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When I was ten and my brother was eight, I called 911 from our home phone. My parents were out, and we were making prank calls. ("Hello, Empire Carpets? I would like to buy a thousand carpets.")

I didn't know that when you call the police, they stay on the line even after you hang up, so that when you pick up the phone again, they're still there. I didn't know that after you say you weren't playing with the phone, they send two officers to your house, and they take your full name before leaving and never following up. For years, I thought the prank call was listed somewhere on my permanent record, next to the lunch detention I got for wearing street clothes to gym. I didn't know that permanent records aren't real, and no one cares what white suburban kids do, really.

When I think about this vague memory, I can only remember my brother. How eager and ready he was to follow my lead as I suggested our next victim; how he tried to hide how nervous he was as I dialed the numbers. And how he sat on the stairs behind me while I talked to the police, sobbing, terrified, because he had trusted me and I had let him down.


I saw The Skeleton Twins last weekend and started thinking about siblings. It's such a strange relationship and like no other in your life. Your parents love you because they made you, and your friends love you because they chose you.

But your siblings love you in a different way. They love you because they know who you are and what you're capable of, more deeply than your parents or your friends. They might not know who you're dating or what your dreams are or who you hate at work; they might not know the great, terrible anguishes of your twenties or the things that are changing you as you age. But they know who you are, at the very kernel of your being. When you grow up with someone, it's impossible to hide.

I think that's why it's sometimes hard for people to be close with their siblings, when they get older. You can trick your friends, to some extent; you can show them the good parts and the parts they want to see. But your sibling sees right through that facade, because it's the one you've been using your whole life -- and frankly, it could use some work.


I asked some people about their relationship with their siblings when they were younger. The responses varied, as you'd expect, but most were either quite close or quite antagonistic, except those with a notable age difference.

Most fought. That was certainly my experience with my brother, from ages 10 to 18: He seemed to have been designed by the universe specifically to annoy me. It was like having an itch in your shirt all day, but no one else could understand why it was itching you, and you knew that the shirt was enjoying it and doing it on purpose. Not a great analogy, but if you have a little brother, I bet you understand.

<i>"Our personalities aren't that compatible when in close proximity and I was a little shit to him most of the time."

"Non-stop fighting. We had fun, but the thing about homeschooling is it kind of makes those relationships more intense y'know? Kind of a thunderdome environment."

"I wanted to punch her in the face half the time when we were kids."</i>

A lot of people had regrets about how they treated their siblings when they were younger. Memories clearly stood out and haunted them. They remembered acutely the terrible things they had said.

I think that's another thing that separates sibling relationships from parents or friends: the regret. They've seen you at your worst, and you can't get rid of them. At least when a friend sees you snap, you can move towns and pretend that your crazy past self was someone else. You don't have to see them every Thanksgiving -- that knowing look, those eyes.

"He looked up to me a lot and I think I could be a bit cruel about his sensitivity, which in retrospect I feel really terrible about."


The close:

"She never abandoned me, with the exception of when she would have slumber parties. I hated her slumber parties. But she taught me everything I know."


The strange and hilarious and sad:

"I also used to play with her birth control a lot, because I didn't know what it was and liked how it clicked when you rotated them."

Jun. 23rd, 2009

Title: Hand Over Hand
Fandom: How I Met Your Mother/The Office
Pairing: Robin/Barney, Ted/Karen
Rating: PG
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i'm proud to be from the great white north

Several disturbing things have happened to me in recent times. Here they are:

1. So I graduated from college and moved on to a much more exciting life, in which I bake lemon cakes, sleep a lot, and sometimes watch "Titanic" two nights in a row. YESSSS. I was supposed to live in Grinnell for the summer, but then it turned out that my life is a moneyless pit of despair, so here I am at home. Lookin' for jobs, munchin' on cookies, hatin' the world. I want to work at Epic systems in Madison with all my heart and soul, but first I need to prove to them that I'm not the kind of bum who just sits around baking lemon cakes and watching "Titanic" two nights in a row. UGH WHY.

2. This is completely unrelated, whatever. DID YOU KNOW THE UNSINKABLE MOLLY BROWN ONLY SURVIVED THE TITANIC? I guess other people knew this. But seriously, for the last ten years, I thought she survived at least four famous ship disasters. I really don't think you can classify someone as "unsinkable" if they only survived one shipwreck. I guess maybe the other attempted sinkings were metaphorical. Either way, I feel like my entire life has been a lie.

3. One day I will write a long long treatise on the last three episodes of HIMYM and why I feel personally affronted. Not now though.

4. However, I just realized that the names of all the HIMYM characters are kind of strange and unusual and awesome. Barney? Robin? Marshall? How the fuck many people do you know named Barney? Once I knew a kid named Barnaby, and we called him Bananaby, which is why people don't have that name anymore. Because of me.
Title: Better Not Cry
Rating: PG
Pairing: Jim/Pam
Warning: This doesn't follow canon. I mean, it kind of does, but it's in a weird, sort of AU Office universe where Pam and Roy are still together. Basically the Christmas party that never happened.

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you will most assuredly drown tomorrow

So, I've become a little obsessed with the four things meme. So based off an earlier conversation about Lucille Bluth having NO FEAR, I present my own 'four things', surely to be followed up with more if people give me suggestions.

This weekend was fun but not ridiculous - drank too much on Thursday (met men who had just returned from the war, who wanted to buy us drinks and get our numbers, of which we allowed just one), went to a Halloween party yesterday (dressed up as a bottle of Lambrini), watched the rugby and then stayed in tonight (England lost, no apparent rioting).

I'm not sure what I want to do tomorrow, but I'm in a wonderful "write and go places and think and be by myself in a good way" kind of thing lately. My favorite weekend thing to do is to find a tube stop I've never been, go there, and just get out and look around. So far, I've found huge cemeteries, wonderful antique markets, two really friendly head shops, too much fish and chips, parks, a bunny farm, and other great things. I think tomorrow I might try to hit up a museum, but it's so much easier (and more enjoyable) to just chill out in a cool neighborhood.

Anyway, without further ado,

Four Times Lucille Bluth Was Actually TerrifiedCollapse )

Edit: P.S. I just remembered that over the summer, I wrote some very disturbing Gordon Smith/Ron Wyden Oregon senator fic. And now the question is: WHERE IS IT SO I CAN MAKE MY MILLIONZZZ.
Title: Afterwards
Rating: PG
Characters: Minerva McGonagall, Dennis Creevey, Pansy Parkinson, Stan Shunpike, Percy Weasley, Cho Chang
Summary: Life doesn't end after the war.

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that's the power of love

Title: Stiff Upper Lip
Rating: PG
Characters: Augusta Longbottom

Stiff Upper LipCollapse )

Title: Backwards Down
Pairing: Regulus/Severus
Rating: PG
Summary: Everybody knows what happened to Regulus Black.

The boy with such sad wings should stay off tall buildings
And keep away from high wires;
There's no circus left to join

Backwards DownCollapse )
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