October 07, 2005

Oh Boy

I went running with my brother yesterday. I have two brothers, both younger, and they recently moved out of my mother’s house and in with the older brother’s girlfriend. It was the ideal living arrangement… for a while. Apparently the two of them have hit a bumpy patch. They used to get on so well together, but lately the younger brother has been a bit broody. Here is the conversation that took place when I tried to Nosy Parker my way into their business. Note: To protect identities, I shall call my younger brother Bruce, my older brother’s girlfriend shall be Allison, and for the older brother I shall use his special nickname, Jessica.

JESSICA:
So, I dunno what the hell is up with Bruce lately.

BEEDOO:
Whattaya mean?

JESSICA:
He’s so annoying! He won’t clean the house, always says he had a bad day, doesn’t wanna hang out, and when I ask him to do something, he bites my head off!

BEEDOO:
Example?

JESSICA:
Yesterday I asked him to clean the bathrooms.

BEEDOO:
Yeah…

JESSICA:
He said ‘ok.’

BEEDOO:
Wow. I see what you mean.

JESSICA:
Are you going to listen, or just try to be funny?

BEEDOO:
Sorry. Go on.

JESSICA:
So, I ask him again today, and he says ‘Why the hell are you nagging me? I said I would do it, damn!’

BEEDOO:
Well, it was only one day.

JESSICA:
But I also asked him like 3 times last week! He says he will, but then he never does! He never does any of the chores around the house. Now, when we moved out I told him that we were going to have to be responsible for cleaning up after ourselves, ‘cuz I don’t want to live in a house all torn to shit.

BEEDOO:
Like Mom’s.

JESSICA:
Yes!

BEEDOO:
Which you guys tore all to shit.

JESSICA:
It wasn’t just the boys! The girls made a mess, too!

BEEDOO:
Maybe, but your point is, now that you actually have a house of your own, you’re going to keep it nice and clean, because it belongs to you.

JESSICA:
Exactly.

BEEDOO:
And not your mother.

JESSICA:
Oh, like you’re so fucking innocent. You wanna talk about this now?

BEEDOO:
No, let’s go back to your thing.

JESSICA:
Fine. Anyway, he’s so touchy all the time, and Alison thinks he’s depressed, and he never talks to us--

BEEDOO:
Do you talk to him?

JESSICA:
I TRY! He just bites my head off!

BEEDOO:
Well, yeah, when you hassle him, he will. You’re the same way, dude.

JESSICA:
No, he’s like that all the time!

BEEDOO:
Well, he’s under a lot of stress—he’s in class all damn day, then comes home to do his homework and gets hassled by you!

JESSICA:
What, so I should just do all the cleaning?

BEEDOO:
No, but I think you should try communicating with him. Try taking him out to eat and discussing some stuff. But don’t yell at him—be nice, and tell him you appreciate how hard school is and all, but he really needs to pitch in a bit.

JESSICA:
Um, we’re not chicks.

BEEDOO:
Which is probably why you have so much trouble getting your stupid man-feelings across. Anyway, suggest that he find a day of the week when he’s not busy, and he can clean up one day a week. But don’t fight.

JESSICA:
I don’t start fights! He does!

BEEDOO:
I find that really hard to believe. You’re the hothead—he’s pretty submissive most of the time.

JESSICA:
You know what he did the other day? He was working out in the living room and he had a glass of water on the TV stand!

BEEDOO:
So?

JESSICA:
So it could have spilled! He could have ruined all the electrical appliances in the house!

BEEDOO:
The whole house? With one glass of water?

JESSICA:
Listen—he also picked up the ottobench and leaned it against the wall.

BEEDOO:
Again… so?

JESSICA:
He could have scratched it!!

BEEDOO:
Um, it’s leather.

JESSICA:
He could have scratched the legs!

BEEDOO:
Wait—I thought you said you weren’t a chick.

I bet you can guess how it ended. Isn’t it funny how men would rather insulate themselves and not openly speak about their problems and just yell at each other, rather than have a rational discussion about their problems? I’m not saying ladies have it totally together in this department, but we do have a habit of wanting to talk about things that are on our minds. It could also be that my little brother is mainly sweet and unobtrusive, whereas Jessica is a raging egomaniac. And if I had to live with a sibling and her significant other, I think it would eventually get on my nerves, too—especially if I were single. I think that’s the source of my brother’s depression. He’s always asking me to find him a woman. Like, what, I have friends? And even if I did, like they’d be good enough for him? Poor boy. No outlet for his frustrations. Maybe I’ll cook him dinner tonight. He can come over to my house and study. Hang on—I’ll call him. …All set. We’re having crepes tonight.

Do all men eat crepes? Is my other brother a woman too? I mean, c’mon: ottobench?

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