Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I'm A Liar.

Yesterday I told my mom that I’m used to my brother being gone. When I checked my e-mail this morning before work and saw an e-mail from him, with the subject line reading “Silencio old man,” I realized that I’m not used to him being gone at all. I miss that kid like crazy. Maybe I’m just used to missing him.

I knew I would be running really late if I read his e-mail right that minute, so I decided to wait until I got to work. Currently, I’m sitting at my desk at work writing this and I have yet read his e-mail. Partially because I know that if I read it, I’ll forget all the things I wanted to blog about (I’ve been thinking about this since I walked away from my computer this morning) and because I have a meeting in 29 minutes and I want to wait until I can enjoy it.

I literally laughed out loud when I saw the subject line of his e-mail. If you’re not familiar, it’s a line from Juno, which we have watched together almost as many times as I’ve made him watch Dirty Dancing against his will. The first time I saw Juno was with my mom. That was kind of weird experience and definitely one of those times where I wish I had screened the movie before being in the same room as her for it. It’s not that it’s horrible, but I definitely felt awkward a couple of times. Anyway… The next time I saw the movie was the night before Coley and I went to Nashville to visit our cousin. It was then that I discovered that Juno gets funnier every time you watch it, which is why we have watched it as many times as we have. I know this to be true also because The Boyfriend has grown to like this movie in the same way. (I want to say love, but that’s a stretch and he’ll call me on it.) So over time, we just end up repeating silly lines from the movie. And I always, ALWAYS forget just how sad the ending is. But then again, I rarely make it to the end without falling asleep or simply turning it off because 1 a.m. comes and The Boyfriend has to go home. And I love it anyway.

After thinking about watching Juno with Coley, my mind just started to wander through great memories that I have of him. I think my favorite memories of times that we’ve had were made after he graduated from high school. It was at that time that we had finally gotten to a point in our lives where we’d both reached the same milestones in our lives, albeit years apart. He’d finally become an adult and was more than just my little brother. I finally started to see him as a real person and as my friend. This is also about the time that he realized that I have “blonde moments” every now and again.

Here are some highlights:

For some reason, I was talking to him about making pound cake and I told him that it would have to bake for 120 minutes. He didn’t let it slide for even a second. “Really, Jacquelyn? A HUNDRED AND TWENTY MINUTES?” Oops. In my head, I was picturing a clock reading 1:20 (80 minutes) so instead of saying an hour and twenty minutes, I said 120. I’m certain that he’ll never let me forget that. And if he does, by some miracle, forget that it happened, The Boyfriend will gladly remind him… seeing as how Coley told him about this little slip up. And he told him WAY too early in our relationship, if you ask me. Thank goodness he didn’t think “This chick is stu-pid.” and take a hike. No. Instead, he asks me every time I make a pound cake if I’m going to bake it for 120 minutes.

A new Thai restaurant opened on A1A and we drive past it just about every time we go anywhere. I’d had this thought go through my head nearly every time we drove by the place, but never voiced it… Until one day Coley and I were riding together (our parents may have even been in the car with us) and I finally said aloud “That place is weird. It just doesn’t make any sense. ‘Thai Chinese’??? Isn’t that a little contradictory? Why would they name a place that and have Thai and Chinese food?” I wish I’d had a tape recorder to capture the tone of his voice when he said “It doesn’t say Thai CHINESE, Jacquelyn. It says Thai CUISINE. Put your glasses on. Gosh.” I can’t pass by that place without saying “Thai Chinese!” out loud. It makes him really mad.

We LOVE fountain drinks. We will all pile into the car and drive to McD’s or BK for a fountain drink even if we have bottles or cans of soda in the refrigerator. Last Thanksgiving, we did just that, only when we got home we realized that the drink order was messed up. We were missing a drink or one was wrong or something. Either way, Coley and I decided we’d go back to McD’s to get whatever we needed (and to get out of the house for a few minutes. It’s a pressure cooker in there on holidays.) As we’re getting close to our house on the way back, I look in the driveway and don’t see my dad’s truck. I started to say “Where did Dad go?” but stopped myself when I realized that we were IN HIS TRUCK. Coley quickly picked up on what I was about to say and looked at me like “You’re smarter than that.”

I made the mistake of telling Coley about one of said moments that I had by myself. I’d gotten a gift card for Easter and when I looked at it, I thought to myself “Hmm… I must have told my mom that I wanted something specific from Bed, Bath & Beyond. It’s out of character for her give me a gift card for house wares.“ It took me a couple of months to actually get around to trying to use it and I searched all over Bed, Bath & Beyond for what I might’ve told my mom that I needed or something that I really wanted. I decided on a Cuisinart Waffle Iron and took it to the register to pay. When I was told my total, I handed over the gift card like it was my job only to be told by the sales person “That’s for Bath & Body Works.” I politely paid for the stupid waffle iron, instead of saying “Well then I don’t want it!”, leaving, and returned the sucker to a different Bed, Bath & Beyond at the next chance I got. I thought Coley was going to die laughing at me for being such an idiot and my mom said “Jacquelyn. I will never give you a gift card for house wares. EVER. I hate getting that kind of stuff as gifts and won’t give them as gifts either!” Now, every time we walk by Bath & Body Works, Coley asks if I want to check out the waffle makers. And when we pass a Bed, Bath & Beyond, he asks me if I need some soaps or lotions (which they do have there, by the way.) And for my birthday this past year, he got me the same waffle iron that I returned. I’ve used it once.

The moral of this blog post is that I do miss my brother and I will never be “used” to him being gone. I’ll only get used to missing him. I can’t wait until he gets back so that I can hear him bring up these little moments, instead of just reading about them in his e-mails and letters. I might even look forward to him warming up on the guitar by playing those stupid little warm-up ditties that make me want to pull my hair out. Especially when I ask him to go in another room and he just plays louder while staring at me with his eyes as wide as they can possibly get.

He’s a little brother. And he’s good at it.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Give Me A Break

Last week I had the pleasure of being off of work and away on vacation with my parents. My mom was barely pregnant with me when she and my dad purchased a time share in Ft. Myers Beach, FL. Here’s what it looks like today.

I’m sure little has changed since they bought it. It’s never looked any different to me, that’s for sure. Oh wait, it used to be painted an eggshell color with a brown roof and trim.

We haven’t been there since the summer after I graduated from high school. We didn’t realize it had been that long until we tried to think back to the last time we’d been there. A lot of the things that we used to do were still available. The pier wasn’t wiped out by Hurricane Charley back in 2004, which was good. Well, if it was, we didn’t know and they’ve re-built it.

We did as much relaxing as is possible when you have four extra visitors for a minimum of two nights of your stay. My mom’s parents came to join us, along with two of my cousins. Sleeping arrangements were less than desirable, but we made it work and we were rested enough to drag ourselves out to the pool each morning after donning sexy bathing suits and lathering up with sunscreen.

I think we went through at least 6 bottles of sunscreen. Mind you, these are the new spray bottles. I have never been a fan of sunscreen, but I fry crispy after only being out in the sun for 15 minutes. I hate to have to put it in my hands, to rub it in, the smell… just everything about it. I’d like to kiss the person that came up with the idea of sunscreen that you don’t have to put in your hands. I was still initially put off by the potential odor, but was able to find a brand with a tolerable stench. (I have a really good sense of smell. I smell some things for hours after they’re gone and get headaches from smelling weird things. Once I was standing with my back to someone, that I didn’t even know was there at the time, and I said “It smells like… an everything bagel.” Next thing I know, there’s a guy saying “I work at Cory’s Bagels. Sorry about that… But good nose!”)

All in all, it was nice to be able to be away from work and out of town where you can’t be sucked in to doing mundane things like cleaning and running errands and the feelings of guilt for not doing them. We certainly laughed a lot, with a majority of it being at the expense of my nine-year-old cousin. I sort of feel badly for her, but then again I really don’t. I remember being the young one and everyone have fun at my expense. It’s all part of life. And she might’ve brought some of it on herself when she expressed her fear of Charles Manson and continued to act like she was more afraid than she really might’ve been when we continued to tease her about him and his hippies coming to find her. I think she was genuinely mad at us when we gave her a hard time about being pregnant. Clearly, she isn’t, but it’s not hard to convince a nine-year-old that you think she is. The funniest thing may have been my mom telling her “Don’t go home and tell your Dad a bunch of stories about us. If you do, he’s going to call me and then who do you think he’s going to believe more, you or ME?” My mom is normally the one who dispels all rumors and clears the air of any potential lies floating around. It was quite the shock for her to be one of the bad guys for a change. I loved it.

I took the girls home Wednesday evening, when I had planned to head back to my parents’ house to say good-bye to this guy.

I’ve been trying to determine if seeing him leave was easier or harder than leaving my brother at the MTC back in April. All I can come up with is that it’s just different. The most obvious difference is that he’s not my brother. It was hard to see my brother go because we are really close, but I had The Boyfriend to mop up the puddle I might’ve been and to entertain me and otherwise occupy my time. And thank goodness for that or I might've gone crazy.

The bottom line is that I’ve enjoyed the last six months or so more than I could’ve ever imagined. In the beginning, I didn’t think it’d be that big of a deal for him to leave. I knew it was coming and that was that. I never anticipated us getting so close and his impending departure never seemed all that real. Oblivion has been the overall theme, for me at least, since we started dating. He not only saw, but planned out much of what’s happened. It’s all worked out quite nicely, if I do say so myself. I happen to love surprises and this has been a pleasant and drawn-out surprise for me. I am loving every minute, especially the ones when we’re together.

He’s going to be a great doctor. And tan, I think. Very tan.