor come from. My father.
Thanks to my dad, from a pretty young age, I've grown up watching Mel Brooks movies or other comedy classics, such as Spaceballs, Airplane!, Lethal Weapon, Blazing Saddles, etc. My favorite move has been since about 7 years old has been (and will continue to be) Airplane! It is one of my father's favorites, too, and my siblings and I can pretty much quote that entire movie verbatim. I can't get through an airport without talking about that "red zone/white zone crap again." "That's a roger, Roger. State your vector, Victor." OK, enough of that...
I wouldn't call the relationship I have with my brother and sister to be a serious or normal one. Well, more so with my brother, as with sisters, you can always try to be serious if needed. That is what sisters are for, after all. But my brother, we joke around more than we have any serious conversation, and I love it. My brother's way of getting me through a break-up in college was to put his arms around me at church and start singing as off key to whatever song was being sung as humanly possible. And with family dinners? They're usually loud and lots of laughing. We're obnoxious when all in the same room. Throw a few glasses of wine/beer into the mix, and you may as well forget having a nice, quiet night at home. The sad thing is, we're rubbing off on the younger generation. My oldest nephew who is 13 has turned into quite the little sarcastic one, too. And not the sassy, bratty kind you get with teenagers. No, he's got the same dry sense of humor that the rest of us do. I often forget when I'm joking around with him that I'm joking with a child and not an adult. It's funny. I think we've all kind of rubbed off on him a bit. (oops) He's 13, and the kid likes to watch DVD episodes of The Office and Seinfeld. He was BORN when Seinfeld came out. Yikes.
Being serious around holidays and birthdays is also impossible for us. My brother and I have a bit of a tradition. Back when I was a freshman in college, he was too lazy to actually go out and buy me a birthday card, so he just picked up a Christmas card from home and signed it. So, not to be outdone, the next year I decided to get him a "Congratulations on your Bar Mitzvah" card. He followed up with a "Congratulations on Making an Eagle Scout" card. Each year, we try to one up the other. I think the ones he's given me include: "Sorry your pet died (I don't own a pet, so that normally wouldn't be funny), "Good luck on your ballet recital," "I love you Mom for more than you know," "Congratulations on entering the Priesthood," and one year a bikini clad girl in a soccer bikini with the words "GOOOOOAL!" next to her. Mine have been: "Kwanzaa," "Ruby Jubilee (40th anniversary of the priesthood), "Thank you for your Service in Vietnam (this one took effort. His birthday is in April, and I bought the card in November), "You've finally used the potty!, "I am getting a divorce," and so many more I can't think of. This last year, I was quite proud of my selection. Hallmark makes these cards for kids who are going through stuff at school, home, etc. I got him one for "those kids picking on you are just jealous, you're a great kid." I feel awful because we're standing in the middle of Hallmark, in an area that should normally be sad, somber cards, and I'm standing there laughing until I cry. I'm sure I disturb the rest of the Hallmark patrons, but oh well. His card to me this year was a "I just wanted to let you know I'm no longer a man. I am now a woman." card. That, I will admit, will be hard to beat next year. So I better start looking early.
Next year is my 30th birthday, and I better watch out, too. When my brother turned 30, I had a "Hoverround" wheelchair informational video sent anonymously to his home. He accused a few of his coworkers and friends before he finally found out it was me who sent it to him. The plan backfired on me, though, because you had to give a valid phone number to get the video sent, and I kept getting phone messages from Hover round, wanting to talk to me about "my brother's special needs." So I'm a little curious as to what he'll do next year when I turn the big 3-0. Of course, he's always five years older than I am, so I can always get back at him.
We're sick and probably in desperate need of psychological help. But we're family, and for this reason, we'll be forever bonded.