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.'
'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.