Tuesday, May 10, 2005

a stranger in the passenger seat

saturday i sucked it up and went to the mall. i hate going to the mall by myself. even if we part ways upon entering, i like to know there's at least someone in the building who can steer me away from a fashion nightmare should i have a lapse in judgement. and i always love the lax pressure of shopping for what other people are looking for.

this week's victim: my brother.

fresh off of finals week he was brimming with attitude.
'ugh, you're going to be there like ALL day. i don't want to have to go to all your lame stores.'

but i had him in a corner. for once i wasn't ready with a spectacular gift for mom that he could squeeze his name onto, and he needed some new clothes for an upcoming interview. he had no car. he had no choice. i hadn't been shopping with him in years. this would be a risk.

on the way there, we went through the regular bickering.

* the i'm-taking-a-shower-first-you-take-too-long fight,
* the hurry-up-this-train-is-leaving-in-precisely-15-minutes-fight,
* the oh-no-you-don't-it's-my-car-i-pick-the-music fight,
* the you-drive-every-day-let-me/fine-you-can-pick-the-station-but-just-not-any-spanish-crap fight,
* the ugh-fine-you-can-play-your-cd-but-i-don't-want-to-hear-any-honkytonk-shit fight
* the close-the-window-my-hair-is-getting-all-fro-y fight
* the god-why-don't-you-pass-that-grandma-did-you-lose-your-skills fight
* the okay-DAD-why-don't-you-stop-being-such-a-backseat-driver fight

on the way to the mall we actually sang along together with a mix cd. he didn't roll his eyes or say something stupid like 'who sings this song? let's keep it that way.' and he even asked why i didn't have the extended version, after we had rapped along with the themesong to 'fresh prince of bel-air.'

it was really weird. as the day progressed, he sort of stopped being my bratty little brother. his snappy comebacks actually had good timing and made sense, we joked about fugly clothes and mall people. i somehow lost the urge to give him a lecture about anything. it was really strange.

even in the mall, he opened doors for me and actually carried my bags. and when i was trying on 14 pairs of khaki pants, he waited without any nasty comments. when we were in the men's store picking out ties, he didn't make any cracks about my taste, but ended up getting what i suggested. when we were in the shoe store, he actually paid attention to the black heels i was modeling and gave good feedback. and when we split up, he called me to ask if he could get me anything from the food court. then when we were eating, we had like a real conversation that didn't involve making fun of our parents (okay, maybe a little). and when we were negotiating gifts for mom he had viable ideas and even gave me some money.

i was floored. shopping with my brother? a pleasant experience? wha?

at the end of day we had gotten a lot done. i had managed to cover a surprising amount of retail space, considering my companion usually pretty much sticks to the sports store and abercrombie & fitch (where, btw, the women clerks were all some kind of sick crossbreed of paris hilton and ashlee simpson).

on the way home we were pooped. i drove. he played his cd. no bickering.
it was jack johnson. very relaxing. he sang along, and i listened. so odd, i haven't really heard him sing since he serenaded our congregation with 'this little light is mine' solo back in the day. he actually has a really nice voice, now that it's all fully adjusted and whatnot.

i was sort of in a zone, trying to wrap my head around the events of the day. i had to ask.

'so... i actually had a fun time with you today.'

'uh, thanks.'

'when the hell did you become so not all attitudey and decent to be around?

'since i got a girlfriend.'

'ah. remind me to thank her.'


we got home and showed off our new stuff. i was trying to find out which of the old stuff the new stuff would compliment best. i showed him the grass-green halter dress i had bought on a whim. he told me i couldn't wear that out without a sweater. i blew him off with a 'whatever, little boy.'

later he was going out with his friends. he asked to borrow the car and i hassled him.

'fine. then i'll just have to tell dad about that skanky dress you bought. DAAAD!'

and like that, the bubble was broken.


'ka said...

hahaha.. i guess boyz will always be boyz... :)

Pychic Pimp said...

He'll always be "His Royal Highness"

omar said...

This is a great story, it reminds me of stories my wife has told me about her relationship with her brother.

Which one of you is playing CDs that would fall under the category of "honkytonk"?

Jon said...

I’ve been a younger brother for about 27 years and an older brother for about 23 years now, and I have three sisters, so I speak from experience when I say, it’s no easy task either. And I have it on good authority that I am the #1 ranked brother/son in the family. My only real competition is the cat though, and he may have beaten me in ’96 and ’01, but I still maintain the vote was fixed!

jazz said...

oh i loved this. seriously. i haven't seen my brother in ages (ahh, the joy of the military) but i miss him a lot. thank you.

cadiz12 said...

i think i got the kid in trouble with his woman. just to clarify, m, he didn't carry all of my bags, just a few. (but i managed to ensure they were the heavy ones.)

my bro goes to school far away in the south, so i don't get to see him often. he tires of my obsession with all things latino, so in retaliation i lower my tolerance for his 'little bit country.' so, of course,he likes to blast 'i've got friends in low places' to get back at me for making him listen to reggaeton.

girlspit said...

A perfect snapshot of sib bonding. It's freaky to realize how much alike you can be, even if you're very different people. Reminded me of hanging out with my brother.

Ale said...

oh, i want to see a picture of the skanky dress!

Pychic Pimp said...

I'd also like to see what this "skanky" dress looks like.
Skanky is a relative term. Not sure our definitions would be the same. I just can't picture you all "chached up".

cadiz12 said...

i know, i'm still pretty much a prude. anything that shows a fair amount of chest, back or thigh is scandalous in my book. and anything that shows more than my eyebrows is scandalous in the eyes of my father.

i'll probably never feel completely comfortable wearing it anyway, unless we're out of the country. but you never know when an opportunity to flit off to an island may come up, so it's good to have it handy.

Glamour Girl said...

hehehe....your relationship w/your bro TOTALLY reminds me of the one I have with my younger bro. The fights, the sayings, and he always uses the "who sings that? yea, let's keep it that way!" on me.